Town will spring into season with family festival


May 03, 2002|By Lesa Jansen | Lesa Jansen,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

NO MATTER what your interest, from fun and free family activities to pet and pie-eating contests, you're sure to find something distinctive at Mount Airy's annual Spring Fling this weekend.

The seventh celebration of the season will be packed with new events.

A revamped children's area - featuring a "Peanut Carnival" - juried crafts and demonstrations, traditional festival foods, among them cotton candy and popcorn, train rides, pet adoptions and free antiques appraisals are elements the Spring Fling committee wanted to include.

"It's really a celebration of life and ideas in a small town," said Ellen Bonde, Spring Fling committee member. "Our emphasis, though, is on children's and family activities. We've really spaced out the events and entertainment so that the whole family could enjoy the festival all day long or even if they just have a few hours to spend there."

The Spring Fling will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow on Main Street and the surrounding area in downtown Mount Airy.

An expanded children's area has been set up in the parking lot behind the former train station. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will staff game and craft booths designed for smaller children.

"We just wanted a lot of free, fun activities for families this year," said Bonde, part of the committee that has been planning the events since January.

A "Peanut Carnival" is designed for preschool and younger elementary school children. Each participating child is given a free bag of peanuts, which are used to "pay" for games such as bowling or beanbag toss. Winners get more peanuts to continue playing.

A free craft booth will be open for children to make picture frames to give as Mother's Day presents. Free train rides through downtown will be offered throughout the day. Storytellers from the Mount Airy library branch will entertain children on the steps of the former train station.

A moon bounce and game booths for older children will be open for a fee.

More than 70 vendors will set up along Main Street with food and crafts.

"It's a little different this year because the committee wanted everything sold to be handmade," said Bonde, "and we also wanted a good variety."

Jewelry, pottery and candles are among the items that will be sold. Some artisans will demonstrate their crafts.

Animal enthusiasts can see llamas and alpacas from local farms at an animal area next to the former F & M Bank building. The Frederick County Humane Society and Tails of Hopes Sanctuary will offer cats and dogs for adoption.

Pet contests for dogs, cats and fish will run throughout the day. Categories include best dressed, most patriotic and best-performed pet trick.

Entertainment will be featured in two areas along Main Street. Local teen bands Americum Actinide and Infuseon will perform, as will local resident Steve Flynn, whose repertoire includes songs made popular by Frank Sinatra.

Spring Fling Schedule:

10 a.m.: Americum Actinide, main stage south of Park Avenue and Main Streets.

10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m.: Storyteller on back porch of train station.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Free antiques appraisals at Shops of Yesteryear. Limit of two items per person.

11:30 a.m.: Martial arts demonstration, Center and Main streets.

Noon to 5 p.m.: Pet contests on back porch of train station. Noon, dogs; 1:30 p.m., cats; 2:30 p.m., birds; 3 p.m., reptiles; 3 p.m., fish; 4 p.m., small animals and exotics.

12:30 p.m.: Infuseon, main stage.

12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.: pie-eating contests, Center and Main streets.

3 p.m.: Steve Flynn, main stage.

Free parking will be available at Mount Airy Firemen's Activity Center on Route 27 and Twin Arch Road. Free shuttle buses will run throughout the day.

Information: 301-829-1424.

Museum wish list

The Mount Airy museum has issued its wish list.

"Topping our list is finding a new site for our museum," said Travis Norwood, a member of Mount Airy Historical Society. "We're perfectly happy where we are in the town's building on Main Street, but we do need more room for display and storage, and maybe somebody in the business community will step up and offer us some space."

The museum also wants photos of town founder Henry Bussard; three former mayors, Lycurgus Clary, Gasaway Molesworth and Frank J. Lewis; council election results from 1894; old telephone books; bills of sale of local businesses from the 1800s through 1930; Mount Airy High School yearbooks from the 1920s through the 1940s; holiday cards from 1930 and earlier; and antique kitchen utensils.

The museum will be open throughout the day during the Spring Fling and is at Main Street and Park Avenue.

Information or donations: Travis Norwood, 301-829-0489.

Lesa Jansen's Southwest neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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