Town Fair Grows Larger, Retains Community Feel

Fairgoers flocked to the Honeygo Village Center for family fun.

Bigger and busier than ever, attendees still felt at home during Saturday's Perry Hall/White Marsh Town Fair, said Dennis M. Robinson, Jr., president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association.

"Perry Hall has a small town, community feel. It's wonderful to see the community come together and have a great time," Robinson said.

The , which coordinated the event, anticipated a record crowd—up to 15,000 people—to visit Honeygo Village Center for music, food, kids activities, community exhibits and numerous family activities.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who delivered a welcome speech to fairgoers, said he was impressed by the fair's enthusiastic showing.

"People were here right at 10," Kamenetz said. "It's great. It's perfect weather. It's a lot of fun."

Designated parking areas, including two fields, and were filled during much of the fair.

Vendor space at the fair was entirely sold out, said Lynn Richardson, business association president. Nearly 200 booths invited attendees to grab a balloon, get a temporary tattoo, receive a tarot card reading or even sit for a hair cut. Items for sale ranged from wooden roses and sweet-smelling soaps to duct tape bracelets and bubble shirts.

Down one row, visitors learned about banking options; along another aisle, McGruff the Crime Dog supported the Precinct 8 Police and Community Relations Council; still other areas welcomed fairgoers to gather information about local church functions, health and fitness operations and numerous recreational activities.

Daria Hauff of Perry Hall watched as her smiling 3-year-old daughter Adriana sat behind the steering wheel of a truck. “She really loves that fire truck,” Hauff said. “But she’s also gotten candy and all kinds of stuff from other vendors—and she just had to have some lemonade. It’s been a nice day!”

Alongside the busy beer and wine garden, a highly competitive cornhole tournament was taking place. Participants scored points by tossing a light cornhole bag several yards onto a raised platform with a hole cut in it.

“This location is great,” said Pat Letts, president of Nottingham-based Mid-Atlantic Cornhole. “We’ve had so many people come by to ask what’s going on. They’re just being introduced to the game, and we let them get in a few tosses. Everybody’s had a really good time.”

Proceeds from the fair support many community-based efforts, including scholarships, donations to local school groups and restoration of the Perry Hall Mansion, the business association announced.

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, one of the many town fair sponsors, was among several politicians who made the rounds to shake hands and listen to citizens’ concerns. “I leave these festivals with a to-do list,” he noted.

Regarding the fair, Marks added, “People are very happy with the location—everybody seems to be enjoying themselves, and it should help the [Honeygo Village Center] merchants as well.”

In spite of the crowds, the fairgrounds largely remained safe and calm, said Lt. Ron Brooks of the White Marsh police precinct.

Police assisted mainly with parking and traffic, Brooks said.

Laura July 11, 2011 at 02:35 PM
We thought our experience at our second Perry Hall Fair was great - we had good food, listened to great music, enjoyed looking at merchandise and obtained a lot of useful information from the other vendors. I was surprised at the comments that people believe all children's activities should be free. We saw several free activities but I certainly understand a charge for the others. Nothing is free in this world. Between insurance costs (in this sue-happy environment) and these tough economic times and then learning that this was a fundraiser, I can certainly understand the need to charge for those activities.
Ros Well July 11, 2011 at 03:27 PM
I thought the fair was a great success! The bands and entertainment were great. The food was ok. I hope to see the fair return to Honeygo Village Center next year.
Greg Marsh July 11, 2011 at 05:23 PM
SD, Thanks for the feedback. The online survey should be up shortly. My apologies about the handicapped parking. We had limited handicaped parking spaces and this is something in the future, we will work to help address. I understand your frustration and next year, we will work to make this better for you. We did publish the $10 ALL Day pass on our website. That being said, we will work on better ways to spread the word. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Our goal is to make this a fun family atmosphere. A place where a family or a grandmother and grandson can come and enjoy themselves. A place where local business can prosper and have 15000 people learn about a local business. Like I mentioned earlier, every penny is given back to the community by scholarship. We will review each bullet point and address them at our wrap up meeting. I hope that you give us another chance next year. Thanks again for your feedback! Greg Marsh
LalainMaryland July 11, 2011 at 08:36 PM
Would you like to volunteer? It's easy to complain and throw stones but hard to give time. Perhaps you missed the gymnastics tent where children earned medals for trying out the equipment, or the rescued German Shepherds that kids could pet, or the cars the kids could see, or the balloons they could get, or wheels they could spin? Just because the event is free doesn't mean the vendors won't choose to charge! You can walk into Target for free, but you can't walk out without paying. Quit whining or put you money where your mouth is and put as much effort into planning events as you do into bashing them!
S D July 12, 2011 at 03:08 AM
To clarify, I do NOT mean to imply that all activities should be free. Only that it should be clearly advertised as such along with the fact that cash only may be used - and with the multiple posters seen throughout the community (very good job on the advertising by the way!) with no mention, and then no way for a handicapped person to obtain cash easily - this could be made better. Before I became handicapped, I have worked all day at Perry Hall Town Fairs for at least 7 years, so I do not think I'm in the category of "bashing without contributing." I just think more attention could be paid to the needs of those with "special needs" so that everyone can have fun. Thank you for your positive and open response Greg. SD


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