Gov. Larry Hogan spent Thursday touring Carroll County small businesses, meeting with first responders and checking out all that the county 4-H & FFA Fair had to offer.
Hogan’s tour was an opportunity for the governor to highlight his administration’s progress on growing jobs and supporting local businesses, according to a news release from his office.
Katie Weishaar, a volunteer with Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair, said fair organizers were glad to host the governor and happy to see him “show his interest in agriculture.”
Weishaar said the governor spent time greeting 4-H kids participating in a beef cattle showmanship competition.
“The kids really enjoyed it,” she said, adding that Hogan took time out to congratulate the winners.
Hogan spent much of his time at the fair visiting with kids in the 4-H program, checking out their goats and pigs, and viewing displays of their artwork, crafts and other submissions.
Later in the afternoon Hogan visited small businesses along Sykesville’s historic Main Street.
At Unwined Candles, owner Anna Neith welcomed the governor and showed Hogan how the shop takes recycled wine bottles donated by the community and gives them new life as candle holders.
Anna and her husband, David Neith, made a special candle for the governor to take home. It included the Sykesville Main Street logo, and the words “Made with Main Street Love for Governor Larry Hogan.”
During his time in Sykesville Hogan also visited with Sykesville Mayor Stacy Link and her staff.
“We were excited to have him here,” Link said.
While in town Hogan signed a letter of support for the Downtown Sykesville Connection’s application for the Great American Main Street Award from Main Street America. The award annually honors “communities whose successes serve as a model for comprehensive, preservation-based commercial district revitalization.”
The Downtown Sykesville Connection is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality of life in downtown Sykesville for residents, visitors and businesses.
“The governor has a very genuine, down-to-earth soul, and our Main Street is very welcoming,” Link said.
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The governor also made stops at JeannieBird Baking Company on Main Street in downtown Westminster.
“He was very personable,” owner Bernie Vogel said. “He spent time with the crew, he spent time with customers in the dining area and spent time outside talking to diners. It was very heartwarming.”
Hogan also stopped at the 1623 Brewing Company, a family-owned and operated brewery in Eldersburg, where he took a turn at the taps.
“We were able to show him the entire brewing operation,” said Cameron McKelvin, the company’s marketing manager. “He saw the canning operation where we prepare the beer for distribution. He even came out to the tap room to talk to the customers. … It was awesome.”
The rest of the governor’s tour included a stop at the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster, the Carroll County Public Safety Training Center in Westminster and the town of Union Bridge, where he stopped at the Flood Zone Marketplace & Brewery and presented a citation to Mayor Perry Jones in honor of the town’s 150th anniversary.
Hogan also visited the Maryland State Police Academy Training Center in Sykesville, where he met with members of Trooper Candidate Class 155, who will graduate from the academy in December.