When the air turns cool and crisp and the leaves pale in the breeze,it can mean only one thing -- fall festival time is here.
Join Mount Airy and Sykesville as they celebrate autumn in grand style this weekend with their annual fall fests. The towns are only a few miles apart, so try them both.
Mount Airy has expanded its 7th annual event to two days: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Main Street from Prospect Road to the firehouse will be closed both days for the festival.
"This is the first year we've gone to two days," said chairman Ben Gue. "We had so many people last year ask for two days, we thought we'd try it to give people who work or have other things to do on Saturdaya chance to come."
Start the weekend early with a pancake breakfast 6 a.m.-noon Saturday at Ridgeville United Methodist Church, 108 E.Ridgeville Blvd. Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for kids.
Let the kids run out their energy at the Mount Airy Elementary School PTA Fun Run at 9 a.m. on the Municipal Parking Lot while you check out the 140 vendors selling everything from crafts to food.
Another popular event is the Best Dressed Pet Contest, sponsored by Southern States, which is adding a petting zoo to the attractions. For contest registration, call 829-0110.
Christi's is returning with its Chili Cook-Off, but you better register in advance with the restaurant at 829-1900.
Do you have a baby under 3 years old? Enter him or her in the Jaycees Pretty Baby Photo Contest. Entries can be mailed to P.O. Box 37, Mount Airy, Md. 21771.
On Saturday, stop by the firehouse for its Open House. And take time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to get your cholesterol checked, sponsored by the Rotary Club and Frederick Memorial Hospital.
Both days also will offer live entertainment and demonstrations for the whole family.
The highlight of this festival, as always, is the
parade, set for 3 p.m. Sunday.
"The paradewill feature two high school bands, Linganore and Glenelg, Boy and Girl Scout Troops, the Mount Airy Business Association and fire department, floats, majorettes, antique cars, clowns and the Allegany Shriners Keystone Cops," Gue said.
When you go to Mount Airy's festival, park at the carnival grounds on Route 27, where two shuttle buses will run every five to 10 minutes to the downtown area and back for free.
The Sykesville Business Association has crammed a variety of fun activities into the town's 18th annual fall fest, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday only.
Start with breakfast 7-10:30 a.m. at Baldwin's Restaurant in the historic train station. For only $3.75, have pancakes and sausage with coffee or milk.
Hold breakfast, however, if you plan to enter the 5K Pancake Run at 9 a.m., forwhich you can register by calling Bill Hall at 795-4843.
"We givethe runners tickets to the breakfast after the run, courtesy of the SBA," said Joy Baker, SBA president.
Feel like sawing some logs? At this fallfest, you literally can, but you need a two-man saw and some real logs for the "Two-Man Sawing Contest" at noon. Interested parties can call Dick Norris at 781-4644 for registration.
For history buffs, the roar of cannons will signal the Civil War Re-enactment at 1 p.m. at the train station.
Other day-long activities include clowns, face-painting, musical entertainment, demonstrations, and all kinds of food and craft booths.
Also, you can support both business associations by buying a 50-50 raffle ticket to benefit their respective communities. You might even be a winner.
Main Street Sykesville will be closed from Consolidated Stationers to the Methodist Church for the festival, but there is parking behind Main Street at Sandosky Road.