In Union Bridge, a fall celebration Benefit: Carroll County festival raises money to repay the town hall construction loan.

September 18, 1998|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

Take a walking or bicycling tour, visit a railroad museum or drop off old tires at Union Bridge's annual Fall Fest from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow.

The festival, a fund-raiser to help pay off the new town hall mortgage, will be held at Lehigh Park on the grounds of Lehigh Portland Cement Co., 117 S. Main St.

The event begins with a breakfast from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post, 115 Penrose St. It will include crafts and flea market sales, tours of the Lehigh plant, train and cement manufacturing equipment displays, an antique car show, state police dog demonstrations, pony and fire engine rides and a story theater for children.

New activities include a Volksmarch -- "people walk" in German -- a ride-at-your-own-pace bike tour and a chance to visit the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society Museum at 41 N. Main St.

The Volksmarch, sponsored by the Carroll County-based Piedmont Pacers, will be a "demonstration walk," said Ed Tecco, Pacers president. Festival sponsors recruited the walking club too late to get official sanction from the national organization.

Volksmarchers earn points for sanctioned walks, and Tecco said he hopes to have a sanctioned walk at Fall Fest next year. The 3.5-mile route will cover Main Street, Route 75 and Ladiesburg Road. The walk is open to anyone without charge. Registration will be held from 9 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m. at the festival. Participants walk at their own pace.

A 15-mile bike tour also is open to the public. The registration fee of $10 per person, $20 per family, includes a T-shirt, snack and safety patrol along the route, which begins and ends in Union Bridge and winds through New Windsor.

"We're looking for just some people who'd like to ride for a while and then come to Fall Fest," said Councilwoman Karen L. Kotarski, a planning committee member.

The railway museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Visitors will be able to see a conductor's uniform, signal lanterns, tickets and other items used in passenger service on the Western Maryland Railroad. The museum occupies a railroad office built in 1902. It has been a museum since 1967.

Also new this year is a free tire drop-off. Lehigh Portland Cement will accept tires from cars or half-ton pickup trucks for tire-burning furnaces that fire cement kilns.

"We're trying to make it available for area residents who have a couple of tires in their garage," said David Roush, Lehigh plant manager. Commercial tire haulers are barred, he said.

The 7-year-old festival raises between $2,000 to $3,000 a year to help pay off the mortgage on the town hall.

Union Bridge is repaying the $200,000 construction loan it took out in 1993 with pancake breakfasts, raffles and a souvenir sale rather than raise taxes.

The years of volunteer efforts have whittled the debt to $155,795.

Pub Date: 9/18/98

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