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After the play, it was time for play

August 09, 1998|By MATTHEW BIENIEK

Simple pleasures were the rule at Wilbur's Olde Tyme County Fair on Saturday at Hagerstown Community College.

Face painting, toss games, balloons and a small Ferris wheel attracted about 40 children and parents on their way out of the Kepler Theater after seeing the play, "Charlotte's Web," at 2 p.m.

The fair was scheduled to continue through the afternoon with the largest crowds expected after the performances, said Carly Churchey, co-director of the fair.

The fair was organized by the Robinwood Encore Players, who also presented the play, she said.

"The main point is to let the kids enjoy the whole experience. And we kept the prices down," she said.

Almost all the games and activities cost a dollar.

A line of a dozen excited children stood in line for balloon man Paul Baker of Hagerstown. He's been twisting his air-filled art work for 10 years.

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Baker, who donated his time Saturday, was twisting a tiger made of orange balloons into shape for Matthew Bayless, 5, of Hagerstown. Matthew's older brother Michael, 9, wanted a mouse. After some twisting, plastic squeaking, and knotting, a blue mouse appeared.

Baker said he used 150 balloons by 3 p.m. and expected to use 300 by the fair's closing at 7 p.m.

Other kids crowded around Steve Livesay, who plays Templeton the rat in Charlotte's Web. Livesay was still in costume as Templeton. Wandering around the fair, he was trapped by eager children asking for an autograph.

They wanted Templeton's autograph, not Livesay's.

Courtney Shaw, 6, of Fairplay took the play home with her - on her face. A spider was painted on her face at the face-painting booth.

"It's Charlotte," she said.

"Slop the Hog" was another popular booth, drawing a small crowd. Kids tossed plastic vegetables into a hog's open mouth.The hog's face was painted on stiff paperboard with a hole cut in for the mouth. If kids got most of the plastic peppers, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers in, they won a prize.

Prizes included inflated beach balls and balloon baseball bats.

Joseph Minoglio, 4, of Boonsboro, has a good arm. His tosses missed only once; the plastic cucumber seemed to fade just before it got into the hog's mouth. Joseph then chose his prize, a yard-long inflated baseball bat taller than him. Joseph swung the bat about, pretending to be his favorite player- Cal Ripken Jr., he said.

The play remained the thing, even at the fair. Bethany Magner, 3, of Hagerstown, saw the play with her grandmother, Anita Magner.

"She's watched the video dozens of times," said Anita Magner.

What did Bethany enjoy most?

"The pig was the best," she said.

The fair ended Saturday, but a performance of the play is scheduled for 2 p.m. today. Tickets will be available at the door.

Proceeds from the fair go to the Hagerstown Community College Alumni Association's amphitheater project.

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