The 2020 Dun­dalk Vir­tual Her­itage Fair is com­ing!

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By MIKE URSERY murs­ery@ches­pub.com

When the cal­en­dar turned to Jan­uary, I sat and thought about the things I thought would hap­pen in 2020. One of those things I thought would hap­pen is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing my first Dun­dalk Her­itage Fair.

This year would have been the 44th An­nual Dun­dalk Her­itage Fair. This is an event that sur­vived some hor­ren­dous nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, the kind that hu­mans can’t con­trol. It re­cently sur vived a se­vere thun­der­storm. It has forged ahead through tragedies and the el­e­ments.

The Dun­dalk Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion suf­fered its own tragedy, the sud­den and un­ex­pected pass­ing of beloved pres­i­dent Joe Falbo, but still had plans to move for­ward with this year’s her­itage fair. That was, un­til the pan­demic made its way to Dun­dalk.

The Dun­dalk Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion waited un­til it couldn’t wait any longer to an­nounce a de­ci­sion on the fair. The an­nounce­ment came just over a month be­fore the fair was to ac­tu­ally take place. Tra­di­tion­ally tak­ing place on the week­end be­fore July 4, the fair would have fallen on a July 4 week­end with In­de­pen­dence Day smackdab in the mid­dle. It was the per­fect week­end.

COVID-19 seemed de­ter­mined to end the her­itage fair’s 43year streak. No rides. No aroma of car­ni­val food fill­ing the air. No con­certs. No tributes to the mem­ory of Joe Falbo. The coro­n­avirus seemed de­ter­mined to put ev­ery­thing on hold this year.

We at the Ea­gle felt it would be a dis­ser­vice to not at­tempt to do SOME­THING this year in place of a tra­di­tional her­itage fair. This event has too much his­tory, with too many great peo­ple who have been in­volved, and means too much to the com­mu­nity to not give Dun­dalk an al­ter­na­tive. We did not want to leave Dun­dalk with noth­ing this Fourth of July.

In part­ner­ship with the Dun­dalk Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion, and with the help of some very tal­ented peo­ple who work be­hind the scenes at APG Ch­e­sa­peake, we are pre­sent­ing the first, and hope­fully only, Dun­dalk Vir­tual Her­itage Fair. We mean it when we say we hope this is the only time. While we can say we are of­fer­ing an al­ter­na­tive, we know deep down that noth­ing could ever re­place the Dun­dalk Her­itage Fair.

This project has sev­eral mov­ing parts, and we have many peo­ple we would like to thank. First and fore­most, we would like to thank our read­ers who sub­mit­ted pho­tos from past years to us. This was a vi­tal part. Not only did all of you help us put this to­gether, but you let us know that there is com­mu­nity in­ter­est. We wouldn’t be able to do any­thing if it wasn’t for our read­ers. Thank you.

We would like to thank Eric Davis and Mark Krysi­ack, the pres­i­dent and vice pres­i­dent of the Dun­dalk Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion, re­spec­tively. We worked closely along­side th­ese two men through­out this en­tire process, from start to fin­ish. We would not have been able to make this hap­pen with­out their bless­ing or their help in plan­ning and ex­e­cut­ing this.

We have asked prom­i­nent mem­bers of our com­mu­nity, such as our elected of­fi­cials, mem­bers of the Dun­dalk Re­nais­sance Cor­po­ra­tion and other com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tives to sub­mit videos of them­selves shar­ing their fa­vorite her­itage fair me­mories. We know it wasn’t easy to pick just one. The Dun­dalk Her­itage Fair is em­bed­ded in the fab­ric of this com­mu­nity. Many spe­cial me­mories are made each and ev­ery year.

We wish to thank Trade­point At­lantic for spon­sor­ing the 2020 Dun­dalk Vir­tual Her­itage Fair. We are grate­ful for their gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tion that al­lowed APG Ch­e­sa­peake to pro­duce this dig­i­tal prod­uct for the Dun­dalk Com­mu­nity.

Our hope is that this vir­tual fair runs smoothly. We don’t mean to make ex­cuses be­fore the fair begins, but this is the first time any of us have tried some­thing like this. This pan­demic has forced peo­ple to adapt and find cre­ative ways to en­joy life de­spite the fact a deadly virus that you can’t see is run­ning free around the globe. Our state has made great strides in com­bat­ing this coro­n­avirus, but many hur­dles still re­main.

We are eagerly an­tic­i­pat­ing this run­ning with­out any glitches. Hu­mans re­main at the mercy of tech­nol­ogy, but we have good peo­ple work­ing be­hind the scenes. I am con­fi­dent ever ything will go smoothly.

We ask you to go to our web­site, www.vir­tu­al­her­itage­fair. com, and take a look around. Go to the main stage to watch the bands per­form. Th­ese are bands that nor­mally per­form at the Dun­dalk Her­itage Fair. We brought in some old fa­vorites for you to en­joy.

Did you miss a band’s per­for­mance that you re­ally wanted to see? You can catch the re­play. You can also take a look at the photo carousel we have made, con­sist­ing of the pho­tos all of you sent in to us. Our vir­tual fair will end with a video of a fire­works dis­play. Fire­works in Dun­dalk are can­celed this year, so we wanted to give you a fire­works dis­play.

This year has been rough on ever yone. The lit­tle things we take for granted have been taken away from us. We have had to find vir­tual ways to adapt to do the things we once did with­out a worry or con­cern. The virus is still very much a threat, and our na­tion is suf­fer­ing through yet an­other bout of racial ten­sion. As if this couldn’t al­ready be bad enough, this is all hap­pen­ing dur­ing an elec­tion year.

We hope the Dun­dalk VIr­tual Her­itage Fair helps take your mind off the stresses this world has to of­fer, even if only for a few hours. We hope you can spend this week­end look­ing back on your own fa­vorite me­mories while you watch the per­for­mances. We hope the wor­ries all melt away.

Above all else, we hope ev­ery­one has a safe and happy In­de­pen­dence Day. It is not rec­om­mended to phys­i­cally come to­gether and cel­e­brate this week­end, but let us all be united in know­ing that de­spite a pan­demic, we can en­joy the ba­sic free­doms we are guar­an­teed in this na­tion.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that re­spects and en­hances the free­dom of oth­ers.” – Nel­son Man­dela

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF WZBA 100.7 FM, “THE BAY.”

The 2020 Dun­dalk Her­itage Fair, the first and hope­fully only vir­tual fair in Dun­dalk, will be here this week­end. The ac­tual fair was can­celed in late May, but Dun­dalkians will still have an op­por­tu­nity to en­joy her­itage fair week­end tra­di­tions and make her­itage fair me­mories to keep for a life­time.

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