Organizers of the Maryland State Fair said new attractions like a goat mountain and pirate-themed high dive show add new, exciting elements to the traditional fair attractions.
The 132nd Maryland State Fair, which begins Friday, Aug. 23 and runs through Monday, Sept. 2 at the Timonium Fairgrounds, will continue to offer its array of rides, livestock shows, horse racing and games.
But for those seeking more than the traditional fair fare, attractions like Goat Mountain, which allows patrons to view goats in their natural habitat, and the Toyota Ravens Sand Sculpture Contest, which will include a 100-ton sand sculpture in the Exhibition Hall.
In addition to a slew of local musical acts at the Carolina Carport Free Stage, national musical acts Carly Rae Jepsen and The Wanted (Sunday, Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m.), Fall Out Boy (Thursday, Aug. 29 at 7:30 p.m.), and Three Days Grace (Sun. Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m.) are all scheduled as part of the Maryland State Fair Concert Series.
For those who can't wait, the M&T Dollar Preview Night begins Thursday, Aug. 22 at 5 p.m. Patrons can entered the fairgrounds for $1, pay $1 for rides, and purchase hot dogs, corn on the cob, and small drinks for $1 each.
To view a full list of attractions and hours, visit http://www.marylandstatefair.com. ___
Little pigs race through an obstacle course in Klosters, Switzerland, Jan. 1, 2012. The race of the lucky pigs takes place every New Year and is followed by many spectators. (AP Photo/Keystone, Arno Balzarini)
Kimmy Moore, 13, cheers on the pigs as they race for a cookie Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, at the Hedrick's Pig Racing exhibit at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, Kan. (AP Photo/The Hutchinson News, Travis Morisse)
1. Bob's BBQ & Grill, Pattaya, Thailand (2007)
Weighing in at 78.5 pounds, <a href="http://www.cheese-burger.net/stories/worlds-largest-hamburger-update.html">Big Bob's Texas Belt Buster</a> was American Bob Schindler's contribution to the Thailand burger scene in 2007. The burger itself contains two heads of lettuce, 15 tomatoes, four whole onions, 35 slices of cheese, 1 cup of ketchup, 1 cup of mustard, four pickles, and four jalapeños. Priced at $400, this burger eclipsed the previous record by over 25 pounds and fired the first international salvo in the race to create bigger burgers.
2. The Ambrosia on the Spot Cafe, Sydney, Australia (2010)
As Crocodile Dundee might say, "That's not a burger. THAT's a burger." Coming in at 90 kg (198 lb.), <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/australian-cafe-claims-worlds-biggest-burger-20100607-xptl.html">The Ambrosia</a> constructed a special set of metallic plates and holders just to fit its massive burger containing 120 eggs, 150 slices of cheese, and about 5 pounds of lettuce.
3. Mallie's Sports Grill, Southgate, Michigan (2011)
In October 2011, <a href="http://malliesbar.com/GBW.htm">Mallie's</a> created the Absolutely Ridiculous Burger, weighing 338 lb. This burger broke the 2009 record of 185.6 lb., a record they had previously set themselves, and which had outdone yet another Mallie's record. The Absolutely Ridiculous Burger takes 22 hours to make and an army to eat.
4. Chef Ted Reader, Toronto, Canada (2010)
In 2010, Canadian BBQ chef Ted Reader put together a ten-person team to accomplish one goal: create a burger massive enough to hide the sun. While it may not have done that, <a href="http://www.worldrecordsacademy.org/food/largest_hamburger_world_record_set_by_Chef_Ted_Reader_101685.htm">Ted's creation</a> could at least pass for a Pluto-sized dwarf planet. It took six hours to grill the beef, which was 300 lb. in itself. The bun weighed almost 106 lb. And all together, Ted's burger added up to 590 lb. of sheer monstrosity. At that point, it tripled the pre-existing world record.
