Time for the big show

Ce­cil County Fair be­gins tonight

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— New acts and old fa­vorites are in store for the 2016 Ce­cil County Fair run­ning tonight through July 30.

This is the 63rd year for the fair held at the Ce­cil County Fair­grounds at Route 273 and Route 213 north of Elk­ton, near the Delaware line.

A so­cial me­dia scav­enger hunt launched July 15

FAIR HILL

through the Ce­cil County Fair Facebook page. Look for clues lead­ing play­ers to prizes in­clud­ing fair passes.

“If you are on Facebook you need to like our page,” said Tyler Ewing, chair­woman of the fair en­ter­tain­ment com­mit­tee. “A lot of in­for­ma­tion will be put up be­fore and dur­ing the fair.”

Marty Long re­turns with his chain­saw carv­ing. How­ever Long has re­branded him­self as “Team Up­rooted

— Ex­treme Chain­saw Carv­ing.”

“I’m still a master of the chain­saw,” he said, re­fer­ring to the for­mer name of his stage act. “But this is my new ven­ture with my ap­pren­tice, Jazz.”

Ewing said Ul­ti­mate Fly­ing Ca­nines will also be fa­mil­iar to fair fans. Since last year, Todd Dun­can — for­merly of Sky­bound Ca­nines — has gone off on his own as Ul­ti­mate Fly­ing Ca­nines.

“He’ll be here with his Fris­bee dogs,” Ewing said.

Grand Il­lu­sions by the Blooms will in­tro­duce it­self to the fair. John Steven Bloom said this is the first time the Ohio-based fam­ily act will per­form in Mary­land.

“It’s my wife and four kids ages 5 to 15,” Bloom said. “They are all in the act and per­form their own il­lu­sions. The kids don’t as­sist, but ac­tu­ally per­form.”

Yet another new act is Pro­fes­sor Bub­ble­maker. John Grad­wohl said some­thing about blow­ing bub­bles en­gages par­ents and kids alike.

“Bub­bles just make peo­ple feel good,” he said.

Grad­wohl said he is look­ing for­ward to his first Ce­cil County Fair. His act in­cludes a min­strel show that will move around the fair­grounds as well as a stage show.

“Those shows are bub­bles and lights chore­ographed to mu­sic,” he said.

Trac­tor pulls, Painted Pony Rodeo and of course the demolition derby will be the en­ter­tain­ment each night of the fair as well as mu­sic, food, games, car­ni­val rides and ven­dors.

Of course it would not be the Ce­cil County Fair with­out the 4-H an­i­mals and com­pe­ti­tions. Fair Board Pres­i­dent Al Miller said one of the barns used by 4-H had to have ex­ten­sive re­pairs.

“Barn F was lean­ing real bad last year,” Miller re­called. “We raised it 6 inches and straight­ened it out. It was

a ma­jor un­der­tak­ing.”

Miller said the rear of Barn B will still be off lim­its again this year be­cause of its con­di­tion. Re­pairs for that struc­ture — which has been deemed his­toric — will take ex­tra time and money.

“The front half is good,” Miller said, but the back is roped off. Drainage is­sues were also ad­dressed, which will help keep stormwa­ter from pond­ing around the barns. Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources has also made im­prove­ments since last year’s fair.

“The state put down tar and chip on all the roads,” Miller said. “We con­tinue to spend money at Fair Hill to make the fair better ev­ery year.”

Last year, the fair board de­vised a new traf­fic pat­tern to elim­i­nate the bot­tle neck­ing that oc­curs on the last three nights of the fair.

Ce­cil County’s emer­gency man­age­ment com­mand bus will be brought to the fair­grounds to give law en­force­ment and fire police a better view of traf­fic so ad­just­ments

can be made, Miller said.

“Our ma­jor goal is to get peo­ple into the fair,” Miller said.

“Peo­ple did not mind park­ing across the road,” he said, adding one young fair-goer es­pe­cially en­joyed walk­ing through the field to the wagon ride. “It was more like a fair ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Two peo­ple well-known to the fair com­mu­nity passed away in the year since the 2015 fair. Miller said there will be trib­utes fit­ting the mem­o­ries of He­len As­tle and Peggy Sprout.

This year also marks the 20th year of Gospel Night at the Ce­cil County Fair. To cel­e­brate, John Belew is ar­rang­ing two nights of mu­sic fea­tur­ing the pop­u­lar genre. Along with the Thurs­day night slot, he has also lined up a sec­ond night Tues­day.

This year also marks the 4th Run­ning With the Pigs 5K to ben­e­fit the Union Hos­pi­tal Breast Care Cen­ter. Go to races2run.com to reg­is­ter. Walk­ers are also wel­come

to par­tic­i­pate in the event, which this year is in mem­ory of Joyce Miller.

“She was one of the orig­i­na­tors of the ‘Tough Enough to Wear Pink’ at the fair,” said Vir­ginia Ferver, race chair­woman. Miller lost her fight against breast can­cer last year. “This race is ded­i­cated to her.”

Last year the fair board pre­sented the hos­pi­tal with a check for $14,000 from the race, the demolition derby cars, Smash for the Cure, and sales of “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” t-shirts.

Admission to the Ce­cil County Fair re­mains the same. Kids age 6 to 12 get in for $2. Any­one 1360 pays $5 and kids un­der 6 get in free. Ewing said the newly de­signed tick­ets to thwart coun­ter­feit­ing worked last year.

Park­ing and shut­tle ser­vice to the en­try gate is also free.

Spe­cial deals for the mid­way rides also re­turn, in­clud­ing the $20 ride all night of­fer, 12-buck Tues­day and $1 rides on Thurs­day.

SPE­CIAL TO THE WHIG

Pro­fes­sor Bub­ble­maker — aka John Grad­wohl — makes his first ap­pear­ance at the Ce­cil County Fair this year.

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