Harford fair honors Steve Nelson

The 2011 Harford County Farm Fair Pulling Award has been presented to Steve Nelson who for many years has been a volunteer at the Farm Fair.

According to fair directors, Nelson has volunteered his time helping mainly in 4-H areas supporting livestock showing events.

The Harford County Farm Fair presents its Pulling Award annually to the person who, by vote of the fair's directors, has provided outstanding volunteer service to the fair. The 2011 Farm Fair ended its four-day run Sunday evening.

The Aberdeen Rotary Club sponsors the Farm Fair Pulling Award. The Rotary Clubs support many community activities that emphasize the value of volunteers in their local communities.

The Pulling Award includes a framed copy of a picture found on the wall of the Harford County Office Building at 220 S. Main St. in Bel Air. It pictures a team ofhorses in a pulling contest in a fair setting. The picture is a small way to recognize the commitment of the many volunteers who give countless hours of make the fair so successful.

The picture at the County Office Building, probably painted in 1986, reflects the enthusiasm a horse-pulling contest in a fair setting develops with cheers and expressions from nearby people and those in the grandstand.

The original picture of a horse team in a pulling contest was on the end of the grandstand at the old Bel Air Race Track, part of the fairgrounds where the Harford County Fair was held until the late 1960s. Harford Mall now occupies the location that once was the racetrack and fairgrounds.

The idea for the Pulling Award originated with Dr. Dick Cook, who was chairman of the Farm Fair Board of Directors during the early years of the fair's revival.

Today's Harford Farm Fair had it's beginning in 1988, when a group who wished to develop a countywide fair, asked the 4-H Fair to join in the effort. For 25 years before that time the 4-H Fair had been held at the Harford County 4-H Camp located near Rocks State Park in Street.

Since the fair's revival, it has continued to showcase 4-H project work. The four-day event, held annually at the Harford County Equestrian Center on Tollgate Road in Bel Air, is family oriented with many activities for children, but without a carnival atmosphere, according to fair directors.

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