After 100 years, Mount Airy finds it has something to celebrate

NEIGHBORS

April 01, 1994|By KATHY SUTPHIN

Mount Airy's centennial clock chimed a 100-year chorus Saturday to mark the first of several celebrations of a special anniversary.

The Town of Mount Airy was incorporated a century ago on March 21, 1894. More than a year of committee meetings, under the leadership of Walt Dennison, went into creating a gala worthy of the benchmark celebration.

The event's 254 patrons purchased tickets for the event that sold out in 1 1/2 days in December, said C. Oscar Baker, who was master of ceremonies for the centennial dinner in the Mount Airy Firemen's Activities Building.

A variety of music and a dinner of country ham and fried chicken kept the days-gone-by ambience of the celebration, described as a "reunion" by Mr. Baker.

"There's not many functions that you go to that you know most everybody there," he said.

Highlights of the banquet included seven skits illustrating Mount Airy's history by the Centennial Players. The costumed minidramas, under the direction of Helen Simpson, chronicled the naming of the town, students going to school at Pine Grove Chapel, prayer meetings, general store shopping, the birth of a baby, a quilting bee and the town's incorporation.

The banquet honored six of Mount Airy's elders -- Rose Dotson, 102; Naomi Spurrier, 99; Olive Mount, 99; Joe Wagner, 87; Lester Lowman, 86; and Norman Etzler, 83.

"Getting those people together and having them enjoy it as they

did definitely made it all worthwhile," said Mr. Baker. "We've had so many good comments."

Other highlights included the presentation of a beautiful, handmade Centennial Quilt to the town; a reminder of coming events by Centennial Committee Chairman Travis Norwood; and champagne toast to the next 100 years by Town Council President Delaine Hobbs.

Next on the calendar is the Mount Airy Centennial Lecture and Discussion Series on four Wednesday evenings in April at 7:30 p.m. at the new Mount Airy Fire Station at 702 N. Main St.

The series begins Wednesday with a discussion of the town's history and the development of the Mount Airy Fire Company by Mr. Baker. On April 13, William Knill will talk about "Farming of Mount Airy, Then and Now;" on April 20, Olive Mount will speak on "Mount Airy Schools Remembered;" and on April 27, Walt Dennison will speak on "The B&O Makes the Grade to Mount Airy."

Other centennial events will include the Mount Airy House Tour and a repeat performance of the Centennial Players' skits at Calvary United Methodist Church on May 21; an old-fashioned Family Picnic at the Mount Airy Carnival Grounds July 3; and a gala centennial parade Sept. 24.

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There will be no April fools at the Mount Airy Area Jaycees Spring Yard Sale on April 30, just savvy shoppers and veteran vendors taking advantage of one of the area's largest one-day flea markets.

Now is the time to reserve a space at the Jaycees fund-raiser, which will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Firemen's Activities Grounds at Twin Arch Road and Route 27.

Traditionally, everything, including an occasional kitchen sink, can be found at the colossal rain-or-shine event, which draws thousands of browsers and bargain hunters.

The Jaycees food booth will have a full menu of breakfast, lunch and snack items for hungry patrons.

This event is one of two yard sales that the Jaycees hold yearly to finance such community-oriented projects as their Thanksgiving food baskets and their Christmas party for needy children.

The Jaycees are asking people not to put fliers under the wipers of parked vehicles at the yard sale. The Jaycees from Mount Airy and neighboring clubs work long hours to make the yard sale a success, and don't want to have to clean up hundreds of fliers after the event.

More than 350 spaces are available at the yard sale. Blacktop spaces measure 9 by 18 feet. Grass-surfaced spaces measure 14 by 20 feet. Advance registrations received by the April 25 deadline cost $20 per space. After that, the spaces will cost $25 each.

For space reservation information, call (301) 829-2778 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or (301) 829-0651 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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An academic exercise in patriotism brought recognition and reward to six Mount Airy youngsters who participated in the Americanism Essay Contest sponsored by the State of Maryland's American Legion Auxiliary.

Congratulations to Claire Dawson, a student at Mount Airy Elementary School, and Daniel Wachter, a student at Mount Airy Middle, who took top honors in the local competition sponsored by Mount Airy's Unit 191 Auxiliary.

Claire and Daniel each received a $25 prize and their winning essays have been entered in the next level of the contest, said local Americanism Education Chairman Evaleen Leon.

The competition required students to address the essay topic "My responsibilities as a citizen in a free society."

In November, students in fourth through seventh grades who attend school in Mount Airy were invited to participate, said Mrs. Leon.

Kudos also go to Shellie Myers of Mount Airy Elementary School and Jennifer Phillips of Mount Airy Middle School, who shared second place. They received $15 prizes for their efforts.

Katie Dulaney of Mount Airy Elementary and Jamie Green of Mount Airy Middle received $10 prizes as third-place winners.

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There's going to be much more than just fluffy flapjacks at Prospect United Methodist Church's Spring Pancake Day on April 9.

Savory country sausage from the Mount Airy Locker Co. will be featured in the all-you-can-eat breakfast fare and fried chicken platters will be offered at 11 a.m. A bounty of baked goods will be available.

The church fund-raiser will be from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the church's social hall at 5923 Woodville Road, near Mount Airy in Frederick County.

Prices will be $3.75 for an adult pancake meal, $4.75 for an adult fried chicken platter, and $2 for either meal for children ages 5 to 8. Kids 4 and under can eat free. All proceeds will go to the church's building fund.

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