The "Twelve Best Days of Summer" are almost here! Celebrating its 124th year, the Maryland State Fair will open Aug. 26 and run through Sept. 5 at the Timonium Fairgrounds. Early risers are welcome to attend livestock and horse shows at 9 a.m. Exhibit halls are open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. The Midway opens at 10 a.m. on weekends and noon on weekdays. General fair admission is only $6 for adults, children under 12 are free. Rides are individually priced. Admittance to the racetrack is included in the admission price of the fair.
The Maryland State Fair is a fun and educational resource complete with daily exhibits and presentations that are sure to captivate visitors of all ages. New this year: The J Bar W Ranch Battle of the Beasts professional bull rodeo in the horse show ring Monday, Aug. 29. The Toyota Concert Series presented by Susquehanna Bank in the infield with two of America's favorite country singers Gary Allan Friday, Aug. 26; Trace Adkins Friday, Sept. 2 and rock 'n' roll legend Ted Nugent Tuesday, Aug. 30. Toyota concerts, located in the state fair racetrack infield, are free with $6 admission to the fair. Lawn seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Back by popular demand: The Hot Air Balloon Glow on opening weekend in the infield; The Swifty Swine Pig Racing and Swimming Show featuring a PU (Piggie University) class on the midway; the University of Maryland Agriculture Fair Tours starting at the Cow Palace; the birthing center, in the Cow Palace, where fairgoers have the opportunity to witness the miracle of birth of calves and piglets under the supervision of veterinarians and students; the Budweiser Clydesdale Horses in the horse show stables; the cow milking clinic in the Cow Palace; the antique vehicle display, on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 4, under the racetrack grandstand, and more.
Thoroughbred horseracing begins 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 with live races daily, with the exception of Monday, Aug. 29 and Tuesday, Aug. 30 when there will be no live racing. In addition, Timonium will simulcast races all 10 days from tracks around the country. Admission to the racetrack is included in the admission price of the fair.
Fairgoers are invited to explore the Farm & Garden, 4-H/Home Arts Buildings, the cow palace, horse show ring, and other agricultural buildings and displays as well as the Exhibition Hall. For nature lovers, join the Department of Natural Resources in the State Fair Park for a chance to see native animals (such as owls, snakes and turtles) at the Scales and Tales exhibit and learn about conservation, recreation, stewardship and protection of Maryland's natural resources.
> There's good news to report from Dulaney Swim Club's Dive Team! Coached by Maureen Mead, dive team coach at Towson University and assistant coach, Ali Graham, the group just finished a very successful season, the third after its reorganization in summer 2003. The 2005 season brought three wins and three losses, much improved since its first season record of one win and four losses. Twelve Dulaney divers participated in the Central Maryland Dive League championships held in late July at Waugh Chapel Pool in Gambrills. They were Hannah Gouger, Kate Russell, Mary Catherine Morekas, Sydney Kligys, Kevin Nickel, Grace Parrish, Caroline Goode, Sam Morekas, Clay Duncan, Molly Crawford, Any Gough and Stephen Diglio. Achievement trophies were presented to Hannah Gouger, Kate Russell, Kevin Nickel, Sam Morekas, Clay Duncan, Andy Gough and Stephen Diglio. Second place 9/10 girls was awarded to Sydney Kligys; third place 9/10 girls to Mary Catherine Morekas; fifth place 11/12 girls to Grace Parrish; first place 11/12 girls went to Caroline Goode, and fifth place 13/14 girls went to Molly Crawford. Congratulations to all!
> Members of the congregation at Timonium United Methodist Church bid a fond farewell to Melissa Emerson, their talented director of music ministries, who touched the lives of so many with her vocal and musical talents during her five-year tenure. Melissa leaves TUMC to take the associate director of music Ministries position at Church of the Messiah United Methodist in Westerville, Ohio. She will be missed!
> The Timonium Optimist club is selling Entertainment 2006 books with all proceeds used in support of their many youth programs. The books are still just $25, provide a great value and make an excellent Christmas gift. Please contact Don Imwold at 410-828-7552 or any Timonium Optimist member to order or browse a book.