The annual Harford County Farm Fair, in Bel Air, celebrates the county’s agricultural roots with competitions, demonstrations, live entertainment and, of course, live animals.
Amy McClaskey, Farm Fair co-chair, said the goal is to offer an array of family-friendly activities. Now in its 30th year, the Farm Fair has increased from four days to six days. It starts Monday, July 24 and runs through Saturday, July 29.
“It’s a labor of love for us,” McClaskey said. “It’s something that we enjoy doing, and we want to share that excitement with everybody else.”
According to McClaskey, agricultural programs like 4-H have grown in Harford County and the expanded schedule will give more children and teenagers the opportunity to show their farm animals to the public. These shows will culminate Saturday, July 29, with a 4-H livestock auction. In addition to showing farm animals, 4-H will host the “4-H Fashion Revue,” the “4-H Dog Agility Contest, and other events to showcase agricultural talent.
The Farm Fair also provides a venue for youth to showcase their arts and crafts, baked goods and home-grown fruits and vegetables, McClaskey said.
“When you see some of the craftsmanship, and the demonstrations and shows that these young people put on, it’s really quite amazing,” she said.
Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase locally made crafts in the “Artisan’s Village.”
McClaskey said the Farm Fair offers a variety of shows for all ages. For the first time in Harford County, the “Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association,” or CMSA, will host a competition Saturday, July 29. During this equestrian sporting event, mounted “cowboys” will race through a course and attempt to break balloons using blank ammunition.
“It [the competition] is based on time, skill and accuracy,” she said. “It is a fast-paced, high-action type of event.”
Also new this year, the “Marvelous Mutts” will provide daily shows, featuring rescue dogs performing agility tricks, catching Frisbees and dock diving. Other events include a tractor and trailer pull, a spelling bee, a talent contest, and a cooking competition featuring local chefs.
Another big draw to the Farm Fair is live music featuring local bands, and a carnival, provided by the family-owned Oscar’s Amusement Company.
McClaskey said families will delight in “Kidway,” an area featuring free games and activities for children.
“It’s like a county fair kind of atmosphere,” she said.
Saturday, July 29, is “Kid’s Day” which will include additional contests and special events for children, including free pony rides.
Kick-off concert July 21
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Farm Fair, Harford County Government and Visit Harford will sponsor a kick-off country music concert Friday, July 21, featuring Eric Paslay, whose hits include “Friday Night” and “Song About a Girl.” The concert begins 7 p.m. at the APG Federal Credit Union Arena at Harford Community College and is a fundraiser for the Farm Fair.
“We have been really lucky to have such great support from Harford County,” said McClaskey.
Tickets for the concert can be purchased at www.apgfcuarena.com. See page A8 for details about a ticket discount for APG employees.
About the Harford County Farm Fair
The Harford County Farm Fair is held 3 to 10 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Admission is $5 per person Monday-Thursday; $8 per person Friday and Saturday; children under 12 are free. Military receives $5 admission on Friday and Saturday with identification.
The Farm Fair is held on the grounds of the Harford County Equestrian Center, at 608 North Tollgate Road. No parking is allowed on the fairgrounds without a permit. Free shuttle parking will be provided in several locations. For more information and to view the full schedule of events, visit http://www.farmfair.org.