Things to ride, touch, see, hear and taste

Maryland State Fair

August 26, 2004|By Lori Sears

What's happening and when, you ask? Listed below are fair highlights. For an hour-by-hour fair schedule, visit


Ridemania preview. More than 40 daredevil, entertaining and kiddie rides, as well as games and food tonight from 5 to 11 on the fairgrounds. $8 includes all rides.


Fair opening. The fair officially kicks off at 10 a.m. and runs through Sept. 6 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds.

Cosamin Hot Air Balloon Glow Festival. Catch a great view of the colorful hot air balloons that will soar above the fairgrounds, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. tomorrow and 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturday. Early arrivals at the racetrack infield can chat with the pilots and watch them unfurl and inflate their balloons.


Thoroughbred horse racing. Starts Saturday and runs daily at 1 p.m. No racing Monday and Tuesday. Admission to the racing is included in fair admission.

Costume Animal Contest. 4-H members will dress up their animals and themselves and read a short story or poem about their chosen costume theme. Contest is at 7:30 p.m. in the Cow Palace.


The 4-H Livestock Sale. Local 4-H and FFA youth will auction their market goats, steers, hogs and lambs, 7 p.m. in the Swine Barn.


4-H Fashion Revue. Nearly 60 young 4-H members will model outfits they've made or purchased. Entries judged at 7 p.m. in the Cow Palace.

Sept. 2

Maryland Agriculture Day. Learn about Maryland agriculture at programs, demonstrations and hands-on activities, beginning at 2 p.m. in the Farm and Garden Building. Live music by Maynard Huddleston and his strolling band. And all visitors can participate in a watermelon seed-spitting contest.

Sept. 4

National Sweet Potato Pie Contest. Watch as things heat up at the competitive National Sweet Potato Pie Contest, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. in the McCormick Maryland Foods Pavilion. The contest will be divided into three sections: "The Best Sweet Potato Pie," judged on taste, appearance and texture; "The Dress Your Tater Contest," judged on best-dressed sweet potato (in adults' and children's divisions); and "The Eat Your Tater Contest," which will feature contestants eating a sweet potato pie with no hands.

Sept. 5

Antique Vehicle Display. See nearly 75 antique vehicles, from the 1920s to the 1970s, at the car show, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. under the racetrack's grandstand off the Timonium Road entrance. See Corvair convertibles, Camaros, Triumphs, GTOs, Corvettes, Ford Model A's, Mustangs and more.

Sept. 6

Labor Day Ride Special. Unlimited rides for $18, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fair admission is not included.


Rides. This year's fair has more than 40 rides, including the new Supershot Tower with a gondola that free-falls 90 feet, and the new Spinning Mouse roller coaster. The younger set can enjoy the new Inflated Race Car Slide. Tickets are available at the Midway ride ticket booths and cost $18 for 20-ride tickets or $40 for 50-ride tickets. A Ride Wristband Special costs $18 for unlimited rides noon-10 p.m. tomorrow, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sept. 2. Fair admission is not included.

4-H events. 4-H members and their livestock compete each day in the Cow Palace, Goat Barn, Sheep Barn, Swine Barn and Horse Show Ring.

Food exhibits. See the biggest, prettiest, ugliest and most unusual farm products from amateur and professional farmers and gardeners, as winning entries are exhibited tomorrow through Sept. 6 in the Farm and Garden Building's South Room. Each day, a different product will be on view, with demonstrations, as well.

Beekeepers exhibit. Nope, bees don't scare these folks. The Central Maryland Beekeepers demonstrate the art of extracting honey from the hive, nightly at 8, beginning Sunday at the Farm and Garden Building.

University of Maryland Agriculture Fair Tours. Sure, you've long wondered about the difference between a cow and a heifer. But you were never quite sure whom to ask. Well, wonder no longer. University of Maryland agriculture professors and students, clad in red coveralls, will conduct agriculture tours through the barns and exhibits. The daily tours depart every half-hour, beginning at 10 a.m. from the Birthing Center in the Cow Palace. The tours will venture to the Milking Parlor, the Swine Barn, the Sheep and Goat Barn, the Horse Show Ring and the Rabbits and Poultry Building.

McCormick Maryland Foods Pavilion. Enjoy foods harvested fresh from Maryland farms and the Chesapeake Bay at the McCormick Maryland Foods Pavilion, open tomorrow through Sept. 6. Have a taste for a crab cake, catfish filet or fried clams? You'll find it at the pavilion, as well as corn-on-the-cob, smoked ham, grilled beef, barbecued chicken and more. Also, cooking demonstrations will be held daily in the pavilion.

The Moo Beams. Hear educational tunes sung by the Moo Beams, a quartet of young men in cow costumes, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. weekdays and at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. weekends, Sunday through Sept. 6 next to the Milking Parlor. Blackie, Dairy, Spots and Milky wear jeans, denim jackets and large cow heads as they sing, dance and teach lessons on the benefits of dairy products.

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