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Fair combines country and city living

September 11, 2003|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

FREDERICK, Md. - The 141st annual Great Frederick Fair brings country and city together with nine days of agricultural activities, carnival rides and concerts in the heart of the urban center.

The fair kicks off Friday, Sept. 12, and runs through Saturday, Sept. 20, on the 64-acre county fairgrounds off 797 E. Patrick St.

"Our fair is steeped in tradition and history, and each year it gets better and better," Fair Board President J.R. Ramsburg Jr. says. "From the livestock exhibits to the carnival attractions to the educational exhibits, we offer something for nearly every fair-goer."

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Animal lovers will have the opportunity to see top-notch livestock shows featuring cattle, sheep, alpacas, dairy goats, poultry and pigs. Harness racing fans can cheer for their favorite trotters as they round the half-mile track starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, through Thursday, Sept. 19. Hundreds of baked goods, homegrown produce entries and hand-crafted items will line tables in three buildings. More than 100 desserts made by 4-H members will be auctioned off starting at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14. And more than $3 million worth of farm, lawn and garden equipment will be displayed along "Machinery Row."

Educational opportunities will abound at the fair with a national award-winning butterfly house exhibit and presentations about mosquitoes, horticultural therapy, extracting honey, dyeing wool and other topics. A new animal birthing center will give visitors a chance to watch animals give birth to and care for their young. Daily demonstrations include everything from crafting grapevine wreaths and floral arrangements to making portable henhouses, herb gardening and butterfly gardening.

Those interested in pursuing a career in agriculture will find countless resources under one roof at the Ag Careers Fair on Friday, Sept. 19.

People of all ages will enjoy amusement rides at the carnival midway, including the 180-foot Giant Dutch Wheel, the Zipper, Orbitor, Tornado and Chaser. Kiddie rides also will be offered. Visit the fair's Web site at www.thegreatfrederickfair.com for discount tickets and a listing of special carnival promotions.

Nightly entertainment in front of the grandstand will range from a tractor pull and demolition derby to music concerts. In addition to country music performances by such entertainers as Diamond Rio and Sammy Kershaw and Lorrie Morgan, Jaci Velasquez will showcase the contemporary Christian music genre for the first time in the event's history.

"The whole week from beginning to end is filled with great entertainment," says Dr. James McClellan, chairman of the fair's entertainment committee. "We are very fortunate to still be able to attract some of the biggest names in country music, and for the first time to offer the top name in contemporary Christian music."

All fair-goers under 18 will be entered in free bicycle drawings to be held nightly from Monday, Sept. 15, through Friday, Sept. 19. One grand prize winner will receive a Yamaha PW50 dirt bike.

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