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Town festival creates a peach buzz

August 12, 2000

Town festival creates a peach buzz



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer


LEITERSBURG - Trudy and Frank Maier traveled 150 miles from Wilmington, Del., to the 21st annual Leitersburg Peach Festival Saturday because they heard the ice cream was worth the effort.

They heard right, said the couple, who plan to take a half-bushel of fresh peaches back to Delaware.

"By the time we get home, they'll be gone," joked Frank Maier.

The Maiers were among more than 8,000 visitors expected at this year's festival, said Leitersburg Ruritan member Pete Cowan, who co-chaired the event.

Throngs of people crowded the tiny town about six miles northeast of Hagerstown Saturday to enjoy the event's food, entertainment, vendors and children's activities.

Cowan and fellow Ruritan member Charlie Rice had their hands full managing the peach pie sales table, at which they expected to sell more than 1,000 of the sweet confections, Cowan said.

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"Sales are peachy," Rice said.

Williamsport resident Bob Horst had no problem polishing off a plate of peach pie a la mode.

"It's delicious," he said.

Under the big pavilion, four Ruritan volunteers steadily dipped peach ice cream from five-gallon containers. Leitersburg Ruritan Treasurer Tom McCall said that to accommodate the crowd he would likely have to order more than the 270 gallons of ice cream he had on hand for the weekend.

Smithsburg peach grower John Martin peddled the plump products of a bountiful growing season, expecting to sell about 125 bushels of peaches at the festival, he said.

"It's a very good time for us to promote our product and build upon our customer base," said Martin, who owns Ivy Hill Farm.

Many festival-goers toted fruity and fried foods as they browsed dozens of vendor tents boasting everything from NASCAR birdhouses to miniature windmills.

Eastern Shore artist Jack O'Brien's whimsical woodworks drew the attention of many shoppers, and Baltimore silversmith Alejandro Amezcua said the festival was " a beautiful day for me."

Most of the event's vendors donated products for the festival's twice hourly raffle, organizers said.

Kids relished pony rides provided by H.F. Pony Parties of Huntingtown, Md.

The pony ring was the first stop for Hagerstown youngster Daryl Knode, said his mother, Kim Smith. The beaming 4-year-old had only one word about his equestrian experience: "Good."

Taylor Jones, 3, of Zullinger, Pa., didn't mind getting her hands slimy with goat saliva at the petting zoo, but she wasn't too pleased when the sheep wouldn't take the feed grain she offered them.

"They wouldn't eat," she said.

The Leitersburg Peach Festival continues from noon to 5 p.m. today.

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