3 Stories From the Maryland State Fair

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This year’s Maryland State Fair, which took place on select dates in August and September, saw attendees enjoying rides, playing games and winning prizes. There were also some unique organizations and individuals with a presence at the fair.

Here are some of them:

Maryland Horse Foundation

In order to serve the educational and charitable needs of the Maryland horse industry, Maryland Horse Foundation was chartered by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association in 1988.

The foundation supports public outreach and educational programming and operates the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center, in addition to hosting events like a monthly speaker series, book club and more.

This year, the foundation started partnering with the University of Maryland Extension to provide the Howard and Sondra Bender Educational Series to their existing educational programs. Two such existing programs are the Maryland Thoroughbred Program and the Work Experience Program. Students in the thoroughbred program spend a week traveling and exploring the careers in Maryland’s thoroughbred industry. In the Work Experience Program, students receive custom internships to fit their interests and goals.

“Unlike our other programs, which are career-focused and targeted at young adults, the HSBES is geared to appeal to broad audiences and covers topics of interest throughout both equine and agricultural industries through seminars held at the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center,” said Cricket Goodall, executive director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.

Hubert V. Simmons Museum of Negro Leagues Baseball

The Hubert V. Simmons Museum of Negro Leagues Baseball, a museum that aims to educate about and preserve the legacies of the Negro Leagues baseball players, had an exhibit at the fair.

The museum is named after the late Hubert V. “Bert” Simmons, a pitcher and outfielder in the Negro Leagues. Both he and his wife, Audrey Simmons, founded the museum, alongside Rayner Banks.

“It has been a blessing for us to be at the Maryland State Fair for many years,” Banks said. “The fair allows us to keep the Negro League Legacy alive, to people of all walks of life that come out to the fair, by showcasing educational displays of Negro League history.”

The exhibit featured both Negro League history and a tribute to the Baltimore Orioles.

The museum is located year-round inside of the Owings Mills branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, at 10302 Grand Central Ave. in Owings Mills.

Bayside Kettle popcorn from The Caramel Kettle (Courtesy of Mill & Tom Dixon The Caramel Kettle)

The Caramel Kettle

Among the food offering at the fair was The Caramel Kettle, owned by Millicent and Tom Dixon.

Through trial and error, Tom Dixon, a Navy veteran, created 35 different popcorn flavors. At the fair, the couple provided a variety of popcorn that included classic caramel apple, chocolate-dipped marshmallow, cotton candy and more.

“We love everything about the fair,” Millicent Dixon said. “It is exciting to be here and a part of the fair.”

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