Westminster Fallfest celebrates 28th year

September 18, 2005

The 28th annual Westminster Fallfest, a welcome to autumn, opens with a parade today and several new events during the week.

Fallfest provides thousands of dollars to nonprofit organizations each year. This year's charities are Carroll Hospice, Habitat for Humanity of Carroll County, Missions of Mercy and Residents Attacking Drugs.

The first new event is a Fallfest Road Mile Race starting at 4 p.m. just before the parade. The Central Maryland Athletic Club is hosting the race along the parade route from Monroe Street to Pennsylvania Avenue to Main Street to East Middle School on Longwell Avenue. The entry fee for the race, open to all ages, is $15.

The Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main St., will be showing free classic cartoons from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. today. Patrons can come and go as they wish for the short features.

Another new event is Dine Out Westminster on Tuesday. From 4 p.m. until closing, select restaurants will donate 10 percent of all their food sales to Fallfest. Participating eateries include Frisco Family Pub, Harry's Main Street Grille, Ledo Pizza, Legends Cafe, Maggie's, Baugher's, Parks Landing and Texas Roadhouse.

The festival opens Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the city playground off Longwell Avenue. Rides, food, games and entertainment will be featured. Scotty Williams & Lost Junction will perform country music.

Friday's highlight is Midnight Madness shopping. Downtown shops will remain open for business until midnight, offering specials, treats and entertainment, including Jodi Harman and Kim Hall from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the Westminster Drum Circle from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on the Locust Lane stage.

Wheeler Automotive Group will display antique cars on Main Street, which will be blocked off.

Also Friday, the Carroll County Arts Council will show the James Dean movie Rebel Without a Cause at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Carroll Arts Center. Tickets are $5, or $4 for Arts Council members, children younger than 12 and seniors older than 60.

Festival hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, and Dean Crawford & the Dunn's River Band will perform country music.

Things swing from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday with vendor exhibits, a WTTR karaoke contest at 1 p.m., a celebrity pie-eating contest at 4:30 p.m., Beatwater (Beatles and rock) from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and teen time from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the YMCA.

Some events may require registration and have a small fee. The karaoke contest is $3 for adults and $2 for children; call 410-848-9000 for details. YMCA teen time is $5; call 410-848-3660 to register.

The biggest new Fallfest event is a High Octane Muscle & Dream Car Show from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sept. 25 at the Carroll County Agriculture's Shipley Arena on Smith Avenue. The show will feature $7 million worth of cars on display inside and outside on the grounds, autographs by the Legends of Drag Racing, vendors, a 50/50 raffle, and a raffle for two tickets to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. Admission to the car show is $10 for everyone older than 10.

Weekend vendors include nonprofit organizations promoting their activities. The Shepherd's Staff uses Fallfest to launch its Call for Coats program to collect winter coats for the needy.

Fallfest concludes Sept. 25 from noon to 6 p.m. Damon Foreman will perform jazz and funk.

All-you-can-ride specials are offered all four days (noon to 6 p.m. only Saturday and Sept. 25) for $15. Coupons for $3 off are available on Fallfest brochures around town.

Information: 410-848-9000.

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