Offering a heroic Fourth of July display

For its holiday celebration, Farm Museum will honor Carroll residents' personal heroes

July 02, 2006

A new display at the Carroll County Farm Museum's old-fashioned July 4 celebration on Tuesday will feature a Wall of Heroes, a tribute to the everyday person who has made a difference in someone else's life.

The Farm Museum, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, invited Carroll residents to nominate their personal hero -- be it a parent, grandparent, teacher, soldier, student, or whoever -- and send in their story.

"At every event we always try to add something that's new to the time. And since everybody needs heroes, Sharon Martin, our events coordinator, came up with the idea that heroes don't have to be firemen or policemen, but can be everyday people," said Dottie Freeman, the Farm Museum's executive director.

Jackie Koch, the museum's marketing assistant, laminated the more than 30 names with their stories for display on portable walls. Nominees have been invited with a free ticket to the day's activities, Freeman said.

"It warms your heart to know people look up to some people," Freeman said. "You need your own personal hero. I nominated my husband because without him, I wouldn't be here."

Freeman said her husband has always encouraged her to do things she hasn't had the confidence to do, including turning in an application for her job with the museum.

The heroes include a 19-year-old man who died in a car accident, nominated by his cousin; a father who is an Army combat medic; Marine Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who died in Iraq; teachers and guidance counselors; a disabled student; a 92-year-old school volunteer; a good Samaritan who helped a car accident victim; and four firefighters who died in the line of duty.

The museum opens at noon Tuesday for festivities that begin with the raising of the American flag, and the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner."

Ray Owens returns to present his "Hats Off to America" show, followed by entertainment from Old Line Statesmen Barbershop Chorus, General Store country group, Carroll County Cloggers, and oldies performers Big Cam & the Lifters.

Deputy Sheriff 1st Class Steve Anderson will bring three German shepherd K-9 dogs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for demonstrations.

Families are welcome to take their own picnic lunch or buy food at the event.

Other vendors will offer a variety of handmade crafts and treasures.

Tours of the newly redecorated farmhouse, featuring six rooms depicting 19th-century farm life, will be given from noon to 6 p.m. by costumed tour guides.

Volunteer artisans will demonstrate skills performed in the 1800s from noon to 6 p.m. in the Living History Center.

Wagon master Jim Saylor and his team of mules will also give scenic excursions around the grounds at that time, for a fee.

"We'll have old fashioned games and the inflatables for children," Freeman said. "That seems to pass the time away, give the kids something to do and it helps the parents to relax a little bit, too."

Fun Events LLC of Taneytown will provide entertainment for children from noon to 8 p.m. for a one-time fee.

"The music will go on 'til 7 p.m., and a lot of food vendors will stay late, until 8 p.m. or so, too, because that's when people get hungry," Freeman said.

WTTR-AM 1470 radio station will broadcast throughout the day, interviewing staff, participants and visitors, and providing traffic updates.

The Rotary Clubs of Carroll County will sponsor the fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.

"We're encouraging people to get in and get parked early for the fireworks," Freeman said, "because what happens is, in the past, people called at 9 p.m. and wanted to know if we're doing the fireworks, but the roads are going to be closed at 8:30 p.m. coming into the Farm Museum and they're not going to get in."

No personal fireworks, pets, alcohol, smoke bombs or sparklers will be permitted on the grounds.

If it rains, the fireworks will be displayed at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Farm Museum is at 500 S. Center St. in Westminster. General admission is $5 for adults, $3 for ages 7 to 18, 60 and older; and free for those 6 and younger from noon to 5 p.m. only.

Free parking is available until 5 p.m., when a $5 per car parking donation will be collected from the Rotary Clubs to assist with the fireworks cost. Information: 410-386-3880 or

July 4 traffic patterns

In preparation for the fireworks display at the Carroll County Farm Museum Tuesday night, Center Street and Kate Wagner Road will be closed to incoming traffic at 8:30 p.m.

Those coming to the fireworks must be on the grounds and parked by that time or risk being turned back.

WTTR radio will give traffic updates throughout the day.

To facilitate the smooth and orderly flow of traffic, these traffic patterns and parking restrictions will be implemented:

No parking along Center Street, Gist Road, Smith Avenue or Kate Wagner Road.

All traffic leaving the farm museum lot will use two lanes and be directed out Center Street toward Route 140. Vehicles will be allowed to turn left on Green Street and Main Street or proceed out to Route 140. East Main and East Green streets will be closed to through traffic between South Center Street and Washington Road.

All traffic leaving the Agriculture Center parking lot must use Smith Avenue to Gist Road toward Kate Wagner Road. Starting at Gist Road and Smith Avenue, both lanes of Gist Road will be one way only to Kate Wagner Road.

Traffic will then proceed right to Route 27 or left toward Route 32 (Washington Road). Kate Wagner Road also will be two lanes exiting: the right lane toward Route 27 and the left lane to Route 32.

Traffic exiting from the farm museum will have priority.

Maryland State Police and Westminster Police Department will be on hand directing traffic.

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