Her­itage fair prep be­gins

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By MIA MCCASLIN mm­c­caslin@ches­pub.com

The Dun­dalk Her­itage Fair is back again!

Hop­ing to top last year’s in­cred­i­ble com­mu­nity turnout, the Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion of Dun­dalk would like to en­cour­age com­mu­nity mem­bers from all walks of life to donate to the as­so­ci­a­tion. Whether ad­ver­tis­ing a busi­ness or putting the name of a lost loved one in the Her­itage Fair pro­gram, ev­ery sin­gle mem­ber of the com­mu­nity has the op­por­tu­nity to help spon­sor the an­nual fair.

This year, the fair will span from Fri­day, June 30 to Sun­day, July 2, and ticket costs will re­main the same as last year at $8.

A change from pre­vi­ous years, the fair will not open to the pub­lic un­til 4 p.m. on Fri­day, but Satur­day and Sun­day open­ing times will re­main at noon.

This year’s at­trac­tions so far fea­ture a kids’ room with arts and crafts, an en­tire row for chil­dren to play games and get free ice cream and free books, two per­for­mance stages, a car­ni­val, a pet­ting zoo, pony rides, sand sculp­tures, CPR train­ing, food ven­dors, ra­dio sta­tions, count­less mer­chan­dise ven­dors, and more.

As al­ways, the In­de­pen­dence Day pa­rade will be on the morn­ing of July 4 and the fire­works will be hosted that evening. The Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion of Dun­dalk puts on all three events, and An­gel Ball, spokesper­son of the as­so­ci­a­tion, em­pha­sized that all three events are in­cred­i­bly con­nected and said, “if one goes down, they all go down.”

Be­cause of the in­ter-con­nec­tiv­ity of the three events, Ball en­cour­ages all those who like to par­tic­i­pate in these an­nual hap­pen­ings to help out the as­so­ci­a­tion be­fore the big event week- end with the pur­chase of pro­gram space or other fair ad­ver­tis­ing. Each do­na­tion can be marked as a 501c3 tax write-off.

The as­so­ci­a­tion is at­tempt­ing to gather as many spon­sors as pos­si­ble in hopes of hav­ing one of the big­gest pro­grams ever for this year’s fair. Each per­son who do­nates $25 or more to the as­so­ci­a­tion has the op­por­tu­nity to put some­thing in the pro­gram.

This can be a brief mes­sage high­light­ing a busi­ness, a memoriam of some­one lost, or a con­grat­u­la­tory re­mark for a loved one’s spe­cial day whether it be a grad­u­a­tion, a mar­riage, a new baby, or just be­cause!

“Just take your pride in our town and put that pa­tri­o­tism back into the com­mu­nity and say ‘hey look, I was in the pro­gram. I was a part of this. I helped make this hap­pen,’” Ball said. “Spon­sors are part of the fair which is part of our com­mu­nity, and ev­ery lit­tle bit adds up and it helps.”

Also avail­able for $250 is the op­por­tu­nity to hang a ban­ner for a busi­ness along the fence that se­questers off the fair from Dun­man­way to Trad­ing Place.

“I re­ally love the ban­ners,” Ball said. “When it’s high fair time and there’s traf­fic through Dun­dalk and you’re just sit­ting in the car star­ing at the fence be­fore it was just watch­ing peo­ple in the fair and now it’s the ban­ners. Peo­ple can re­ally look at these ban­ners and it gives them some­thing to look at and it gives the busi­nesses a lot of ex­po­sure, be­cause you want to be a pa­tron of those busi­nesses that you saw putting in the work and re­ally be­ing present in our com­mu­nity.”

Though the busi­nesses must pro­vide the ban­ners, the mon­e­tary con­tri­bu­tion en­sures that fair vol­un­teers will hang the ban­ner be­fore the event be­gins and take it down when it ends and also pays for an ad­ver­tise­ment in the fair’s pro­gram.

Pro­grams are dis­trib­uted to ev­ery pa­tron who walks through both gates. Those who ad­ver­tise will also have their ad­ver­tise­ment live on the Dun­dalk Her­itage Fair web­site for the next year.

Ball re­it­er­ated the im­por­tance of spon­sors when ex­plain­ing that the en­tire fair is put to­gether and staffed by vol­un­teers.

The board for the fair be­gins meet­ings an­nu­ally in Oc­to­ber to be­gin prepa­ra­tions for the mid-sum­mer event. Us­ing only left­over money from the year be­fore and mon­e­tary do­na­tions from spon­sors, the board ar­ranges for ven­dors to par­tic­i­pate, trash ser­vices, elec­tric­ity for the fair, and “all the other crazy things that peo­ple say ‘oh, I didn’t even think about that,’” Ball ex­plained.

The board and par­tic­i­pat­ing vol­un­teers en­sure that per­mits are ac­quired and fenc­ing is set up closer to the time of the fair. Ac­cord­ing to Ball, the as­so­ci­a­tion re­lies on a lot of ded­i­ca­tion from a lot of vol­un­teers to make the fair hap­pen, so those who may not be able to donate fis­cally, but they are al­ways wel­come to help in form of vol­un­teers.

“The fair is a re­ally big part of our com­mu­nity, and if you’re a part of the fair you’re re­ally giv­ing back to our town and you’re part of some­thing so much big­ger,” Ball ex­plained. “Peo­ple keep telling me when I tell them I’m a vol­un­teer with the fair that they haven’t been to the fair in years, and to those peo­ple I say, ‘ what’s stop­ping you?’”

PHOTO BY BILL GATES

The Dun­dalk Her­itage Fair As­so­ci­a­tion is ask­ing for do­na­tions and vol­un­teer to help with this year’s fair. Ev­ery­one wants to see the rac­ing pigs, right?

PHOTO BY BILL GATES

It’s Fe­bru­ary, which means it’s time to start pre­par­ing for the an­nual Dun­dalk Her­itage fair.

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