The 29th annual Montgomery County Fair opens Monday, Aug. 22, and will continue through Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Gaithersburg fairground at 16 Chestnut St.

The official opening celebration, which includes a Montgomery County 4-H pageant, a parade of floats and crowning of the 4-H queen and selection of her court begins Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. A square dance follows the crowning of the queen.

For those who are displaying the products of their labor at the fair, the six days will be filled with anticipation. For the judges, it will be a time of hard decisions as they select the best poultry, honey and beeswax, arts, crafts and hobbies, home economics, farm, produce, garden, fruit and poultry, 4-H booths, home arts, rabbits, photography, poultry, dairy goats, swine, cattle and sheep.

The fair opens at 9 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. on Friday, and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.

A tractor pulling contest, reminiscent of the old horse pulling contests that were popular before technology got into the act, is expected to draw a large crowd. Tractor pulls are based on the same principle as a horse pull - nonstop effort to move a sled weighing 25 tons or more for a prescribed distance. This year's event, billed by the fair as "the farmers' version of the Indianapolis 500," will be held Wednesday, Aug. 24, at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 25, at 10 a.m. and again at 6:30 p.m.

Children's day will be Tuesay, Aug. 23, and all school age children will be admitted free at the gate until 6 p.m. The smaller carnival rides will be at a reduced rate.

Some of the other things you can expect to see at this year's fair are demonstrations of crafts, jelly making, and bread making among others. Home arts demonstrations of braiding, hooking, quilting, embroidery, needlepoint, crocheting, tatting, knitting, handweaving, handspinning and sewing will be going on Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

And Wednesday at 3 p.m. the definitive word will be issued on which goat is either the prettiest, funniest, most original or champion.

For a complete schedule of events, call the fair office at WA6-3100 or visit the fair office at 16 Chestnut in the fairground.