12 hours at The Great Frederick Fair

by Leah Bolger and Kendall Martin

Frederick County residents are known for their rural traditions. This aspect of our community flourishes during the month of The Great Frederick Fair.

There are two types of people at the fair: those who show and those who are spectators. 

During the week of the 13th, students all around Frederick County showed animals, art, and many other crafts in hopes of recognition from judges around the area. 

Senior Austin Welty, Vice President of Future Farmers of America (FFA), competes in dairy-showing competitions every year.

Welty said, “I compete in the fair to improve my showing experience and to just have a good time. My favorite aspect of the fair is showing my animals, seeing what the fair has to offer, and helping out any other new members.”

“Advice I’d give to someone who wants to enter a fair competition is to remember there’s no such thing as failure: there’s only winning and learning. Winning is great and all, but you improve by learning,” said he said. 

His sister, Sophomore Haley Welty, also shows dairy at the fair. Following in her brother’s footsteps, she said, “A typical day for my brother and I starts when we wake up and first milk the cows. Then we get all the hay sorted out in their pens and as far as the rest of the day goes, we just watch the cows until we have a competition.”

Besides dairy, the fair also hosts competitions for those showing beef, poultry, swine, goats, and sheep.

Alexa Bonney, junior, shows goats. She said, “ To prepare for the competitions I have to walk, shave, and wash the animals. My main responsibility is feeding, washing, and cleaning out their pens every day.”

“Advice I would give someone entering into this field would be, have fun, don’t worry about winning and try your best,” said Bonney. 

Senior Brianna Mallick actively shows swine. She said, “My main responsibilities are to make sure they’re fed, their rate of gain is kept up with, and they have enough water. Advice I would give someone wanting to do this is to have thick skin. It’s a lot of work and stress, but it all pays off in the end.”