Revamped county fair sets attendance records

About 10,000 people attended the county fair last month, making it such a success there are already plans to expand hours in 2016.

This year, the fair was Aug. 14 to 16, until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, but with early closing on Sunday. Next year, it’s likely to stay open longer on the final day, said Zach Evans, chairman of the fair and vice president of the Wicomico Farm and Home Show.

Dates for 2016 are Aug. 19 to 21.

“All our expectations were exceeded this year,” Evans said about the event, sponsored by the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We took the Wicomico Farm and Home Show and took some attractions from the chicken festival and created the county fair. We knew going in we wanted it to be a success. We wanted it to continue and build from there,” Evans said.

“The community supported it. Having a county fair back in the area meant a lot, to a lot of folks who may have remembered the old Farm and Home Show. We expected a couple thousand people but we were all surprised,” he said.

Among attractions were the Lions Club’s giant frying pan, live entertainment and a beer garden.

Baby chicks, hatched from eggs in an incubator, were available for children to see and learn about. Festival foods from about a dozen vendors included barbecue sandwiches, fried and barbecued chicken, oyster fritters, desserts and ice cream.

“I think the people who came liked the focus on local vendors, local entertainment, local attractions. One of the biggest hits was the petting zoo. It gave kids and families a chance to interact with farm animals,” Evans said. Among them were cows, goats, lambs and small hogs. Other livestock was in pens.

Prizes were awarded for artwork, crafts, photos, baked goods, fruits and vegetables.

“It was an exciting family-oriented event. There was a little bit of everything for everyone,” Evans said.

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