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Maryland State Fair

maryland-state-fairMaryland State Fair

UPDATE – 19 Questions You May Have About The Maryland State Fair – Sun
UPDATE – Racing At Maryland State Fair A Treasured Tradition – Sun
OLD PHOTOS – From The Vault: Maryland State Fair – Sun

Activities for all ages including 4-H competitions, rides, garden shows, classes, thoroughbred racing, pumpkin and chainsaw carvers, jousting, racing pigs, live concerts and more.

WHEN: August 28, 2015, through September 7, 2015 at the state fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium, MD 21093.

HOURS:
Livestock and Horse Shows: Open 9 AM to 10 PM
Demonstration and Exhibit Halls:
Monday through Thursday – Open Noon to 10 PM
Friday through Sunday & Labor Day Monday – Open 10 AM to 10 PM
Midway Hours: Open 10 AM Friday through Sundays and Labor Day Monday, and Open 2PM weekdays
NEW! Kiddie Rides: Open 10 AM Fridays through Sundays & Labor Day Monday, and Open Noon weekdays

ADMISSION: Adult admission $8, Senior admission (62 & over) $6, Children (6 to 11) $3, children 5 and under are admitted FREE (Rides are not included). A ticket is required for all persons aged 3 and over for concerts held in the Racetrack Infield. Rides are not included. Rides are individually priced.

RIDES: Tickets may be purchased at the Midway Ride Ticket Booths. Tickets are $1 each, or $45 for 50, and each ride uses approximately 2-6 rides tickets.

ADVANCE TICKET DISCOUNTS: Fare better by purchasing in advance a $100 minimum of any combination of Fair Admission, Ride Wristband and/or Food Coupons. Ride wristbands, for $23, can be purchased at the Midway ride ticket booths (SOLD ONLY FROM Noon to 6 PM). Ride Wristbands can be used Noon to 10 PM.

FOOD LION RIDE COUPON: Grab a discount on the unlimited ride wristbands by visiting local participating Food Lion stores! Get $5 off a wristband (regular price $23) by presenting the coupon at Midway ticket booths.

LABOR DAY RIDE SPECIAL: On Monday, September 1st, fairgoers can enjoy the final day of the fair with a $23 unlimited (Ride all you can Ride!) wristband. Available for purchase from 10AM – close. FAIR ADMISSION IS NOT INCLUDED.

PARKING: Limited parking is available on the Fairgrounds for $3. Free parking is available at the Park and Ride location on Deereco Road west of the Fairgrounds. Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Handicapped parking is available. Please see the fairgrounds parkers, and they will direct you to the appropriate and closest handicapped parking area. Because convenient parking is limited, we encourage the use of the Light Rail.

History of the Maryland State Fair

The first fair was held in 1878 and was known as the Lutherville Fair. In 1878, after several unsuccessful attempts to establish an on-going fair at other locations around Baltimore, a group of Maryland businessmen operated a successful fair on a 4-acre (16,000 m2) site in Lutherville, Maryland. Despite its success, the Lutherville Fair was short-lived because an extension of the Northern Central Railway was constructed in the middle of the fairgrounds.The following year, 1879, the fair was moved to its current location in Timonium and was held from September 9 through September 12. In 1906, the Lutherville Fair merged with the Pimlico Fair and became known as the Maryland State Fair. The fair was suspended from 1943 through 1945 during World War II. In 1999, the fair grew to its current length of 11 days.

Their success in Lutherville, however, gave the operators resolve to establish an annual fair, and in December 1878, they incorporated as the Agricultural Society of Baltimore County. The corporation leased a 37-acre (150,000 m2) plot of land on the York Turnpike on what was then known as “the Timonium Estate.” The first Fair at its new home was held September 9–12, 1879. The Northern Central Railway, cause of the closing of the Lutherville Fair, was now the primary source of transportation for fairgoers from Baltimore to the Timonium Fairgrounds during the rest of the century. Other fairgoers walked or rode horses, wagons, carriages, and carts to the fairgrounds using the Turnpike.

Late in the century, The Agricultural Society of Baltimore County faced stiff competition from the Pimlico Fair, also referred to as the State Fair. Ultimately, the two groups held joint fairs in 1894 and 1897, and in 1906, merged to form one corporation – the Maryland State Fair and Agricultural Society of Baltimore County, Md. Their annual Fair became known as The Maryland State Fair.

The early years at the Fair saw tents and wooden structures in use to exhibit home arts, farm and garden products, and livestock shows. Plowing and working oxen competitions were some of the popular but few attractions. Races were held at the track, and results were forwarded to interested horsemen at Baltimore and Alexandria, VA, by way of carrier pigeon. Food concessions consisted of sandwiches made by the farmers’ wives, and amusements involved sideshows, sack races, and greased pole climbing.

The Maryland State Fair grew and prospered, adding many attractions and exhibits, including an airmail delivery at the 1918 Fair. The annual event continued until 1943 when the Fair was interrupted because of the war effort. The fairgrounds were leased to the U.S. Army for a storage depot and a vehicle repair center. After a three year suspension, the Fair reopened its gates in 1946.

In the 1950s growth in Baltimore County flourished, and certain business interests wanted to purchase the fairgrounds site for industrial development. The majority stockholder of the Corporation, the Maryland Jockey Club, agreed to sell. However, a group of agriculturists, business leaders, horsemen, and bankers formed the “Save the Maryland State Fair Committee.” The Committee raised over $600,000 to purchase the fairgrounds, ensuring that The Maryland State Fair at Timonium would continue to be Maryland’s premiere event at the end of each summer.

Another crisis was averted in the 1970s. The Maryland Racing Industry took steps to have the Fair’s Thoroughbred racing dates transferred to other Maryland tracks. Fair Directors recognized that such a move would threaten the survival of the Fair. The “Committee of Friends of the Maryland State Fair” was established to strengthen the cooperation between Maryland agriculture and horse breeding interests – a relationship that had been a tradition in the State since the mid-18th century. The Committee was successful in convincing the public and the Maryland Legislature of the value in keeping Thoroughbred racing a part of the Fair. The Committee also prepared expansion plans for the Fair, which resulted in a $5 million grant from the State of Maryland for building, modernization, and year-round use of the fairgrounds.

One of the most famous horses to race at Timonium was the Maryland-bred colt Bee Bee Bee who competed and won here in the fall of 1971 then in May 1972 at Pimilico Race Course won the second leg of the U.S. Triple Crown series, the Preakness Stakes.

Currently the racetrack hosts events during the fair, including the Alma North Stakes for fillies and mares and the Taking Risks Stakes. [1]

In its long and colorful history, the Maryland State Fair has grown from 37 acres (150,000 m2) to over 100 acres (0.40 km2). Because of a commitment to continually improve and expand the event, Fair organizers found that they could no longer squeeze in more entertainment and attractions in what had become the traditional 10-day run. Thus, in 1999, the Fair added a day, making the Fair an 11-day event.

1 Comment

  1. victoria santiago

    I REALLY WANT TO VISIT MARYLAND PLUS THE ATTRACTIONS N WILLING TO STAY A DAY IR TWO JUST TO EXPLORE THE TOWNS NEAR BY ,, PAST THRU HYE WAY LATE EVE WHEN DRIVN FROM FLORIDA 3WEEKS AGO AND SAW THE TOWN LITE UP LOOK GREAT TO VISIT WILL SOON BE THR

    Reply

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