WESTMINSTER - Come celebrate the season this weekend as the city's downtown area explodes with activity in FallFest 1990.
Two large blocks between Railroad Avenue and Center Street will sponsor 25 hours of continuous entertainment on two stages from 7 to 11 p.m.
tomorrow, 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Commonplace to extraordinary foods will be offered. Delicacies from places like Greece, Italy and the Orient will be available.
"I defy anyone to come up with a food we don't offer," said Carol Donovan, supervisor of activities and recreation, adding only two duplications of foods are allowed.
In addition, craftspeople from all over the East Coast will offer their wares for sale in the Longwell Parking Lot this weekend.
Kicking off the festivities tomorrow evening will be the annual parade announcing the beginning of FallFest. But, this year, Donovan and her staff also have chosen a theme -- Just Say No to Drugs -- to pull all the entries together.
"This is the first time we've ever done that," she said. "Because Junction, the Boy Scouts and Family and Children's Services are the non-profit recipients this year, we wanted to concentrate on drug awareness."
Starting at 7 p.m., more than 60 entries will move down Main Street from Western Maryland College to Longwell Avenue, ending at East Middle School.
Included in the display are the Baltimore City Mounted Police, the Maryland Gold Wings motorcycle club, antique cars and fire trucks and a bagpipe band.
"I like the unusual," Donovan said. "I like to give a good mix."
More musical accompaniment will be provided by seven area bands, such as Westminster High School's Marching Band and the Westminster Municipal Band and square dancers with a string band.
City businesses also are invited to participate but must make a float relating to the theme. Local service clubs, like 4-H, also are designing floats for the parade.
And, being an election year, lots of candidates for office will be strolling down the street.
After the parade, FallFest officially opens, with family ride night until 11 p.m. tomorrow and Friday. All rides are open for unlimited use those two evenings for just one $5 ticket.
"We try to keep that inexpensive for the parents," Donovan said.
However -- in a change from last year -- community groups, instead of the carnival company, are providing the games, she said.
"We just wanted to change the atmosphere," Donovan said, adding that the change did not directly relate to last year's complaint.
At the 1989 FallFest, a citizen complained to Mayor W. Benjamin Brown that the posters of scantily dressed women being distributed as prizes were not appropriate for a family activity.
"We want to make it more of a city fair than a carnival," Donovan said.
"We feel this is a real positive change for FallFest and the city."
Profits from the games will benefit the individual community groups instead of becoming part of the city's donation to the three FallFest charities, she said.
"I think if parents are going to give their kids $2 for games, (parents) would much rather have them spend it on a community group," she said.
"There's still a chance to win a prize, but it's not going to leave the community."
Special weekend activities include a balloon race leaving East Middle at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by a sky-diving show.
The Maryland Midland passenger train leaves downtown at 11:30 a.m., 1, 2 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for an hour-long journey to New Windsor.
But be prepared -- Robin Hood-type bandits from the Hoofbeats 4-H club will be lurking along the way to rob the passengers of their valuables. All money collected will benefit the club's handicapped riding program.
The train has more rides and passenger cars this year since the city is participating in the Maryland Main Street Special, a statewide program promoting trains.
In addition, outside of the downtown area, Cranberry Mall will be sponsoring an antique show all weekend long.
"(Cranberry Mall merchants) are part of the downtown shopping district," said Donovan, adding that the mall is the only covered space large enough to have an antique show.
Copyright The Baltimore Sun 1990