This story has been updated.
CLEAR BROOK — The Frederick County Fair hit the pause button last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it's returning next week with plenty of food, fun and farm animals.
The fair is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday at the fairgrounds at 155 Fairgrounds Road in Clear Brook. Gates open at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday. Concessions and rides open at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday.
A few pre-fair events are being held this weekend, including a horse show on Saturday and various pageants on Sunday.
Fair official Mary Jane Leight said that because of the pandemic, the Frederick County Fair Association — which organizes the fair — didn't know until the end of March if this year's fair would take place. She said fair association members are excited for the fair to return. In particular, she's happy that 4-H and FFA participants will be able to show off the livestock they raised to fair-goers.
“We are really pleased,” Leight said. “Primarily because of the kids. These poor kids work so hard, and they get so excited.”
This year's fair will offer plenty of "fair food" to enjoy, such as corn dogs, funnel cakes, fried Oreos, ice cream and lemonade. And the Stonewall District Ruritan Club will serve a barbecue dinner starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
West Virginia-based Gambill Amusements will provide carnival attractions. There will be 10 rides (four for people over 50 inches tall and six for those under 50 inches). Owners Shane Turner and Nicole Turner said some of the most popular rides are a 100-foot tall Ferris wheel with over 7,000 LED lights, a merry-go-round and a “Casino” ride that spins riders in a circle while the center raises and lowers for an added thrill.
A wrist band can be purchased at the gate for $25 to ride all of the rides. Those who order online at gambillamusements.com will get a $5 discount.
The Monster Truck Show, a fan-favorite event featuring massive trucks jumping over obstacles and crushing cars, will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the grandstand. The grandstand will also host a Demolition Derby at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday. The derby involves drivers competing against each other by crashing their vehicles into one another. The last car standing wins.
The Miss Frederick County Fair Scholarship and Junior Miss pageants will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday. Miss Frederick County Fair contestants will compete for a $1,000 scholarship. Other pre-fair events on Sunday include the Little Miss Frederick County Fair, Pre-Teen Miss Frederick County and Tiny Miss Frederick County Fair pageants.
Leight said it's hard to predict what attendance will be like at this year's fair, joking that her “crystal ball license expired.” But she noted that fair officials have gotten a great response from the public about the fair resuming, and she said it seems like people are looking forward to its return.
“Everybody has been cooped up for a year-and-a-half,” Leight said. “It would do good to go out and see your neighbor.”
As with any year, Leight added, “We are at the mercy of the weather.”
Fair admission is $7 for ages 12 and older and $3 for children ages 6 to 11. Children 5 and younger are admitted free of charge. For those wishing to attend the fair multiple times, an adult weekly ticket is $20 and a weekly ticket for a child is $10.
For more information on the Frederick County Fair, visit www.frederickcountyfair.com.