Caroline-Dorchester Fair opens today
— The August tradition returns with the opening of the 2017 Caroline-Dorchester County Fair Wednesday, Aug. 2, at the Caroline 4-H Park on Detour Road off state Route 16 east of Denton, and runs through Saturday, Aug. 5.
The fair gives 4-H’ers a comprehensive competition to showcase their agricultural displays, livestock and pet projects, as well as their baking, canning, culinary and sewing skills. The 4-H fair also provides a means of educating the public of the importance of farming to the nation and the hard work and talents that go into it.
The fair also features rides and games for children of all ages.
Hours for the fair are 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5; and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6.
Admission Wednesday on opening night is free courtesy of the chamber of commerces in Caroline and Dorchester counties.
Opening day features the Royal Pageant to crown the Little Princess, Princess and Queen of the CarolineDorchester County Fair, which will be held at 6 p.m. A fried chicken dinner will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Reger Pavilion. The amusement area opens at 5 p.m.
One of the most popular events is the 4-H Cake Auction, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in Reger Pavilion. The auction will be held like any other, with the highest bidder walking away with a decorated cake baked by an awardwinning 4-H’er. Cakes have been entered in three categories — special occasion, novelty and Maryland 4-H cake.
The nightly dinners are always a big draw, with the crab cake dinner on Thursday night, a beef dinner on Friday and barbecue chicken on Saturday.
Guests can come to the fair Thursday for $1 with the donation of a canned item to the Maryland Food Bank. Thursday also is children’s day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with story time at 11 a.m. and games at noon.
Thursday also features the open meat goat show at 10 a.m. and the open swine show at 6 p.m. The Jones Boys will perform from 7 to 10 p.m.
Friday begins with the open beef show at 10 a.m. with the horse speed event at 3 p.m.
The elite premier showman also will be crowned Friday as the top Caroline-Dorchester 4-H’ers compete in a fourround livestock handling showcase.
Erica Willing won the 2016 elite premier showman crown after beating the two other top Caroline-Dorchester 4-H’ers in a four-round livestock handling showcase.
She beat 2014 Elite Showman Paul Saathoff of Denton and Caroline Saathoff of Denton in showing cows, pigs, goats and sheep. The trio made the elite showcase after being named the top 4-H showman in their respective livestock handling contests.
The events continue Friday afternoon with the dress a goat contest in the livestock ring at 6 p.m. Mike Hines will be performing from 7 to 10 p.m.
Saturday features the horse show and the rabbit and cavy show at 9 a.m. The baby contest will be in front of the Reger Pavilion at 11 a.m. The baby contest is for children 6 months to 3 years old. Preregistration is required for the baby contest by 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, and can be done at the fair.
Jousting will be from noon to 3 p.m. and will be followed at 3 p.m. by the pet show. Registration for the pet show will be at 2 p.m.
Saturday’s events culminate with the 4-H Livestock Auction and a concert featuring Small Town Showdown. The auction begins at 6 p.m. The concert begins at 7 p.m.
Fair admission is $2 per person for ages 13 and over, and includes parking. Children 12 years old and under have free admission. For a complete schedule and more information on the county fair, visit the fair’s website, www.caroline-dorchestercountyfair. org.
4-H’er Erica Willing holds the trophy for winning the 2016 Caroline-Dorchester County Fair Elite Premier Showcase. Willing is joined by fellow finalists Paul Saathoff, left, and Caroline Saathoff, right, and judge Sam Long.