The wait is almost over — In less than two months the St. Mary’s County community will once again be able to partake in carnival rides, arts and crafts exhibits, horse pulls, and blacksmithing demonstrations.

Starting Sept. 23, the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds in Leonardtown, Md. will be hosting the annual county fair in what promises to be a celebration of local rural life that honors the history and culture of the county. 

“It’s important to keep in touch with being able to do things and make things and experience things. It’s just an important part of the culture and St. Mary’s,” John Richards, the president of the St. Mary’s County Fair Association said. 

“Not everything is made in China,” Ann Richards laughed. 

John and Ann Richards have been involved in the county fair for several decades, with John Richards serving as the president of the St. Mary’s County Fair Association for the last 37 years. 

Since its inception in the early to mid-1900s, the county fair has evolved into an agriculturally enriching event spanning several days meant to inform and educate fairgoers about local agriculture and homemade arts and crafts.

However, last year was an exception.

After waiting several months to see if the number of Covid-19 cases would decrease, John Richards and the rest of the St. Mary’s County Fair Association made the decision to “pull the plug” on the county fair last year.

“We decided that it just wasn’t something we were going to be able to do for 2020… It would really be a disappointment if we didn’t do it this year,” John Richards said. 

With the return of the county fair, fairgoers can expect more hand washing stations throughout the fairgrounds and spaced-out carnival rides to allow for socially distant lines. 

In addition to fair favorites like food and carnival rides, the fair will be exhibiting a wide variety of home tools and goods, including a quilt that dates back to the early 1900s. There will also be several arts and crafts from all age groups on display to showcase what everyone has been working on during the pandemic. And other attractions, such as the agricultural competition will continue to support local farms by reminding those in attendance to buy local produce.

“It’s a good mix of education, niche entertainment, fun, and good food,” John Richards said.

St. Mary’s County Fair will be held from Thursday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 26 at the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds in Leonardtown. 

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