At the Anne Arundel County fairgrounds, competing teams of pit masters keep their grills fueled through the night, tingeing the cool air with the smoky, sweet aroma of slow-cooked beef. The marathon cooking session is all for the sake of the Kansas City Barbeque Society judges, whose favor each chef will curry come lunchtime. The annual barbequing competition is just one facet of the festival’s mission to showcase the best barbecue chefs in the region. In addition to the competition, local food vendors sate visitors with hot ribs and empower budding chefs with gourmet sauces and cookware. All the while, 25 live bands keep heads bobbing while reminding diners to chew 30 times before swallowing.
Since 1984, the crew of trained instructors at Reddemeade Equestrian Center have taken time out of their own competitive schedules to teach students horseback riding. Each instructor boasts certification from the Reddemeade Instructor Training School, which allows them to conduct horseback lessons in the English style of riding in accordance with the standards of the British Horse Society. Students receive their instruction atop trained and patient school horses inside a large indoor ring or one of several outdoor rings that grace the center’s 44 acres of rolling Maryland farmland.
Wheels screech to a halt for photo ops in front of Lanham Skating Center's focal point: a mural of a red carpet illuminated by blazing flashbulbs. Skaters carry their celebrity strut into the music-filled rink, where they zoom to their hearts' content wearing skates they rented or stole from a '50s-era waitress. They can also star in Learn to Skate classes or birthday parties in a private room stocked with ice cream and soda. Visitors consume similar noshes at the snack bar before returning to rolling.