Celebrating fall at Festival on the Ridge


October 04, 2002|By Lesa Jansen | Lesa Jansen,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

PAINT A PUMPKIN, make a scarecrow or browse the more than 70 crafts and food booths during the weekend at Festival on the Ridge, Mount Airy's annual celebration of fall.

The festival will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with most activities held on Main Street, which will be closed to traffic.

"We really are aiming to entice families, young and old," said Ellie Bonde, a member of the planning committee.

The festival will offer live entertainment on two stages, a children's area and contests, including pet competitions, a beautiful-baby contest, and pie- and spaghetti-eating tournaments.

Free train rides for children and free hayrides for all ages will be offered both days.

A fantasyland for children and adults can be found on Prospect Road, a short walk from Main Street.

Mount Airy native Jack T. Raines and his wife, Lois, have transformed part of their back yard into a traditional English garden, with a miniature landscape traveled by six trains on more than a quarter-mile of track.

"All the work is worth it when you hear the oohs and aahs and see the smiles on people's faces and the looks on the faces of the kids when they see it," said Jack Raines, a retired carpenter.

His love of trains began when he was age 7.

"I was at a yard sale with my mom and dad, and we saw this American Flyer Train set for $50. Well, they said, `Jack, we just don't have the money for that,' and I said right then and there, `One of these days I'm going to have trains,'" said Raines.

Ten years ago, the Raineses created the 3,200-square-foot area where small electric trains wind through hills and valleys, villages, a dairy farm modeled after the one where Jack Raines grew up, and past a rowhouse like the one in Baltimore where Lois Raines' parents lived.

"Oh, we have circus tents, a hospital, a coal mine and a lot of depots and train stations, and even a tiny Camden Yards with Cal Ripken there," said Lois Raines. "But the thing that makes it feel real are the sounds, the chugs and puffs from the diesel and steam engines."

The Raineses have a playhouse made to resemble the Mount Airy train station for their grandchildren, Jacob, 5, and Danielle Riley, 2. The playhouse, and a motorized train big enough for children to ride, will be part of the festival.

The train garden is at 14119 Prospect Road, past the American Legion. Look for the red caboose mailbox.

The Festival on the Ridge schedule of events is:


11 a.m., karate demonstration, Center Street stage.

Noon, Mount Airy Performing Arts Center, Old Firehouse stage.

12:30 p.m., South Carroll High School Marching Band, Center Street stage.

1 p.m., Library story time near the old train station; vintage, oldies band, Old Firehouse stage.

2 p.m., Black Friday, acoustic music, Center Street stage.

4 p.m., a rap group, Old Firehouse stage.


11:30 a.m., Skyview Gymnastics, Center Street stage.

Noon, Second Mile Band, Old Firehouse stage.

1 p.m., Mount Airy Performing Arts Center, Old Firehouse stage.

1:30 p.m., Versatiles (a gospel group), Center Street stage.

2 p.m., Mount Airy Presbyterian Church Choir, Old Firehouse stage.

2:30 p.m., SRCS All Star Dance Team, Center Street stage.

3 p.m., Zion Mountain Boys, bluegrass, Old Firehouse stage; Steve Flynn, Sinatra songs, Center Street stage.

Information: 301-829-1424.

Community blood drive

Mount Airy Community Blood Drive, held Monday, met its goal of collecting 84 units of blood.

This is the 25th year for the blood drive, and chairwoman Mary Jo Burkett said she calculated that the community has collected 4,000 units of blood for the American Red Cross.

"We've had incredible community support," she said. "I think it's an outstanding thing for the community to have collected that amount of blood. Just think of all the people we have helped and all of the lives we have saved with those 4,000 units of blood."

Many Mount Airy service organizations and local churches have supported the community blood drive, which is held twice a year. The next blood drive is scheduled for March 31.

Information or to donate: 301-829-282 or 800-448-3543.

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

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