Mount Airy and Sykesville celebrate the season with their annual Main Street fall festivals Saturday, offering everything from arts and crafts and flea markets to food stands, music, games and contests.
Start out with a pancake breakfast: Ridgeville United Methodist Church in Mount Airy opens at 6 a.m., and St. Paul's United Methodist in Sykesville runs from 7 to 11 a.m.
Runners, get your shoes on. Sykesville's 5K run starts at 9 a.m. at the end of Main Street and follows along the Patapsco River. Registration is $5 in advance, $6 that morning.
"They say it's a real pretty course," said Bill Hall of the Fall Fest Committee. "And everybody who registers gets a ticket for a free pancake breakfast."
The Mount Airy Elementary School fun run also begins at 9 a.m. at the Municipal Parking Lot, with registration at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $2 per person or $5 per family.
"It's about a mile run and proceeds go to the Susan Hornick Fund," noted Ben Gue, a Fall Fest Committee member.
Sykesville will officially open its fall fest at 10 a.m., the same time that Mount Airy offers up its annual parade.
"The parade starts at South Main Street behind Food Rite and down Main Street to St. James Episcopal Church," Gue said, adding that participants can enter up until Friday.
The parade includes the Lions Club's decorated bike contest, as well as floats and marching bands. After the parade, South Carroll High's band will perform.
The Mount Airy Fire Company will have an open house throughout the day, with blood-pressure screenings and Ronald McDonald talking to the kids about fire prevention at 11 a.m.
Still in Mount Airy, kids can dress up their pets for a contest at 11 a.m. at the train station, while the adults whip up a batch of chili for Christi's Restaurant's chili contest at 2 p.m. in front of Dennison's Trackside Hobbies.
In Sykesville, sign up by 11 a.m. for the lip sync contest at noon in front of the gazebo. Participants must have a three- to-five-minute song on cassette tape to lip sync to and the top three winners get trophies.
You also can try the two-man log sawing contest at 1 p.m., open to women as well. But it's women only for the chamber pot race at 4 p.m.
"They run with a bucket filled with water and whoever has the most water at the end wins," said Hall.
Another feature of the Sykesville event will be a Civil War re-enactment by the Blue & Gray Association at 2 p.m. at the railroad station.
Both towns will offer entertainment throughout the day. In Mount Airy, enjoy country music, mime, square dancers, a State Police canine demonstration and karate.
Mount Airy also will provide shuttle bus transportation to the downtown area from the carnival grounds and park and ride lot on Route 27, Farmer's Mechanics Bank, American Legion Post, Mount Airy Middle School and Hardee's in the Mount Airy Shopping Center.
Sykesville's entertainment includes music, cloggers, children's games and an antique auto club display.
Information: Mount Airy, 829-2112 or 831-7113; Sykesville, 795-5566 or 795-4843.