Maryland Sheep and Wool is this coming weekend!!!! And here are some helpful hints based on several years of going to the show that might be useful to those of you going for the first or second time.
First up some hints from Knitty by the Harlot herself.
Now for what I have learned. First of all the closest Starbucks is in Mt. Airy, Maryland which is a few miles west of the fairgrounds. I am sure that there are a few in Columbia but I don;t come from that direction.
Traffic will suck the later in the day. Okay, it doesn’t take long for traffic to back up. There is only one road to the fair grounds and most people come in from the same direction. So traffic will back up. Enjoy the scenery.
Right now, around where I live and the DC and Baltimore area, gas prices in Maryland are any where between $2.89 and $2.99. So do not be shocked.
If you see it and like it, buy it. The odds are against you finding it again. I will be there and so will hundreds of other knitters. We will buy it out from under you. Watch out if it is sock yarn and Kitty from Knit Buddies and I are near by. We have a very strong addiction to sock yarns.
Sunscreen. Even if the day is cloudy, wear it and bring it. You can get burned even easier on a cloudy and windy day than a nice clear sunny day. As a Marylander, I really wouldn’t be a good host if your memories of Maryland were that you got a nasty sunburn. If you forget yours, I am sure that your fellow knitters will have some.
If you hurt yourself, fall down, do not feel good, whatever, there is EMS and fire service on the fair grounds. Howard County has a volunteer/career system. There will volunteers from either the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Company #3 or Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company #4 there. They will be more than happy to take care of you. That is what we all train for.
If you are bringing your children, please do not let them wander off. Make sure that you have someone else with you to help keep an eye them. Do not let them pet the animals without checking the animals’ owners first. Most of these animals are good natured but they may still bite. And the animals get tired of the people just as we do.
If you are bringing your children and they are in a stroller, please keep in mind that other people are walking through the aisles as well. Just try to keep in mind how much room your stroller takes up. If you have some one with you and the building looks crowded, would it be possible for the two of you to take turns sitting with the stroller outside the building? And there are plenty of activities going on that are kid friendly. The sheep dog herding contests are always fun to watch and most kids are fascinated by them.
Food. The lines are long. The food is worth it though. If you are a vegetarian, your choices are limited but you are used to that. I do always recommend the food sold by the local Boy Scout Troop to everyone. The boys use this as a fund raiser and they try to do everything they can themselves. Their parents are there to help them out and to do what they can not safely do. You can find the Boy Scouts in Building 3 which is the food building.
And on the subject of supporting the local groups, you will often find the 4-H and FFA groups there selling raffles or food. Please support them. These kids do quite a bit and they can use every bit of the money. The money does stay in the local community.
And remember to have fun. And take the opportunity to meet everyone. And most of all enjoy Maryland!!!!