McHENRY — Although there have been various fairs and carnivals held in Garrett County for at least a century, the contemporary Garrett County Agriculture Fair will observe its 61st anniversary this year, with the 2017 event scheduled for Saturday, July 29, through Saturday, Aug. 5.
The fair will once again consist of a myriad of competitions, ranging from the judging of farm animals and their caretakers to canned goods to photography to 4-H projects. There will be tractor pulls and a baby crawling contest, live entertainment on the Exhibit Hall stage every evening, and Reithoffer Shows will provide a wide variety of rides and amusements.
In addition, numerous service organizations, churches, and other nonprofit entities will have various food and beverage items for sale, and the fair will conclude with the annual Garrett County Livestock Sale.
Among the musical entertainers throughout the week will be Russel Dickerson, Tim Litvin, Sundance Head, the Joseph Sisters, and HeartStrings.
Much of opening day, Saturday, July 29, will be spent entering all indoor exhibits, and the Reithoffer Shows carnival rides will run from 5 to 11 p.m. that evening.
Judging of exhibits will be conducted all day on Sunday, July 30, with the barns closed to traffic, and the entering of horses and marketing animals will be conducted throughout the day, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The day will culminate with an interdenominational worship service at 6:30 p.m., followed by the crowning of the 2017 GC Farm Queen at 7:30 p.m.
All exhibit barns will be open to the public beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, the carnvial rides will be open until 11 p.m., and various contests/competitions will be held throughout the day.
Tuesday will be Senior Citizens Day, with free admission granted for those age 60 and older. Seniors may ride midway attractions free from 1 until 5 p.m. The day’s schedule will also include a pet show, a 4-H robotics challenge, a high school junior rodeo, and a performance by the Still Kickin’ Cloggers.
The Wednesday slate will include a baby crawl and judging in various animal categories.
A pedal tractor pull, 4-H/FFA beef showmanship judging, a market beef show, and a heavyweight tractor pull will be among Thursday’s events, with Friday’s schedule including the master showman competition, 4-H engineering events, the costume animal parade, cow patty bingo, mechanical bull riding, and peewee swine show.
The final day of the fair — Saturday, Aug. 5 — will include the Livestock Olympics, a dirty-pony contest, the annual livestock sale, the four- and eight-cylinder demolition derby on the fair track.
The cost of admission to the fair on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday (July 29) is $10, which covers unlimited carnival rides, entertainment, and track events. The admission price for Thursday and Saturday (Aug. 5) is $15, which covers the same items noted above. Non-ride tickets, which must be purchased in advance ($7), include entertainment and track events, but not carnival rides. The non-ride tickets can be purchased at First United Bank & Trust in McHenry, Grantsville, and Friendsville; Slopeside Market, Deep Creek Shop and Save; all First Peoples locations; Double G Ranch; Southern States in Mountain Lake Park; and Gregg’s Pharmacy in Oakland.
More information can be found on the fair website at garrettcountyfair.org.
The Garrett County Agriculture Fair is a non-profit organization that is led by a 24-member all-volunteer board of directors.