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Fair season kicks off in Charles County this weekend

Pray for sunshine as the county fair season kicks off in Charles County this week.
Rides, great food, agricultural exhibits and entertainment will be center stage as the 91st annual Charles County Fair gets underway Thursday, Sept. 11 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 14.

After a devastating fire destroyed several of the exhibit buildings at the fairgrounds two years ago, new structures are built and will be on display for this year’s event.

Fair Board Treasurer Sam Graves said that last year the fair events normally held in the buildings that burned were put in tents, adding that the new buildings include a show ring, cattle barn and agricultural building.

“All three buildings are open this year and we will be using them for events during the offseason,” Graves said.

“I’ve been coming to the Charles County Fair since I was a kid,” he added. “I grew up in St. Mary’s, but my cousins all lived up here. Back then, when a kid left his animal at the fair, a lot of times they would go up in the loft and spread a blanket down and sleep with their animal.”

Graves has been a fair board member since the mid-1990s. He said the farming community continues to play a major role in the annual event.

“One of the reasons I stay on this board is to teach kids about the value of agriculture in their communities,” he said. “It’s about a way of life and stewardship to the environment. A lot of children think an egg comes from the grocery store. They can come to the fair and they get an opportunity to see firsthand how that happens.”

Opening ceremonies will be held at 9 a.m. Friday morning with dignitaries from the county helping to kick-off the event. Youth Day is held every year on Friday, where kids get in free. Sunday is Family Day.

For a mere $5, visitors get to see exhibits, ride on amusements provided by Rosedale, play bingo, watch the various entertainers on site, tractor pulls, pig races, woodcarving and much, much more.

“You get a ton of free entertainment for $5,” Graves said. “You pay for the rides, games and food, but the majority of what we offer is absolutely free.”

Graves said in the past the fair has seen crowds of 55,000 on the weekend. This year, the fair will be running a free shuttle bus Saturday and Sunday from the Charles County Courthouse parking lot to the fairgrounds. He urged citizens to take advantage of this service.

“If you ride the shuttle, you get $1 off the entrance fee and your car doesn’t get muddy, dusty and dirty,” he said.

Queen Nicotina will be crowned at 7 p.m. Thursday night.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2014 - CORONATION EVENING

