Oz's empty-headed scarecrow may not get a brain during Fal Harvest Days at the Carroll County Farm Museum, but he could beef up the rest of his body.
Visitors to the 27-year-old festival couldn't get enough of the scarecrow-stuffing workshop, which, for $8, supplied people with instructions, clothing, and enough straw to allow that first little pig in the fairy tale to build a condo.
"Talk about hay fever," said Bryan Jones, an Westminster engineer who was pushing his family's creation -- wearing gray ++ sweat pants and a blue sweater -- in a stroller normally reserved for his 18-month old daughter, Katie. His wife, Kelly, had taken Katie and his son, Kevin, 3, to play elsewhere on the grounds.
"It's great fun for the kids on a nice day to be out and about. You know, family time."
Five-year-old Kara McHargue, with help from her grandmother Ginny and her aunt Lisa, dressed her scarecrow in a hot pink turtleneck, white long johns, and a purple wool hat topped with a fuzzy ball.
"I just wanted him to be warm," said Kara, of Westminster.
"We come out every year," said Ms. McHargue, also a Westminster resident. "I like the atmosphere and the people. It's so country, away from the city," she said.
"I just come for the scarecrows," said Lisa McHargue, 28, of Bel Air.
But the fresh smoked, butchered meats also drew quite a crowd. did the more than 100 vendors, artisans and Farm Museum exhibits.
Dorothy Williams, a Northwest Baltimore resident who attended the function with a friend's church group, wanted to take advantage of the many craft stands, flower displays, and homemade food concessions.
"I was looking for perennial flowers, but I can always get a few odds and ends," said Ms. Williams. "And zucchini bread. Oh, they have the best homemade goods around."
The attractions at Fall Harvest Days cover much of the Farm Museum's vast property, and feature everything from face painting in an Indian tepee to listening to various styles of live music.
People craned their necks to watch the antics of Vaudeville Performer Jerry Brown and his trained monkey, who "grew up" doing work for the festival.
"I remember when he used to feed the monkey with a baby bottle," said Dottie Freeman, a spokeswoman for the Farm Museum. "He's been around for years."
And so had Edward Little of Taneytown, who has entered the heaviest pumpkin-growing contest since the festival began 27 years ago.
His 158-pound pumpkin took first place in this year's contest, which Ms. Freeman said was somewhat blighted by a rainy growing season.
"It took four men to unload that pumpkin from his truck, Ms. Freeman said. "I'm glad he brought some others along to help him."
Fall Harvest Days continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.
Admission for adults is $4, and for people aged 6 to 8 and over 60, $2. Parking is free.