50 Years of the Baltimore County 4-H Fair

Baltimore County 4-HFrom July 10th through July 12, 2014, Baltimore County 4-H celebrated its 50th Anniversary of the 4-H Fair. The Baltimore County 4-H Fair was first held in 1964 at the Eudowood Plaza Shopping Center near Towson, Maryland. Carolyn Sellman, the Liberty club leader shares that “the Fair was the vision of 4-H Extension Agent Normal Smith and 4-H Leaders who saw it as an opportunity for the 4-H youth of Baltimore County to showcase their non-animal project work as well as livestock exhibits”. In 1965, a Fair Board was formed to plan and organize the event. Mr. William Langlotz of Hereford Maryland, served at the first Fair Board President.

A few of our 4-H community members remember the first Baltimore County 4-H Fair. Janice Coroneos, a 4-H All Star says, “it took place at the Eudowood Shopping Center with only indoor exhibits.” Wilma Muir, a 4-H supporter mentioned, “I remember playing the music for the fashion show at the first 4-H fair. It worked out very well being that it was the first Baltimore County Fair Fashion Show.” Those in attendance at both the first Baltimore County 4-H Fair and the 50th Anniversary fair agree that there have been changes since the first Baltimore County 4-H fair. In the early years, 4-H livestock were housed in open air barns on the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Later, these barns were replaced by an indoor arena now known as the Cow Palace.

Some other changes have happened over time to increase opportunities for young people. For example, 4-H members are now able to raise and show animals without actually owning the animal. During the first 4-H fair, “kids would not be able to have the experience to raise the animal if they did not own them”, Fana Wolff, a 4-H All-Stars member explained. Wilma Muir, said, “one thing that changed was that every 4-H club did a skit at the first Baltimore County 4-H fair.” Janice Coroneos also shared, that “the biggest change was that we moved to the Timonium Fairgrounds and had more space to have more animals.” Carolyn Sellman shared some of the history of the move to the fairgrounds.

After the first successful 4-H Fair, the event was moved to the Maryland State Fairgrounds and showcased the 4-Her’s non-animal and livestock exhibits and competitions. The Fair has continued to be held at the fairgrounds to this day.

Regardless of these changes, some things did stay the same. Fana Wolff mentioned that there is still the option to have an exhibit at the fair, while Janice Coroneos mentioned that the friendships stayed the same.

At the 2014 Baltimore County 4-H Fair, families and visitors were treated to the opportunity to observe exhibits including alpaca, cat, dog, beef, dairy, goat, horse, poultry, rabbit, sheep and swine. Saturday’s Battle of the Beasts was a delightful showcase of Alpaca, sheep, and goats maneuvering through an obstacle course. In the Cow Palace’s Center Stage, Agro Land was an exciting center of activities for children to learn about food products. The Cow Palace also held displays of 4-H youth’s project work including clothing, woodworking, ag products, photography, floral design, and more! The 2014 Fair included numerous special events the public could participate in including a Picnic Super, Cake Auction, Bingo, Food truck Gathering, Dog Agility Demo, Livestock Sale and Pancake Breakfast.

Although the first Baltimore County 4-H Fair attendants have fond memories from the first 4-H fair, they did enjoy many things from this year’s fair. Fana shared “my favorite thing from this year was the Craft exhibit. I like to see the creative and interesting things people came up with.” Janice Coroneos expressed that her favorite thing from this year was a flower designer class at the exhibit. She shared “it was great that the children got a chance to use their imagination.” Wilma Muir mentioned that her favorite thing this year was the Alumni exhibit. All in all, there were many great memories made at both the first Baltimore County 4-H fair and the 50th Anniversary 4-H fair. There is no doubt that more wonderful memories will be made in the future!

Authored by Faradia Kernizan

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About umebaltimorecountyfourh

University of Maryland Extension, Baltimore County 4-H serves youth from ages 5-18 in Baltimore County MD through hands-on activities and learning experiences. http://extension.umd.edu/baltimore-county/4-h-youth
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