THE ARRIVAL of autumn will be followed closely by Westminster's annual Fallfest, which is scheduled for Sept. 25-28.
The popular weekend family event begins with a parade at 7 p.m. on that Thursday. The parade will start near Western Maryland College and continue along Main Street past the library and then along Longwell Avenue. The parade route ends at East Middle School.
On Thursday and Friday nights, children can ride amusement rides all night for $7.
The Reisterstown Jazz Ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday. Entertainment on other nights includes: Glass Hammer, 7 p.m. Friday; Roadsters, 7 p.m. Saturday; Jazz Caravan, noon Sunday; and Ashley Marie, my daughter, at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Clowns, magicians and jugglers will rove the grounds all four days, entertaining crowds.
Look for the contests: scarecrow making, pie eating, karaoke, balloon toss and hula hoop.
Other activities include a petting zoo, specialty cars, bingo, children's creative corner, scarecrow making, pony rides and games.
Shoppers can take advantage of Midnight Madness shopping on Friday, when most merchants will be open until midnight.
Fallfest was first held in 1978 to celebrate the revitalization of downtown Westminster.
The event is expected to draw about 40,000 people. There will be more than 200 vendors, who will sell foods, crafts and trinkets, and hand out information.
Festival hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Information: 410-848-6962 or 410-876-1313.
Bridging the gap
Recently, St. Benjamin's Lutheran Church in Westminster brought together its youngest and oldest members in a ceremony at Carroll Lutheran Village.
Creason Schaefer -- infant daughter of the church's pastor, the Rev. David Schaefer, and his wife, Lexi -- was baptized by the Rev. Jimmie Schwartz, chaplain at Carroll Lutheran Village.
Marie Koontz, the oldest member of the church, witnessed the event.
The church's newest member is already accompanying her father on calls to visit sick and shut-in members.
The baptism ceremony at Carroll Lutheran Village was special in more ways than one. Koontz is a resident there, and Creason's mother is the volunteer coordinator.
School raises funds
The Westminster High School Student Senate has selected the Johns Hopkins Children's Fund for its service project.
The group will collect money from students, teachers and visitors in red buckets placed throughout the school. In addition, NTC the senate will donate its time to helping critically ill children.
In other high school news, the Westminster High School Class of 1999 is repeating its wreath sale.
Fresh 20-inch wreaths will be fully decorated with blue-berried juniper, yellow-budded incense cedar and ponderosa pinecones (but no bows).
Wreaths cost $15, and orders must be received by Oct. 24. Wreaths will be delivered to the school and can be picked up at the main entrance Dec. 6.