The Great Frederick Fair Parking Lot Shot, 1914
This week (September 14-22) marks the 156th edition of the Great Frederick Fair, the largest and greatest county fair in the State of Maryland. There have been many changes since the first fair was held in 1822 when it was known as the Cattle Show and Fair: that was a two-day event, now it’s nine days. The location has changed and so has the name. Today, the Frederick County Fair is officially named the Great Frederick Fair. It’s been held in May, October and November, but now (and for many years) takes place in September — rain or shine.
Fair entertainment has certainly evolved over the years. In 1888, May Lillie, an “expert girl shot with a rifle” from the back of a running mustang, performed. In the early 1900s, acrobatic bears and monkeys, high-wire acts and vaudeville performers took the stage. In 1950, the highlight of the “Irish Horan and the lucky Hell Drivers” show was a “stock convertible catapulted from a giant cannon.” In 1965, it was Jack Kochman’s Hell Drivers performing stunts with cars.
The Thursday of the 1911 fair was noted as a record day with 15,000 people in attendance, 100 autos and 1,000 carriages, according to “The Great Frederick Fair” book. Today, fair attendance can range from 210,000 to 250,000 people during the nine-day fair.
Source: Frederick News-Post