Kent County 4-H: Come to the Fair! July 19-21


The greased pig contest is always one of the most popular activities at the Kent County Fair. Well, maybe not for the pig!

Come to the Fair! See the animals, the antique tractor pull, the greased pig! Starting on Thursday, July 19, the annual Kent County Fair will open its gates for three days of exhibits, demonstrations, rides, contests, good food, music, and more.   The fairgrounds will be open to the public each day, Thursday through Saturday, at 9:00 am, with exhibits and activities until the official closing at 11:00 pm.

Admission is $2.00 per person which covers all exhibits and shows, except midway rides.  The midway opens at 5:00 pm on Thursday, 4:00 pm on Friday, and noon on Saturday.

There is plenty of parking – no extra charge – on the grounds.  Note that the first day of the Kent County Fair, Thursday, is officially Senior Citizen Day with free admission for all those over 60.  A bargain!

The fairgrounds are located near Tolchester at 21349 Tolchester Beach Road. This is the 35th year at the Kent Agriculture Center, formerly a US army base that housed Nike missiles.  You can still see the old missile sites off to the side of the main fairgrounds. New this year is a shuttle service to and from the Tolchester Marina provided by the Rock Hall Tram. Directions to and a complete schedule for the Kent County Fair are at the end of this article.

The fair is one of the main summer attractions for local families—and an event that hundreds of young 4-H’ers and their leaders have been working toward all year.  They have been working and learning in their club meetings, raising rabbits, pigs, cows and other livestock, growing vegetables, creating arts and crafts, and generally gaining the skills they will need as adult members of the community.  Many of those who win ribbons in their various categories at the county level will proceed to the Maryland State Fair to take part in 4-H competitions at the state level.

Thursday highlights include the Dog Show starting at noon in the show ring.  The competition will include demonstrations of Fitting & Showing as well as Rally & Obedience.  There are both Open and 4-H divisions.

4-H clubs work with a wide variety of domestic animals and livestock. Here a young 4-H’er from the Puppy Pals club proudly shows his trained dog.

There is Senior Bingo from 10:30 am until noon on Thursday.  The Dairy Goat Show begins at 1:00 pm.

The official Fair Opening Ceremonies will take place at 6:00 pm Thursday, followed by the culmination of the Dog Show from 6:30-8:30 with Agility & Obstacle Courses.  Then the Pretty Animal contest starts at 7:30 pm with entertainment at 8:00 pm by a hypnotist.  We have been assured that the judges of the Pretty Animal Contest will not be influenced by the hypnotist!  Or you can get your face painted by Wendy Woo Woo anytime between 6:00 and 8:00 pm.  Wendy will also be painting faces on Friday from 5-8 pm and again on Sat from 5-7 pm.

On Friday, the Livestock Show for Beef, Sheep & Swine opens at 10:30 am.  The 4-H Fashion Interviews begin at 4:30 with the official Fashion Revue at 6 pm. The Show & Shine Pick-up Truck Show starts at 5 pm with awards presented at 6:30.  Other highlights on Friday include the greased pig contest at 7:00 pm followed immediately by the ever-popular pie-eating contest. At 5:00 pm you can try your hand at the Hay Bale toss. And if you don’t succeed at first, you can try tossing hay bales again at 5 on Saturday!

If you get your face painted–or even if you don’t–you might want to stop by and get your portrait done by the resident Caricature Artist–Friday only–6-8 pm.

On Saturday, the spotlight shifts to horses and dairy cattle.  The 4-H Horse Show starts bright and early at 9:00 am, both English and Western.  Then the Dairy Cattle Show begins at 10:00 am.  The Open Horse Show–again English and Western–begins at noon.

Saturday features not one but two tractor pull contests!  The Antique Tractor Pull is at 10:00 am while the Pedal Power Tractor Pull will begin at 12:30 pm.  In between the two tractor pulls, you might want to check out the horses and riders at the Jousting Tournament presented at 11 am by the Eastern Shore Jousting Association.  Later, at 4:00 pm Saturday is the Youth Turkey Calling Contest.  The Livestock and Cake Auctions begins at 7:30 on Saturday night. All proceeds go to benefit local 4H clubs.

The food is always great at the Kent County Fair.  Food is available all day with a different special dinner menu each day.  Thursday is a crab cake platter served from 5:30-7:30 pm.  On Friday and Saturday dinner runs from 5:00-7:00 pm.  Friday’s entree is pork barbecue and on Saturday it’s chicken barbecue.

While you’re there, be sure to look for Kent County native Josh Miller’s chainsaw sculpture demonstrations ongoing throughout Thursday evening and again from noon til closing on Saturday and Sunday. Miller graduated from Kent County High School in 1999 and is currently living in Felton DE.  See the Spy article on Josh Miller and a gallery of his fabulous “chainsaw art” here.