5. Alameda County Fair, Pleasanton, California (2011)
You thought 590 lb. was the highest it could get? On the 4th of July, the Alameda County Fair celebrated America's grandeur by taking back the record from its neighbor to the north, Canada. The burger contained a bun <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/san-francisco-bay-guardian/777-pound-burger-alameda-county-fair-one-record-204947723.html">weighing 100 pounds, 20 pounds of onions, 12 pounds of pickles, and 30 pounds of lettuce, for a grand total of 777 lb.</a> and well over a million calories. <em>If you are getting a heartache just looking at all this, other food institutions have created more (at least relatively) human-sized burgers that still pack a punch.</em>
6. In 'n' Out, Various Locations
At California-based burger chain In 'n' Out, <a href="http://supersizedmeals.com/food/article.php/20060125050438458">you can order</a> a 3x3 (3 patties and 3 slices of cheese), or a 4x4 (4 patties and 4 slices). Or, for about $100, you can order the 100x100, with 100 patties and 100 slices of cheese, all between just two buns. The next time you're craving a big-time burger, gather your 99 closest friends and head to the west coast.
7. Heart Attack Grill, Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is home to many strange and over-the-top attractions, including the Heart Attack Grill. The restaurant <a href="http://grandforksgourmet.areavoices.com/2012/02/16/man-has-heart-attack-at-heart-attack-grill/">celebrates artery-clogging fare</a> like cheese, bacon, and meat, and offers signature health hazards like the Quadruple Bypass Burger. And for an extra $4, the restaurant will add 20 slices of bacon. So order your gut-busting burger, your fries deep-fried in lard, and keep your doctor on speed dial. <em>And if simply ordering a colossal burger doesn't do the trick, take on one of the following burger challenges.</em>
8. Eagle's Deli, Boston, Massachusetts
The <a href="http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/eagles-deli-restaurant-brighton-30485">Eagle's Deli</a> challenge started when hungry college students devoured the largest offering on the menu. The deli decided they would name a burger after them, until someone else could exceed their feat, having their name honor a burger, and so on, and so on. The <a href="http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2007/10/the-godzilla-at-eagles-deli-restuarant.html">current Eagle's Challenge</a> stands at 5 lb. of beef, 20 pieces of bacon, 20 pieces of American cheese, 5 lb. of fries, a deli pickle, and a fountain soda. Overtake that, and have your name immortalized on the Eagle's menu.
9. Kooky Canuck, Memphis, Tennessee
A kooky Canadian relocated to Memphis, opened the <a href="http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/kooky-canuck-memphis-606963">Kooky Canuck</a>, and devised the Kookamonga challenge, boasting 4 lb. of beefy intensity. After all the fixings, you have a <a href="http://www.tiffanytastes.com/2011/12/kookamonga-challenge-wrap-up.html">whopping 7.5 lb. burger</a>, and only 60 minutes to devour it. But not everyone needs all that time--the fastest finisher took only 7 minutes and 15 seconds. Just in case you're counting, you'd need to ride a stationary bike for 17 hours, box for 15 hours, or sleep for 200 hours to burn off the over 12,000 calories.
10. Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, Clearfield, Pennsylvania
Denny's has <a href="http://fattyfriday.com/dennys-beer-barrel-pub-home-of-the-worlds-largest-hamburger-challenges">seven different challenges</a> ranging from a meager two-pound Pub Challenger to the massive 123-pound Main Event. Each challenge has a different time limit, and winners receive 50 percent off the burger, a t-shirt, and a place on the Wall of Fame.
Hats off to the kitchen whiz who dreamed this one up. These <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/20/deep-fried-kool-aid_n_880268.html" target="_hplink">deep-fried Kool-Aid</a> balls were recently served up at the San Diego County Fair. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cuttlefish/5995558862/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">cuttlefish</a>.</em>
Something about deep-fried beer makes us think these things make a terrible mess when you bite into them. Still, points for ingenuity goes to the folks behind this stunt. It was featured at the State Fair of Texas in 2010. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidberkowitz/5023706337/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">David Berkowitz</a>.</em>
We're slightly perturbed by the obscenely bright color of these pickles, but then again, they are marinated in Kool-Aid. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/south_2007/531550620/" target="_hplink">Social_Stratification</a>.</em>
Forget deep-fried Oreos -- save your appetite for <a href="http://www.statefairgirlscouts.com/fried_cookie.html" target="_hplink">deep-fried Samoas</a>, the long-cherished coconut and chocolate Girl Scout cookie.
