Maryland State Fairgrounds president and general manager Howard “Max” Mosner remembers the irate — although he calls them “funny” — phone calls he received during the 2011 state fair.
Of course, the state fair’s power use did not impact the surrounding the community.
The hurricane, followed by Tropical Storm Lee, however caused the lowest attendance at the Maryland State Fair in Mosner’s 50-year legacy, which was decidedly not comical.
“You can never make up what we lost that first weekend,” Mosner said.
But you can learn a lesson or two.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to read everything you need to know about how to have the best time if you plan on going to the state fair this weekend.
Fairgrounds administrators and state fair organizers stacked the deck for new events over Labor Day weekend, where in 2011 its marquee concerts and events were evenly distributed over the course of the “11 best days of summer.”
Mosner recalled being grateful that Selena Gomez—a near sellout concert in 2011–beat the impending hurricane.
Organizers in 2012 have gambled scheduling two headlining concerts for the same weekend, while planning to break a world record, host an eating contest and feature demonstrations from a Food Network Challenge Grand Champion.
The risk has already paid off as the fairgrounds already lost a day earlier in the week to rain.
Looking to bounce back from 2011, Mosner touted the ongoing mainstream concert bookings and the new events that will be on display this weekend.
From Friday to Monday, the Food Network’s champion pumpkin carver Ray Villafane will perform in the Farm and Garden Building.
“This guy is a genius from what I’ve seen,” Mosner said. Martha Stewart called Villafane “The Michelangelo of pumpkin carvers.”
Check out his 3D carving skills here.
The fairgrounds will also play host to a world record-breaking attempt this weekend as Handy Seafood, of Crisfield, MD, tries to again set the world record for largest crab cake.
Seriously, how Maryland is that?
The goal is 300 pounds, which they hope to accomplish by the use of their special oven.
Pieces of the cake will be sold off after they break the record Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in the food pavilion. Proceeds will benefit the Maryland 4-H Foundation.
As always, the fair will be using a portion of its allotted horse racing days during the fair. Races start at 1 p.m. in the grandstand. Mosner said purses are higher in 2012.
In 2010, the state fair was defined by the presence of Justin Bieber. In 2011, Hurricane Irene took centerstage.
“Every one takes on its own unique personality,” Mosner said.
How will 2012 be defined?
Everything you need to know about the Maryland State Fair:
Maryland State Fair: Getting There (Directions and parking advice)
Maryland State Fair: Ride Along With Patch in this Video (Take a tour of the state fair rides from a first-person perspective)
Show Us Your Maryland State Fair Photos, Videos (Help Lutherville-Timonium Patch build its Neighborhood Gallery)
Maryland State Fair: Weekend Weather Outlook (Don't let bad weather ruin your weekend)