Kent County native Josh Miller carving a bear at a “chainsaw art” demonstration 


The fairgrounds are located at 21349 Tolchester Beach Road in the former US Army base.  Directions from Chestertown.  Take Route 20 heading toward Rock Hall, turn right onto Route 21 (note of Kent Ag Center sign), keep left of the fork in the road, then continue approximately 3 miles to Fair Grounds on left. There is plenty of parking on the fairgrounds. 

New this year is shuttle service provided to and from the Tolchester Marina provided by the Rock Hall Tram.


Map of Kent County Fair exhibits and events


For more info see the Kent County website.

2:30 – 5:00 p.m. – Enter Indoor Exhibits: 4-H & Open Divisions. None accepted after 5:00 pm;

6:00 p.m.   – Judging
2:30 – 9:00 p.m. – 4-H Animal Exhibits Entered

THURSDAY, JULY 19: $2.00 Admission per person

SENIOR CITIZEN’S DAY (60 years and over) Seniors exempt from admission.

6:00 a.m. – Grounds Open for Animals and Outdoor Exhibit Set-up
6:30 – 8:30 a.m. – 4-H Animal Exhibits Entered
8:30 a.m. – Open Rabbits and Cavies on grounds
9:00 a.m. – Fair Officially Opens: All Commercial, Outdoor Exhibits & 4-H Animals In Place
9:00 a.m. – Rabbit & Cavy Show
10:00 a.m. – Poultry Show (All open Poultry on Grounds by 9:30 a.m.)
10:30 a.m. – Senior Bingo, until 12:00 noon
11:00 a.m. – Open Small Pets Show; on Grounds by 10:30 a.m.
11:00 – 12:00 p.m. – Open Dog Show Registration
12:00 p.m. – Dog Show-Open & 4-H: Fitting & Showing, Rally & Obedience, Show Ring
12:30 p.m. – 4-H Livestock Weigh-In, at scales
1:00 p.m. – Dairy Goat Show (All Open Dairy Goats on Grounds by 12:00 noon)
2:00 p.m. – 4-H Tractor Drive
4:30 p.m. – 4-H Ambassador Interviews, Picnic Area
5:00 p.m. – until – Midway Open: M & M Amusements
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Special Dinner Menu
6:00 p.m. – Fair Opening Ceremonies
– 4-H Ambassador Contest-Fish Bowl Questions
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Face Painting: Wendy Woo Woo
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. – Dog Show, Horse Ring (Agility & Obstacle Course)
7:30 p.m. – 4-H Pretty Animal Contest, following Ambassador
8:00 p.m. – Hypnotist

FRIDAY, JULY 20: $2.00 Admission per person

8:00 a.m. – Open Show Livestock on Grounds
10:30 a.m. – Livestock Show: Beef, Sheep & Swine
4:00 p.m. – until – Midway Open – M & M Amusements
4:30 p.m. – Fashion Revue Interviews
5:00 p.m. – Hay Bale Toss (youth & adults) * Also same time Saturday!
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. – Show & Shine Pick-up Truck Show. Awards presented 6:30 pm
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Pork Barbecue Dinner
5:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Face Painting: Wendy Woo Woo
5:00 p.m.– until – Exotic Animal Exhibit: Workhorse Farm Rescue & Exotics
6:00 p.m. – 4-H Fashion Revue
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Caricature Artist
7:00 p.m. – Greased Pig Contest
7:45 p.m. – Pie Eating Contest

SATURDAY, JULY 21: $2 Admission per person

8:00 a.m. – All Open Class Dairy Animals & Milk Cows On Grounds
9:00 a.m. – Horse Show: 4-H (English and Western Divisions)
10:00 a.m. – Dairy Cattle Show
10:00 a.m. – Antique Tractor Pull, registration begins at 8:00 a.m.

11:00 a.m. – Jousting Tournament- Eastern Shore Jousting Association

12:00 p.m. – Corn Hole Tournament
12:00 p.m. – Horse Show: Open (English & Western Divisions)
12:00 p.m. – until – Midway Open – M & M Amusements

12:00 p.m. – 6 p. m.- Tennis Ball Archery activity- open to the public
12:30 p.m. – Pedal Power Tractor Pull

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.- Live Archery Demonstration
4:00 p.m. – Youth Turkey Calling Contest
5:00 p.m. – Hay Bale Toss (youth & adults)
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Face Painting: Wendy Woo Woo
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Chicken Barbecue Dinner
7:30 p.m. – 4-H Livestock Auction
4-H Cake Auction (immediately following livestock auction)


6:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon – Ag Center Fair Grounds Clean-up
6:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – All 4-H, Open and Commercial Animal & Indoor Exhibits Released
10:30 a.m. – 4-H Tug-a-War: Final 4-H Green & White Challenge Event
11:00 a.m. – 4-H Awards Program – All 4-H’ers must be present
1:00 p.m. – Fair is not responsible for exhibits & items left after this time





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