Time for the big show
Cecil County Fair begins tonight
— 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
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.
Professor Bubblemaker — aka John Gradwohl — makes his first appearance at the Cecil County Fair this year.