Maryland State Fair Recognized for Pandemic Response, Other Awards

Photo: Edie Bernier


The Maryland State Fair received nine awards from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions including two for its adjustments to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the “Grow Fair Strong” Convention in San Antonio, Texas, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, the fair won first place for use of its facilities and parking lots for drive-through testing and walk-through vaccinations that served more than 200,000 people.

The site was also host for a drive-through pop-up market with donated fresh meals and resource kits and served as an Amigos of Baltimore County/4MyCity Food Drive donation and pick-up site.

Combined, those efforts served more than 5,000 people.

“The devastating results of the COVID pandemic caused the Maryland State Fairgrounds to think outside of the box to help meet a variety of needs that arose in the community,” details an award description in a news release.

Another award the fair received for pandemic adjustments was for a virtual agriculture education program created in the event that a traditional fair could not be held.

Junior Fair Board Member Kylan Keehan created an “AG Bitmoji Classroom” with fun videos for the fair’s “AGventure!” webpage, which will continue to be updated, and therefore be an asset to the fair’s online platform.

Maryland State Fair IAFE 2021Awards Photo
Maryland State Fair team members accept IAFE Awards (L to R): Assistant General Manager David Gordon; Board Member Mary Amoss; President Donna Myers and General Manager Andy Cashman.

“Our Maryland State Fair team is honored to be recognized for the hard work and dedication it takes to present high-quality, fun and educational entertainment events for more than a half million fairgoers each year,” states the fair’s general manager Andy Cashman in the release.

Altogether, the fair won three first-place awards, five second-place awards and and one third-place award in Division 4—for fairs with attendance greater than 500,000 and less than 1 million.

The Maryland State Fair was also recognized with awards for advertising and agriculture photography.

A breakdown of the placements can be found below:


  • First Place: Maryland State Fair Video Promo.
  • First Place: Maryland State Fair Promotional Advertising: Outdoor Promo.
  • Second Place: Newly Established or Evolving Program/Exhibit which promotes agriculture to the fair-going public.


  • Second Place: Fair Agriculture Individual Photo: Horticulture/Crops.
  • Second Place: Fair Agriculture Individual Photo: Equine.
  • Second Place: Fair Agriculture Individual Photo: Ag Education.
  • Second Place: Fair Agriculture Individual Photo: Miscellaneous.
  • Third Place: Fair Agriculture Individual Photo: Rodeo.

2021 Non-Fair Facility Usage

  • First Place: Unique Event created to utilize the facility during the pandemic.

For updates on next year’s fair kicking off in August 2022, visit

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