Taneytown leaders start a town festival Aug. 24 Community celebration hoped to boost city image

August 01, 1996|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

It wasn't lost on Taneytown's community leaders that most other Carroll County towns have an annual festival. Westminster has Fallfest; Hampstead, Hampstead Day; Manchester, Manchester Days; and Union Bridge has its annual community picnic.

This year, the city's Economic Development Commission will sponsor Celebrate Taneytown, a day of entertainment and activities related to Civil War history that organizers hope will jump-start residents' pride and improve the city's image.

The festival is scheduled Aug. 24 at Taneytown Memorial Park on West Baltimore Street.

"I want them to leave here with a warm, fuzzy feeling about Taneytown," said festival chairman Edward D. Leister, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Taneytown Bank and Trust Co. and a member of the Economic Development Commission (EDC). "We feel most of the outside world has a very negative view of Taneytown."

A consultant's 1995 marketing and economic development plan for Taneytown didn't directly address reasons for its poor image, but pointed out that the downtown area could benefit from cleanups of trash that had accumulated in corners and of weeds growing through sidewalks along Baltimore Street, the main thoroughfare.

"I think that's happening," Leister said. "I feel like the town is making a genuine effort to organize."

Mayor W. Robert Flickinger hopes for good weather and a large crowd at Celebrate Taneytown. "We're not planning on this being a moneymaker, we just want a lot of people to come," he said.

Leister's committee put together Celebrate Taneytown in four months without a budget allocation from the EDC. If it becomes an annual event, the commission probably will contribute part of the cost, he said.

Organizers took a suggestion from the Chesapeake Group Inc.'s 1995 marketing study. The consultants urged local leaders to capitalize on Taneytown's proximity to Gettysburg with activities linked to Civil War history. Although no battles were fought in Taneytown, soldiers camped there on the way to the Battle of Gettysburg.

Celebrate Taneytown will feature encampments by local Civil War enactment units, firing of an 1841 cannon, an antique car show and a quilting bee. A steam calliope will play each hour. Early gasoline engines will shell corn, and a blacksmith and a glassblower will demonstrate their crafts.

Entertainment will include jazz, bluegrass and Celtic harp music and a performance by magician Roger Lindsay.

Pub Date: 8/01/96

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