Planning for the Town Fair—which generated a passionate response from community members last year, after losing "Perry Hall/White Marsh" from its title and moving to a Middle River zip code—is already underway.
The 17th annual fair is scheduled for Saturday, July 13 for a second year at Baltimore Crossroads @95, according to fair organizer and president of the Perry Hall/White Marsh Business Association Lynn Richardson.
Richardson urges community members to get involved in the planning process. The committee's first meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 28 at Madison Square Federal Savings Bank in Perry Hall.
"I encourage anyone who wants input for the fair to join us ... The retailers and property owners have indicated that they are looking forward to having us back," Richardson said.
Baltimore Crossroads @95 is a mixed-use business center located along White Marsh Boulevard in a Middle River zip code, although some consider that area to be included in White Marsh. The Crossroads complex is home to the Chesapeake Gateway Chamber of Commerce, which represents the White Marsh, Essex and Middle River area.
Many attendees of the 2012 fair praised its wide open space and regional appeal, with attractions including over 200 vendors, several live bands and a petting zoo. Still, others complained that it had lost its small-town feel and sense of Perry Hall pride.
The Perry Hall Improvement Association's sponsorship of the Perry Hall Apple Festival in September 2012 was in part a response to the departure of the town fair, PHIA volunteers said.
The 2010 and 2011 Perry Hall/White Marsh Town Fairs were held at Honeygo Village Center in Perry Hall, and while the 2011 fair brought record-breaking attendance, estimated at more than 13,000, it also caused parking problems and led to disputes with some shopping center tenants.
Some community members had lobbied for the fair to return to its former location on the grounds of Perry Hall High School, where it had been ousted in 2009 with the enforcement of a controversial Baltimore County facilities use rule. But even with a rule revision, Richardson said restrictions were too great accommodate the fair. Previous fairs had also been held at Perry Hall Middle School and area public parks.
Richardson repeatedly praised Baltimore Crossroads @95 management for welcoming the fair and allowing a full range of entertainment, attractions and vendors to participate.
Share your experience from the 2012 Town Fair in the comments.