Fried Ice Cream Sandwich
You eyes do not deceive you. You're gazing upon a cheeseburger topped with a <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/americas-wacky-fair-foods/2" target="_hplink">deep-fried ball of ice cream</a>, which was featured at the Florida State Fair.
Behold! This year, the Minnesota State Fair is offering <a href="http://gallery.mnstatefair.org/media/new_foods2012/content/08_cheeseburger_sticks.html" target="_hplink">spaghetti sticks</a>, which are spaghetti noodles, tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese wrapped in pizza dough. With more spaghetti sauce for dipping!
Spaghetti Ice Cream
The "signature food" of the 2012 Indiana State Fair? <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151065713828416&set=a.112125948415.99356.52944793415&type=3" target="_hplink">Spaghetti ice cream</a>, produced by Monroe Concessions. It's actually not as mind-bending in flavor as it is in presentation. It's actually made with <a href=" http://www.indystar.com/article/20120724/LIFE10/207240320/Indiana-State-Fair-test-taste-buds-spaghetti-ice-cream" target="_hplink">gelato noodles, strawberry tomato sauce, shredded white chocolate cheese and chocolate "meatballs."</a>
Is salsa still considered a condiment when it's served with <em>another </em>sauce to dip it in? Deep thoughts and more occur to us while gazing upon this <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=267049480000050&set=a.267049126666752.63136.127059740665692&type=3&theater" target="_hplink">fried salsa</a>, which was served up at the State Fair of Texas in 2011.
Hot Beef Sundae
These savory creations have been <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150296117081915&set=a.69565501914.74196.56762306914&type=3" target="_hplink">popping up at state fairs everywhere</a>, including the Tennessee State Fair in 2011. Dig in if you and your taste buds are up for some mind games.
<a href="http://188.8.131.52/ns/PressRelease/ViewPressRelease.asp?PRelId=39" target="_hplink">Chicken fried bacon</a>, anyone? We're going to file this under "completely unnecessary." Unfortunately (or fortunately?), patrons at State Fair of Texas in Dallas thought otherwise and named it "Best Tasting" in 2008. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/carabou/270361246/" target="_hplink">carabou</a>.</em>
Pulled Pork Parfait
Calling it a parfait is throwing us off, but this pulled pork parfait actually looks pretty delicious, if you ask us. It was an offering at the South Florida Fair in 2011. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/beleaveme/5371924130/" target="_hplink">Bob B. Brown</a>.</em>
Regrettably, this is real. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/11/fried-butter-stick-iowa-state-fair_n_924768.html" target="_hplink">Deep-fried butter</a> appeared at the Iowa State Fair, and the inventor talks about it in this video. Just try not to feel greasy afterwards, we dare you.
Our mothers always warned us about swallowing our gum, but maybe this is the exception. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/06/fried-bubble-gum_n_950390.html" target="_hplink">Deep-fried bubblegum</a> won "most creative" dish at the State Fair of Texas last year. It's actually a marshmallow that's been dipped in pink batter, fried and topped with blue icing and some Chiclets.
Deep-Fried Frito Pie
Thank you, State Fair of Texas for bringing us the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/endless-simmer/best-state-fair-foods_b_734080.html#s143211&title=DeepFried_Frito_Pie" target="_hplink">deep-fried Frito pie</a>. Whatever would we do without it. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/texasfriedfritopie/4909062637/sizes/m/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Texas Fried Frito Pie</a>.</em>
Chocolate-Covered Corn Dog
How do you make a corn dog even less healthy? <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/endless-simmer/state-fair-foods_b_965932.html#s363432&title=10_Chocolate_Covered" target="_hplink">Cover it in chocolate</a>. Naturally. Good thinking, Orange County Fair.