Plan your summer in Washington County

November 30, 1999|By TOM RIFORD / Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Can you believe it? It's June already! There are a lot of things happening this month and next so have a great summer, and explore Washington County!

First of all, congratulations should go out to all the folks with the Friends of Fort Frederick, and with the staff and management of Fort Frederick State Park.

The 250th Anniversary Weekend was a great event, and the fireworks show and the band music on Saturday night was terrific. Thanks also go out to LeRoy Myers who sponsored the fireworks show.

Hundreds and hundreds of people came to Fort Frederick from throughout the country, and from all reports, it was a terrific event. The hundreds of re-enactors, representing Maryland military might from 1756 until today, were awesome and the Pass In Review was wonderful to watch.


Blues Fest

The 11th Annual Western Maryland Blues Fest is under way and concludes on Sunday. The line-up of acts this year might be the best ever.

Families should not forget about the free events provided by Citicorp. For more information, call the Visitors Welcome Center at 301-791-3246, or go to

National Road Yard Sale

The Historic National Road Yard Sale has begun and ends on Sunday. I understand that people are welcome to drive along the National Road, from Boonsboro to Hancock, looking for yard sale bargains.

People all along America's first federally-funded highway are planning yard sales. This national event, which runs from May 31 to June 4, stretches along the entire National Road, in celebration of the road's 200th anniversary.

Pen Mar Park Concerts

The Pen Mar Park Concerts have begun. Sunday afternoons are always special in the "cool" part of Washington County.

Come up and enjoy the music, and the view. The concerts are held Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. in historic Pen Mar Park.

For more information about the park go to

Great parks

There are many great county parks in Washington County, why not see a few this summer? Explore your own back yard.

I recently made a presentation to a group of residents who have lived here all their lives, and they had never been to Camp Harding Park, Devils Backbone Park, Mt. Briar Wetland Preserve, or walked over Wilson's Bridge.

On the links

We have one of the best golf courses in Maryland right here ? Black Rock Golf Course, which was voted favorite golf course by members of the Maryland Municipal League.

It's a great county-owned facility, very reasonably priced, and rated one of the best courses in the mid-Atlantic.

Come out and play Washington County's course!

Parks, parks

I remind people frequently that Washington County has five national parks (all or part of then are located here), eight state parks, and more than 30 county and city parks. You certainly shouldn't have a tough time finding a park to explore. We have hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, fishing, canoeing, and more.


Our museums are rolling out an incredible summer schedule, too. Please take in Railroad Heritage Days June 10-11.

There are many wonderful exhibits set for the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, the Rural Heritage Museum, Discovery Station, and the Miller House.

Have you visited the Pry House Field Hospital Museum at Antietam National Battlefield? What about seeing the Williamsport Town Museum, or the Hancock Town Museum, or how about the Geiser Mason Farm Museum? Ever seen the Battle of Funkstown Re-enactment, which is set for June 10 -11.

Wild West Showdown

A fun family event starts up this month ? the Wild West Showdown at Antietam Recreation. Have you ever seen a world-champion roper perform? Horses, stunts, songs, and a lot more. This is truly a hidden gem right in our own home town.

Last summer, The Washington Post published an in-depth (and very complimentary) article about Antietam Recreation, and its Western-themed summer show. This year's show is expected to be even better. Antietam Recreation is just outside Funkstown. For more information, go to


There are a lot of carnivals and festivals scheduled during the next two months. Hancock's is set for June 6 -10. Smithsburg's is set for June 26 through July 1.

Great events

By the way, don't forget to mark your calendars for July 1. Several great events are on tap for that Saturday, including the Miss Maryland Pageant's final night of competition, the Hagerstown Suns and the CVB give-away of 1,000 George Washington Bobbleheads at the Suns baseball game, and the annual MSO Salute to Independence at Antietam. Our nation's 230th birthday is going to be celebrated with a bang.

There are a lot of things to see and do this summer. Visit our local parks and museums, and take in some of the fun family events. Check out the Washington County Arts Council for some additional ideas, too.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization whose mission includes helping attract visitors to Hagerstown and Washington County. The CVB helps to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing and expanding the local visitor industry.

Tom Riford is president and chief executive officer of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. He can be reached at 301-791-3246. His column appears monthly in The Daily Mail. The CVB's Web site is at

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