The annual St. Mary’s County Fair was held Sept. 22 to 25 this year at the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds. The county fair is a place for families to experience live music, visit farm animals and spend time learning about the community. Many students from St. Mary’s College attended throughout the weekend as well.

Among the various carnival-style games and rides, paths were lined with vendors and local businesses, all vying for the attention of fair attendees. Christmas in April St. Mary’s County Inc. was among the tables of local businesses. Christmas in April is a program in which volunteers work together to repair homes during the last Saturday in April. Homes are selected based on the income and health of the homeowners; homes of low income, disabled and elderly homeowners in St. Mary’s County are eligible.

Karl Guisse, a volunteer of 20 years, says that Christmas in April is celebrating its 26th year, yet this is the first year they had a table at the county fair. Guisse said that they decided to table this year because they are “trying to get people to sign up and spread the word.” He wants members of the community to know that there are options if they are in need of help because of their financial situation.

By mid-afternoon on Saturday, they had about 25 new applicants for people seeking home repairs. The program has been accepting about 16 applications per year, but they have had to downsize recently because of the lack of funds. Nevertheless, Guisse hopes that community members will reach out if they need assistance or want to volunteer to work the program.

Breten Bay Dentistry was another local business in attendance. The company has been located behind the St. Mary’s County Hospital for 15 years, and this year was their second at the fair. Last year they arrived for the first time at the fair “without knowing what to expect,” said one of the volunteers. But when they received a few new customers, they decided to return this year.

The county fair provides opportunities for families and businesses alike to get more involved with the community. While attendees of the fair have a chance to enjoy the rides and various vendors, local businesses have the opportunity to meet members of the community in addition to promoting their causes.

The St. Mary’s County Fair will be back next year to once again bring the community together.

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