The 64th annual Montgomery County Agricultural Fair opened this weekend, drawing guests from all over the county and other parts of Maryland.
The fair kicked off Friday at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, welcoming families and friends to join in this year’s celebration, “Sew It, Grow It, Show It.” Aside from the rain storm Saturday night, the fair has seen huge crowds thus far.
“It’s been busy,” Thomas Poole, the supervisor at the fair’s rabbit barn, said. “If we have weather like this for the rest of the week, we’ll continue to have good crowds.”
The agricultural accomplishments of Montgomery County were on full display as guests wandered through the rows of stables and pens filled with sheep, pigs, chickens, cows, rabbits and other animals, taking photos with the animals and petting them. Booths were set up selling locally grown fruits and vegetables, while other fun events such as horse shows, sheep shearing shows, hog races and camel rides were found around the fairground.
“We had a rabbit show yesterday,” Poole said. “People really seem to like looking at the animals here. Our place has been pretty crowded ever since we started yesterday."
“This is my first time here at the fair,” Tim Jones, of Rockville, said. “I didn’t know there was this much agriculture in the county. I really enjoyed the horse displays. They were really interesting and it might be something we might get involved in if my daughter’s interested.”
Vendors on the sides of the streets sold fairground foods such as popcorn and lemonade while others had unique dishes, including Greek gyros and Texas-style barbecue.
For many seeking adventures, an amusement park with carnival rides and games was set up adjacent to the barns where the animals were kept. The ferris wheel could be seen from far away and there was even a haunted house for those looking for a scare.
Many organizations in the county also showed up, including Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, which brought a group of firefighters and fire engines for people to see.
“We’re here to show what the county has to offer, the equipment and the staffing and what public services are available,” MCFR Lt. Matt Kalons said. “It seems like a pretty good turnout. We’ve had a lot of people come in. They really enjoyed seeing the apparatus and kids got to get on the apparatus. It’s been a good time.”
At 5 p.m. on Sunday, a parade of tractors, trucks, horses and buggies wove down the streets of the fairgrounds, carrying the fair court, children in the county's 4-H programs and Gaithersburg mayor Sidney A. Katz. The parade was sponsored by 4-H, a youth development program covering a wide variety of subjects, including agriculture, electronics and leadership, according to Poole, whose granddaughter is a member.
“My boys enjoyed the watching the people in the parade wave and then waving back at them,” Amy Sloan, of Rockville, said. “We’ve been to a lot of fairs and this is the best weather ever.”
The fair runs from Aug. 10 to Aug. 18 at the Montgomery County fairgrounds. More information and a list of activities can be found on the fair’s website at http://www.mcagfair.com.