The Maryland State Fair offers plenty of fun for the family this year with tons of new activities along with the best of years past including rides, music, animals, racing and hands-on learning.
The Midway and some livestock shows will be open Thursday, Aug. 24 with the rest of the fair buildings, barns, thoroughbred racing, games and more will open Aug. 25.
“Tousands of talented individuals and fun-loving fairgoers from our great state’s cities, towns, farms, moutains and shores make up MY Maryland State Fair,” said Maryland State Fair General Amanger Andy Cashman. “Our goad is to provide a variety of safe, enjoyable and educational experiences to help make memories for a lifetime.”
New activities this year include:
The Innovation Station … STEM Growing with You – The Farm & Garden Building North Room will be transformed into a wonderland of hands-on educational activities including The Butterfly Encounter, The Agriculture Planetarium, Ethanol Remote Car Race Track and more.
Are You Smarter Than and AG Teacher? Competition – Watch this educational competition between FFA members vs. agriculture teachers and advisors. Friday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. in the Cow Palace.
World’s Largest Cow Tales – Goetze’s Candy Company, Inc., creators of Caramel Creams, plans to set a new world’s record by creating a Cow Tales candy that measures approximately 10 feet in length. Typically the the candy is 7 inches in length. The last days of the fair, pieces of the record-setting Cow Tales will be sold to benefit the Maryland State Fair Scholarship Fund. Mon.-Fri., noon-10 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Labor Day, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. in front of the Bulk Candy Store in the Exhibition Hall.
Banana Split Competition – In honor of National Banana Split Day, the competition will be held using local creamery’s ice cream and a variety of toppings in the Cow Palace. First come, first served, while they last. Aug. 25, 2 p.m.
M&T Bank Preview Night with Ridemania – Aug. 24, 5-11 p.m. Those at the fair may purchase admission and ride wristband for $20 or a walk-around admission for $1. Only the Midway rides, games and food stands will be open.
The fair will also features concerts, strolling entertainers and a Kiddie Land Stage with children’s entertainment. The Grand Parade will be held Sunday, Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. in front of the Grandstand and will feature 4-H/FFA agrecuture-related floats, horses, marking bands, color guards, antique farm equipment, vintage vehicles and more.
Fireworks will be held Sept. 2 at 9 p.m. from the Fairgrounds Infield.
Other family entertainment will include:
My Maryland Horseland – Located near the Grandstand in the Horseland Tent, it will provide the opportunity to learn about the Maryland horse industry. Participate in hands-on horse experiences including handling, grooming, saddling and learning about therapeutic riding and horse rescue organizations. Kids can build and race stick horses and participate in other activities. Multiple equine events will also take place on various evenings in the Horse Show Ring. US Pony Races will be held with jockeys ages 3 to 16.
Nature Play Space – An opportunity for children to freely and safely play and explore sand, maze, nature art, gardening, balancing, building, listening, observing and other stations. Facilitators and volunteers from the University of Maryland Landscape Architecture program, as well as childcare professionals, will explain the benefits of each station to parents as their children play.
Oyster Alley – Stroll down Oyster Alley to learn from Oyster Recovery Partnership and Costal Conservation Association Maryland representatives while sampling local oysters. In front of the Cow Palace, Aug. 26-27 from 5 p.m. to close.
U-Learn Farm – Learn how agriculture impacts your daily life. Fun and educational hands-on activities and exhibits such as the Reading Nook, Farmers’ In Q&A session with local farmers, John Deere combine, greenhouse, interactive milk carton, simulated milking cow and more. In the Cow Palace, Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Birthing Center – Witness the miracle of the birth of calves and piglets under the supervision of veterinarians and students. Daily, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., in the Cow Palace.
Bull Riding and Cowgirl Barrel Racing – 25 professional International Bull Rider Association riders will compete on some of the toughest bulls in the world of rodeo. Aug. 28, 7 p.m. in the Horse Show Arena.
Crafters Corner – Local artisans will provide daily demonstrations, tips and answers in the Home Arts Building.
DNR Scales and Tales – Shows at various times on Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day on the Maryland State Fair Park Stage.
Swifty Swine Racing & Swimming Pig Shows – Races start at 12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8 p.m. daily on the Midway near the Farm & Garden Building.
The Maryland State Fair runs Aug. 24-Sept. 4. Tickets are $8 for adults; $6 seniors and $3 children ages 6-11. For details visit marylandstatefair.com.
For more family fun see our calendar of events.