The bright sun beams down on the dusty paths of Machinery Row and distant buzz of the large fans keeping animals cool can be heard from all around. Smells of fried Oreos cause bellies to rumble, along with crinkled noses from the whiffs of different kinds of manure.
Each year the community of Frederick comes together to present their agricultural and livestock achievements as well as showcase what everyone in Frederick County has worked hard all year for. Although the fair is over, it’s hard not to miss it already.
4-H is a big part of Frederick County and a large portion of the lives of so many children and young adults. They work hard all year to get to this week, investing their hard work, time and money to perform and show their best. “As a now-former 4-H member I think I’ll miss show day the most,” said Logan Long. “The excitement of getting in the ring with your fellow 4-her’s and see how far you’ve come since you started when your animals were first born.”
This was Long’s last year participating in having his own animals but that doesn’t mean this is his last rodeo. “I’m looking forward to helping out more around the fair next year from getting animals into the show ring, to helping load them up and ship them out on sale night,” he said.
Although plenty of areas of Frederick County are densely rural, a lot of residents in the Frederick City area don’t get much exposure to farm life. Fair week is a great way for children and adults alike to see, touch and learn about the animals they normally only see pictures and videos of.
To farm owners and those who are familiar with livestock, it can be hard to realize what some people know, or don’t know. “We were standing by the baby lambs and adults were calling them goats,” said Brayden Shorrow, a local farmer. “People really don’t know the difference,” she said.
There are so many amazing things to view and learn about at the fair, like machinery row, the cow milking station, and the grand stand. One attraction that is also a fan favorite is the community submitted entries. Hundreds of different people from all over Frederick County enter art, baked goods, fruits, vegetables and anything else imaginable.
Photographs cover the walls, along with drawings, paintings, and even quilts. Clusters of cookies, cakes, pies and other delicious deserts cover the tables. There are also miscellaneous items like ceramic, wooden and wire sculptures, plant displays, toy models, flowers and hand-sewn clothing.
The shiny and bright colored ribbons draw attention to the most creative and well-executed entries. On both ends of the building are blocked off areas where the best of the best are showcased. However, the most jaw-dropping of all was not a work of art, a cake or a quilt.
Sitting just inside the Farm & Garden building sat a pumpkin that totals to 1,020 pounds!
“My favorite was the giant pumpkin,” said Long. “I find them interesting as a fourth-generation farmer how they were grown and taken care of.” It sat among other giant watermelons and squash, but the monstrous pumpkin was what really drew people in.
Now that the fried food, animals and attractions are over, it’s time for 4-H kids and their parents to relax and look back on their hard work with pride, Although the fair has packed up and moved on, the memories and impact on the community of Frederick county will last for years to come.