Agriculture, Animals, and Attractions at the Maryland State Fair

By Alyssa Husband

Alyssa Husband, Contributor

The Maryland State Fair, held annually in Timonium, MD, exhibits agriculture, livestock, horse racing, food, amusements, and games that draws Marylanders from all throughout the state. This year, the fair is being held from August 25-September 11 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. 

The Maryland State Fair has something for everyone of all ages to enjoy! Fairgoers have the opportunity to bet on racehorses as they speed throughout the racetrack, view award-winning photography and horticulture creations, enjoy the thrill of miniature pig races, and view livestock being shown. Sophomore, Aiden Rice says that his experience at the state fair was “…very fun…” and that he “…bet on horse races and watched them which was fun because we were up close and you could hear the horses running by,” he notes.  

Dating back to 1879, the first Maryland State Fair was held on a plot of land on the York Turnpike, otherwise known as the “Timonium Estate.” The Northern Central Railway was the primary source of transportation for fairgoers traveling from the Baltimore area. Others rode horses, wagons, carriages, and carts on the Turnpike to get to the fair. 

In its early years, the fair exhibited things like home arts, farm and garden products, as well as plowing and working oxen competitions. At the track, horse races were held, just like they are today, however, people only got word of it through carrier pigeons. Amusements such as sack races, sideshows, and greased pole climbing were held–nothing like what we know today with the fun carnival rides and games!

The Maryland State Fair has changed quite a bit since its original founding, yet we still enjoy many of the same things today, such as horse-racing and livestock showing. As the past and the present intertwine, the great spirit of the fair never ceases to amaze Marylander’s of all ages.