4-H Livestock Skill-A-Thon Contest, 5 p.m.
Petting Zoo, 5 p.m.
Antique Tractor Display, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Painter Family Trains, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 6 p.m.
4-H Dairy Goat Show, 6 p.m.
Dennis Beach – Chain Saw Carving 10, 6 p.m.
Country Gold Band, 7 p.m.
Queen Nicotina LXXIX Coronation Pageant, 7 p.m.
Dennis Beach – Chain Saw Carving, 8:30 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival 8:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 - SCHOOL CHILDREN'S DAY AT THE FAIR, Sponsored by Chick-fil-A
4-H Livestock Show, 8:30 a.m. (Beef, Sheep, Swine)
Opening Ceremonies, 9 a.m.
4-H Robotics Demonstration 4-H, 9 a.m.
Pet Show Registration, 9 a.m.
Natural Resources and Nutrient Management, 6-9 p.m.
Southern Maryland Woodcarvers, 6-9 p.m.
Petting Zoo, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Antique Tractor Display, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
The Painter Family Trains, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Pet Show, 9:30 a.m.
Kids’ Workshops – Woodworking Clinic – Charles Co. Forestry Board, 9:30 a.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 10 a.m.
Chick-fil-A and Dept. of Community Services Games and Relays, 10 a.m.
Pam King – Basket Weaving, 1-10 p.m.
Quilters Guild of Southern Maryland, 5-10 p.m.
MD Child Identification Program (CHIPS) – New Poultry Building, 6-10 p.m.
Lorina Harris – Art Smart Studio, 6-10 p.m.
Sheep Shearing Demonstration, 10 a.m.
Bunky & Blondi Show, 10:30 a.m.
Ray Owen “Farm Heritage Show,” 10:30 a.m.
“Uncle Rocky Fireman” book signing, 11 a.m.
Jim Brewster – Historic School House
Dennis Beach – Chain Saw Carving, 11 a.m.
4-H Poultry Knowledge Contest 4-H Building, 11:30 a.m.
Ray Owen “Beach Party with Captain Splash,” 11:30 a.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, noon
Sheep Shearing Demonstration, noon
Reptile World with Mike Shwedick, 12:30 p.m.
Ray Owen “Irish Songs, Stories, Comedy,” 12:30 p.m.
JROTC Drill Demonstration, 12:30 p.m.
Stained Glass Demonstration, 1 p.m.
“Uncle Rocky Fireman” book signing, 1 p.m.
Jim Brewster – Historic School House
PINCH visits the Fair, 1 p.m.
Pastor Bruce Jones, book signing, 1 p.m.
4-H Horticulture Judging Contest 4-H Building, 2 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 2 p.m.
4-H Dog Judging Contest 4-H Building, 2 p.m.
4-H Purchase Power Contest 4-H Building, 2 p.m.
Sheep Shearing Demonstration, 2 p.m.
4-H Wildlife Judging Contest 4-H Building, 2 p.m.
Richard Mark Taylor – Karaoke Sing Along, 2 p.m.
Ray Owen Strolling Troubadour – Golden Oldies, 2:15 p.m.
4-H Rabbit Judging Contest, 3 p.m.
“Uncle Rocky Fireman” book signing, 3 p.m.
Jim Brewster – Historic School House
Registration for Kiddie Tractor Pull, 3 p.m.
Chin Hamaya Culture Center, 3:30 p.m.
Kiddie Tractor Pull, 4 p.m.
Sheep Shearing Demonstration, 4 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 4 p.m.
GJ Dance Studio, 4 p.m.
Rabbit Showmanship Contest, 4:30 p.m.
Dennis Beach – Chain Saw Carving, 5 p.m.
4-H Livestock Skill-A-Thon Contest, 5 p.m.
Military Bomb Disposal Robotic Demo, 6 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 6 p.m.
Boot Scooters of Southern Maryland - Line Dancing, 7 p.m.
Port Tobacco Pickers, 7 p.m.
PTP Encore Kids, 7 p.m.
Dance Depot, 7 p.m.
Lawn Mower Racing, 7 p.m.
Dennis Beach – Chain Saw Carving, 8 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 8 p.m.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2014
Adult Dairy and Meat-Goat Show, 8 a.m.
4-H Dog Show 4-H Building, 9 a.m.
Baby Show with Bunky, Blondi & John Racey DJ, 9 a.m.
Natural Resources and Nutrient Management, 6-9 p.m.
Southern Maryland Woodcarvers, 6-9 p.m.
Antique Tractor Display, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
The Painter Family Trains, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Petting Zoo, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Adult Livestock Show (Beef, Swine), 9:30 a.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 10 a.m.
Antique Tractor Parade, 10 a.m.
Terri Alo – Pottery Wheel Demo, 2-10 p.m.
Quilters Guild of Southern Maryland, 5-10 p.m.
MD Child Identification Program (CHIPS) New Poultry Building, 6-10 p.m.
Lorina Harris – Art Smart Studio, 6-10 p.m.
Sheep Shearing Demonstration, 10 a.m.
Ray Owen “Casey Jones Railroad Show,” 10:30 a.m.
Dennis Beach – Chain Saw Carving, 1 a.m.
“Uncle Rocky Fireman” book signing, 11 a.m.
Jim Brewster – Historic School House
MD High School Rodeo Association, 11 a.m.
Ray Owen “Song Imagineer,” 11:30 a.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, noon
Sheep Shearing Demonstration, noon
Ray Owen “Animal Odessey,” 12:30 p.m.
Charles County Sheriff’s Office Canine Demonstration, 1 p.m.
Pastor Bruce Jones book signing, 1 p.m.
Southern Mix Chorus – Barbershop, 1:30 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 2 p.m.
Sheep Shearing Demonstration, 2 p.m.
“Uncle Rocky Fireman” book signing, 2 p.m.
Jim Brewster – Historic School House
Junior Fair Board Talent Show, 2 p.m.
Bucket List Band, 2:15 p.m.
Children's Pie Eating Contest, 3 p.m.
“Uncle Rocky Fireman” book signing, 3 p.m.
Jim Brewster – Historic School House
Dennis Beach – Chain Saw Carving, 3 p.m.
Bucket List Band, 3:15 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 4 p.m.
4-H Pretty Animal Contest 4-H Building, 4 p.m.
Sheep Shearing Demonstration, 4 p.m.
Bucket List Band, 4:15 p.m.
Military Bomb Disposal Robotic Demonstration, 4:30 p.m.
Dennis Beach – Chain Saw Carving, 5 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival 6 p.m.
4-H Livestock Auction, 6:30 p.m.
Road House Band, 7 p.m.
Stone Pleasure Band R&B, 7 p.m.
Horse Pull--Heavy Draft/Light Draft, 7 p.m.
Dennis Beach – Chain Saw Carving, 8 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 8 p.m.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2014 - FAMILY DAY AT THE FAIR
Open Sheep show, 9 a.m.
Thanksgiving Prayer Service, 9:30 a.m.
Stained Glass Demo – Rick Gentilo, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Chesapeake Spinners, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Natural Resources and Nutrient Management, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Petting Zoo, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Southern Maryland Woodcarvers, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Antique Tractor Display, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 11 a.m.
Sheep Shearing Demonstration, 11 a.m.
Military Bomb Disposal Robotic Demo, 11:30 a.m.
The Wanderers, 11:30 a.m.
Dennis Beach – Chain Saw Carving, noon
The Painter Family Trains, noon-5 p.m.
Maryland High School Rodeo Association, noon-5 p.m.
Charles County Youth Orchestra, 12:45 p.m.
Presentation of  Queen and her Court, 1 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 1 p.m.
Sheep Shearing Demonstration, 1 p.m.
Sam Grow Band, 2 p.m.
Dennis Beach – Chain Saw Carving, 2 p.m.
Lorina Harris – Art Smart Studio, 2-5 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 3 p.m.
Sheep Shearing Demonstration, 3 p.m.
Auction of Chain Saw Carvings, 4 p.m.
Awards Presentation, 4 p.m.
The Soul Savers--Gospel Music, 4 p.m.
Southern Maryland Jazz Orchestra, 4:30 p.m.
Pig Races – near Carnival, 5 p.m.
Exhibits and Livestock Released, 6 p.m.
Commercial Exhibit Buildings Close, 7 p.m.
SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Contact Joseph Norris at joe.norris@thebaynet.com

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