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