Fairtrade food returns with flying colors to Frederick | Culture & Leisure
Funnel cake. Pogo. Italian sausage. Roast beef sandwiches. Pulled Pork. Crab cakes.
These are just a few of the crowd favorites at the Great Frederick Fair, which in addition to showcasing animals, products, rides and live music, regularly hosts new and old food vendors. .
These vendors are back in force for the 159th annual fair, generating long lines and heavenly aromas. One of the most popular restaurants is Hemp’s, which has a permanent building just outside Parking Lot A. The Jefferson Butcher’s shop has been selling sandwiches and other items at the fair since 1986, owner Billy said. Hemp.
His favorite is the roast beef sandwich, and many fairground goers feel the same way. The queues are long during lunch and dinner hours. And while the fair’s cancellation last year may have provided some respite from a theoretically busy week, the butcher’s shop actually found itself busy throughout 2020.
“More people were eating at home,” Hemp said. But even the madness of the store was not like that of the fair. “I missed it.”
More halfway there is a 60-by-100-foot tent that can accommodate 300 people, operated by JB Seafood of Myersville. The restaurant has been selling at the fair for 33 years, owner Chuck Staley said. Over the years, the seller has grown in popularity. The operation now takes five days to set up and requires the help of employees, friends and family.
“We love to serve the community and see people we don’t typically see throughout the year,” Staley said.
But New Market Grange has both JB Seafood and Hemp’s beat for longevity at the fair. The organization has been distributing burgers and hot dogs right next to dairy buildings for 92 years. Grange President Richard Stonebraker said many nonprofits, churches and fire departments were serving food at the fair as a way to raise funds. But now the Grange is one of the last remaining.
“Over the years, we’ve evolved. Our community service is at the heart of what really keeps us here at the fair,” Stonebraker said. “Doing what we do is for the children who are here and for the community.”
Stonebraker himself showed cattle at the fair as a child. His own experience at the fair is what drove him to ensure the Grange sells out again this year, even after a difficult year due to the pandemic. Like many other non-profit organizations, the members of the Grange are getting older.
“It’s hard to get enough people to help and manpower to run a booth throughout the show,” Stonebraker said. “But we went back and forth and we were like, ‘No, we’re here for the kids. “”
There is also room for beginners at the fair. Moose Pit BBQ, based in Myersville, set up their truck on the infield. Co-owner Steve Harding explained that this was only the truck’s second year at the fair. As a longtime attendee of the show, Harding was disappointed to miss last year’s festivities.
“We are so happy to have been able to be here this year,” he said.
The truck’s Outlaw Sundae has the makings of a new fairground classic, with its content of mac and cheese, pulled pork, coleslaw, bratwurst and a drizzle of barbecue sauce. But Harding has a soft spot in his heart for Italian sausages and the funnel cake, which he has been getting at the fair since he was a child.
“I was waiting impatiently [the fair] when I was a kid, “he said.” It’s definitely a darling thing. “