It's full steam ahead

September 23, 1999


Smithsburg Steam Engine and Craft Show

There will be a parade through town at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The show runs from 9 a.m. to after the parade Saturday, and from noon until 6 p.m. Sunday.

Proceeds benefit athletics at Smithsburg High School.

It's full steam ahead for the 25th annual Smithsburg Steam Engine and Craft show.

The Athletic Booster-sponsored event has raised more than $300,000 for Smithsburg High School sports since it started in 1975, and organizers anticipate a great turnout for the show's silver anniversary Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26.

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An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 visitors are expected to fill Smithsburg Fire Hall grounds this weekend, said Event Chairman Fred Hartley.


"It's a huge financial contribution that supports all our athletics, buys our uniforms and pays all major expenses," said Mark Feiser, president of Smithsburg Athletic Booster Club.

Smithsburg residents and store owners also benefit from the event, said committee member Mike Rohrer.

Yard sales abound, and show visitors frequent Smithsburg eateries and shops, he said.

The volunteer-run event is a fun and educational experience, organizers said.

Spectators can watch massive old sawmills, hay balers, stone crushers and threshers perform their tasks, and gas engines grind grains and run washing machines.

"You see how things were done on the farm 50 years ago," said committee member Wayne Smith.

Smith and fellow committee member Gerald Warren recently rebuilt a steam-engine powered antique sawmill that will cut logs into boards at the event. Another saw will churn out the branded cedar shingles that have become the show's trademark souvenirs.

Hagerstown artisan Howard Thomas's detailed replica of a Geiser threshing machine will be raffled to mark the event's 25-year milestone, Hartley said.

On Saturday, a parade featuring Smithsburg High School band and hordes of historic farm equipment will blow, pop and chug through town. On-lookers might want to keep a safe distance from parade participants.

"They bring in some of this stuff right off the farm," Hartley said. "It might still have cow dung on it."

Vendors will peddle their wares at the event's sanctioned crafts show, and a large flea market will boast items ranging from old tools to T-shirts, Hartley said.

Youngsters will enjoy the kiddie pedal tractor pull, and the whole family should prepare to feast.

Student athletes and other volunteers will sell a variety of food items, including chili dogs, steamers and country ham, crab cake and pork tenderloin sandwiches; polish sausages; bean soup; french fries; and homemade apple and pumpkin pies.

And don't forget to try a bowl of the popular Leopard stew, said Norma Yellott, chair of the food committee.

The stew's ingredients are a closely guarded secret, but Yellott gave a few clues.

"We go out the night before and catch all these leopards, and then we add dogs and all the other good stuff," she joked.

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