Whether you come for the food, the music, the rides, the races, the farming exhibits, the animal shows or the various home and garden demonstrations, this year's Maryland State Fair has got you covered. So what's happening when? Here's a rundown of some of this year's fair highlights. For a full hour-by-hour schedule, visit www. marylandstatefair.com.
Ridemania Night. Catch a preview of the fair from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Enjoy endless midway rides, including the daredevil, not-so-daring and kiddie variety, at the Ridemania preview. But note that only rides, games and food stands will be open tonight. Ridemania costs $10 and includes unlimited rides.
The fair opens at 10 a.m. and runs through Sept. 5. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Hot Air Balloon Glow. See colorful hot air balloons soar overhead, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, from the Racetrack Infield.
The 4-H/FFA Livestock Sale. Youths will auction their prized goats, steer, lamb and market hogs, 7:30 p.m. at the Cow Palace Show Ring.
Costume Animal Contest. 4-H members will display their dressed-up sheep, goats, horses, dogs, rabbits, steer and other animals, and compete for ribbons and trophies. Both animal and human will be dressed up, and a short narration will be presented as the animal is shown. Contest takes place at 7 p.m. in the Swine Barn Show Ring.
"Battle of the Beast" professional bullriding rodeo. Never seen a real rodeo? See the J Bar W Ranch Battle of the Beast Pro Bullriding and Barrel Racing event at 7 p.m. in the Horse Show Ring.
G. Gordon Liddy. The talk show host and former FBI bureau supervisor, Watergate figure and staff assistant to President Richard Nixon broadcasts live from the fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Liddy will broadcast from the 4-H/Home Arts Building.
4-H Fashion Revue. More than 60 4-H youths will model unusual outfits that they have created or purchased at the "Fashion: An Enchanted Fair-E-Tale 4-H Fashion Revue," 7 p.m. at the Cow Palace Show Ring.
Antique Vehicle Display. Some 75 cars from the 1920s through 1980. Cars will include Corvair convertibles, Camaros, Corvettes, Mustangs, Ford Model A's, GTOs and Triumphs. The car show runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. under the Racetrack Grandstand, off of the Timonium Road entrance.
"Pedal Power" Kids Tractor Pull and Monster Truck Rides. Watch tractors pull and monster trucks roar from noon to 8 p.m., next to the Swine Barn.
McCormick & Company Maryland Foods Pavilion and food stands around the fair. Enjoy corn dogs, hot dogs, hamburgers, crab cakes, fried clams, catfish filet sandwiches, turkey legs, barbecue chicken, grilled beef sandwiches, smoked ham, lamb wraps, pork barbecue, corn-on-the-cob, fries, fruit salad, ice cream sundaes, cotton candy, and even more in the pavilion (for Maryland-grown foods) and around the fair at stalls. Cooking demonstrations will be held each day in the pavilion.
Swifty Swine Racing and Swimming Pig Show. Three racing heats and a performance by Swifty the Swimming Pig each day at 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Entertainment Row.
Thoroughbred Horse Racing. Catch eight days of horse racing at the Cosequin Cup Racing Series. There will be no live racing Monday or Tuesday. All other days will feature either nine or 10 races. Post time each day is at 1 p.m.
Agricultural Fair Tours and Birthing Center. Each day of the fair, University of Maryland agriculture professors and students will don red coveralls and lead fairgoers on hourly tours around the fairgrounds and offer insight on the many animals and exhibits. Also, the Birthing Center will be open daily for visitors to witness the birth of calves and piglets, in the Cow Palace.
Budweiser Clydesdale Horses. They're 6 feet tall and as much as 2,000 pounds. And they'll be stabled at the Horse Show Ring Barns each day. The horses will perform at various times each day.
Cow Milking Clinic. Come on, you've always wanted to learn. Admit it. So learn how to hand-milk that cow from members of the Maryland Guernsey Youth Association, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow through Sunday and Sept. 3 through Sept. 5, at the Cow Palace.
For more family events, see Page 36.
Gary Allan. The country singer takes the stage at the Fair Infield at 7 p.m. tomorrow. Infield opens at 6 p.m. Concert is free with fair admission.
Ted Nugent. You know you own a vinyl copy of Cat Scratch Fever. So hear the rebel rocker perform live at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on the Fair Infield. The infield opens at 6:30 p.m. for this show. Concert is free with fair admission.
Trace Adkins. The country music star hits the Fair Infield stage at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 2. Infield opens at 6:30 p.m. for the Adkins show. Concert is free with fair admission.