Off the Beaten Path is your weekly source for the most interesting things to do and places to go in the DC, MD, and VA area. From festivals to pillow fights, Off the Beaten Path provides a weekly list of worthwhile adventures. Published every Sunday by MetroMontage.com.
Welcome to Issue #11 of Off the Beaten Path. This weeks issue includes a fair, wildlife, chess, and a festival. Feel free to share this issue with family, friends, or co-workers by using the “Share/Save” button at the bottom of this page.
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The first Howard County Fair took place on August 21 & 22 in 1946 at Brendel’s Manor Park. Since the fair profited $2,000, the Fair Committee decided that it was worth making the fair an annual event. When the fair took place in 1947, the cost of admission was .30 cents. Fair goers could even enter a raffle for a car for .25 cents per chance.
During the early years, the fair was held at different locations. The fair is now annually held at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, MD. The cost of admission is $5.00 (10 years old & up); $2.00 (Seniors, 62 years old & up); Free (9 years old & under). On August 10, Seniors 62 years of age and older are admitted free all day.
Of course, the fair is a great place to take kids. Some of the featured events and activities include, daily pig races, pony rides, radio controlled stock car racing tournaments, a kids & critters barn and much more.
When: until August 14th
Where: 2210 Fairground Road, West Friendship, MD
Cost: $5.00 (10 years old & up); $2.00 (Seniors, 62 years old & up); Free (9 years old & under)
The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, was first established in 1933. The wildlife refuge contains a third of the states tidal wetlands and serves as a sanctuary for birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway. The water that feeds the refuge comes from the Blackwater River and the Little Blackwater River.
In addition to the various birds that make the wildlife refuge their home (including the American bald eagle), some of the other animals that you may see during a visit there include deer, raccoons, turtles, and the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel.
The refuge has a three and a half mile loop that one can choose to walk, drive or bike around. The loop takes you past various ponds, along the marsh and through some wooded areas. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is very picturesque, make sure you take your camera with you if you decide to make the trip. If you have never photographed wildlife before, be patient. The animals are not going to appear at once and put on a show for you. The best thing you can do, if you really would like to get some good pictures of the animals, is take your time and stay in various locations for a long period of time.
You can see some of the photos I took during a recent visit to the Eastern Shore, including the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, by clicking here.
Where: 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, Maryland 21613
Cost: Private Vehicle- $3.00; Pedestrian, Bicyclist- $1.00
Up for a game of Chess? A competitive game of chess against some of the best players in the Metro area? The park within Dupont Circle, where Connecticut Ave, Massachusetts Ave, New Hampshire Ave., and 19th St., NW intersect, is where you should go.
On the eastern side of the park there are concrete chessboards. If it is not raining or freezing cold, players
are often at the boards, especially during the spring, summer, and fall. Afternoons and weekends are the busiest and best times to go if you are looking for serious competition.
Chess legend Tom Murphy is a regular at the park. Many other highly skilled players frequent the park on a regular basis too.
Where: Dupont Circle Park, Washington, D.C.
In its 8th year, FestAfrica is the official African festival for the city of Baltimore. The event is co-sponsored by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the Baltimore Office of Promotions and the Arts and the Maryland State Arts Council.
This years festival theme is “Serving & Touring Africa”. A variety of events and activities will take place and be offered throughout the weekend. Including, musical performances, dance, arts & crafts exhibits, fashion shows, storytelling, a variety of children’s activities, African foods, and various vendors. The festival will also feature a Parade of Nations, a dance off competition for cash prizes, and a concert by Nigerian music star 2Face Idibia.
Admission to the festival is free for under 10 on both days. On Saturday, admission is $5.00 between the hours of 12 – 4PM and $15.00 after 4PM. On Sunday, admission is $5.00 all day.
When: August 14th & 15th
Where: Patterson Park, 200 S. Linwood Ave
Cost: Free (Under 10 years of age), $5.00 (Sat. 12-4PM & Sunday All Day), $15.00 (Sat. 4-8PM)
Off the Beaten Path is published every Sunday by MetroMontage.com, a photography site that features the most intriguing events, people, and places in the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area, and on rare occasions other metro areas. Presented by freelance photographer Anthony Washington. Want to know more about MetroMontage.com? Visit www.metromontage.com/about.