BOYS AND GIRLS dressed in white clothes and paper hats, with 4-H green neckerchiefs, leading livestock in and out of the ring.
The smells of fresh pork barbecue and other country foods in the breeze. Strains of music drifting from the barns, and folks meeting in small groups to chat and catch up on a year's worth of news.
These are the sights and sounds of the Carroll County 4-H and FFA Fair, which continues through Saturday. It's one of the few nationwide that retains the flavor of a good ol' country fair.
On Friday, young people go to the Carroll County Agricultural Center to enter their arts and crafts, photography and other indoor exhibits as part of the fair's 100th anniversary.
Many attractions will bring back the past and help the public celebrate this milestone.
A century ago, fair entrants exhibited carriages and leather, stoves and minerals. Trotting races were a big attraction, and cars had to pay more to park than horses did.
In 1937, the fair featured a series of hot air balloon ascensions and a performance of circus animals, including two Chinese midget stallions, billed as the smallest trick horses in the world.
In the past, the fair has included greased pig contests, pie eating contests and public weddings.
The list of exhibitors has changed to meet the needs of the time, but this year some of those attractions will return.
A historical fashion show begins at 7 p.m. today. The farm queen contest begins at 8 p.m. and will be followed by the Carroll County 4-H Performing Arts Club.
Throughout the week, fair attendees may browse through memorabilia representing 100 years of growth in Carroll County.
Among the old-fashioned events tomorrow is a series of contests, including cow milking, pie eating, pretty baby and best beard. The one I can't wait to hear is the husband-calling contest. They begin at 7 p.m.
"The fair is still admission-free, with no parking charge, and we've got all the wonderful things of past years, plus all the special centennial celebrations. It's bigger and better than ever," said Bob Shirley, an agent for Carroll County Extension Service.
Crab and more crab
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 467 in Westminster will sponsor a crab feast Aug. 23.
Food will be served from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will include steamed crabs, crab soup, fried chicken and corn on the cob. Draft beer and soda are included.
The cost is $20 per person.
Carroll County Arts Council is exhibiting fiber art by Janet Waters Bailey through Aug. 22 at its gallery, 15 E. Main St., Westminster.
Bailey was designing patterns, hand-sewing and knitting clothing for her dolls and herself by age 7.
Her style evolved as she attended Western College for Women; Maryland Institute, College of Art; and Miami University. She has studied at Weavers Place and Seminole Sampler and with master weavers in Hamilton, Bermuda.
Her work has appeared at the African American Art Gallery, James E. Lewis Museum of Art, Studio Open House, the Contemporary Craft Market Festival and Walters Art Gallery's annual Art in Bloom auction. Her rich fiber collages are included in private collections throughout the world.
The arts council gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
Lois Szymanski's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears Mondays in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.
Pub Date: 7/28/97