Apple Festival draws record numbers to Piney Run Park


October 01, 2002|By Debra Taylor Young | Debra Taylor Young,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WITH THE HELP of beautiful fall weather, Piney Run Park Apple Festival drew a record crowd of about 2,200 during the weekend.

Volunteers headed to the park early Saturday with flags decorated with red apples flying from their vehicles to attract visitors. The volunteers had made all the preparations in the preceding weeks for the park fund-raiser.

Naturalist Elaine Sweitzer arrived early to set up her Early American cooking demonstration. She was dressed in period garb, and prepared ham and bean soup, Indian pumpkin bread, apple cobbler and a recipe called "Bubble and Squeak" over an open fire.

The dish is called Bubble and Squeak "because the recipe truly bubbles and squeaks while preparing it over the fire," said Sweitzer, who noted that the vegetable dish recipe was genuine, including lard as one of the ingredients.

She said that she and Polly Tomlinson were having a great time cooking and sharing free samples with festivalgoers who visited her campsite in the woods.

Next to her campsite, Ted McNett, from Hanover, Pa., made sourdough bread over another open fire. He served free samples of the crusty bread with freshly churned butter that had been prepared at an earlier demonstration. McNett, also dressed in period clothes of the early settlers, said he has participated in the festival every year.

Other exhibits in the woods included iron forging, bee keeping, hand-crafted soaps and cosmetics, a pottery booth for children where they painted small pottery animals to take home, hand-crafted jewelry and other craft items.

Bill Tierney of Sykesville took his two birds of prey to the woods for an exhibit that drew many onlookers. His red-tailed hawk and small falcon were tethered, but occasionally tried to fly off. He said the birds hunt rabbits and other small prey.

Another festival attraction was scarecrow making. Dozens of newly stuffed scarecrows lined the fence of the tennis courts, waiting to be taken home after the festival.

Ken Koerner and his three sons, Jacob, 5, and twins Ethan and Brandon, 2, stuffed hay into a pair of jeans for their scarecrow. Koerner said the event was a family tradition, although the twins spent a good deal of time playing in the hay, rather than stuffing the scarecrow. Tessa Mikoloski, 13, of Sykesville was among the volunteers assisting under the large tent.

Pontoon rides, mule-drawn wagon rides and tractor-pulled hayrides took place throughout the day.

But the most popular attractions at the festival were the apple treats. Long lines formed at the concession pavilions for apple dumplings and fritters, apple pies, pressed cider and baked goods.

Volunteer Alina Brand, 13, said more than 300 apple dumplings of the 500 prepared for the festival were sold by 2 p.m., and the lines were still forming.

By 4 p.m., when the festival ended, the apple dumplings had been sold out (about 3 p.m.) and most of the pumpkins for sale were gone.

Park manager Loren Lustig said the record turnout could have been attributed partially to sunny weather.

Sykesville festival

Sykesville is holding its 29th annual Fall Fest from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday on Main Street. The theme is "Family Day the Sykesville Way."

The event will begin with St. Barnabas Episcopal Church serving a pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., with sit-down and take-out orders available. The breakfast will include choices of plain or blueberry pancakes with syrup, sausage, fresh fruit and a beverage for $5. Coffee, muffins, or other baked goods also will be available for $1.25. The breakfast will be at the St. Barnabas Parish House, 7609 Main St.

Festival activities will begin with a performance by Liberty High School Marching Band. The entertainment also is to include a self-defense demonstration by Tri-Star Martial Arts and International Tae Kwon Do Academy, a fitness exhibition by the Family Branch of Carroll County YMCA and a performance by Sykesville Raiders All Star Dance Team.

Art Twigg will impersonate Robert E. Lee in an authentic setting of the general's field encampment. Boy Scout Troop 716 will make scarecrows on demand. Children's activities will include a hayride, face painting and games.

Model trains depicting layouts of the Sykesville and Patapsco Railway will be on display. Children can ride the Little Sykes Rail Road on Sandosky Road. Crafts, door prizes, and a 50-50 drawing at 4:30 p.m. will be part of the daylong event. DJ Mike will provide music throughout the day.

Baldwin's Pub will have a bluegrass band, juvenile piping band, dance troupe and Kangaroo Kids jump rope demonstration. Tickets for the Christmas Historic House Tour and Gate House Museum's dinner dance will be available in town.

The St. Paul's United Methodist Church women will hold a bake sale. Carroll County Department of Health will offer free blood pressure screening. Main Street businesses will be open for shopping.

Shuttle bus service will be available from the Warfield complex on Route 32 all day.

Fall Fest information: 410-795- 8959. Breakfast information: 410-795-0767.

Debra Taylor Young's neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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