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Crafting community spirit

September 09, 2000

Crafting community spirit



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer


BOONSBORO - Alaina Webb propped her snowman against a tree and sat in the shade to nibble at her snow cone.

"I'm just thinking about decorating my house for Christmas and enjoying a last taste of summer," the Frederick, Md., resident said. "This is a good place to do it."

Webb was one of thousands of people who flocked to Shafer Park in Boonsboro on Saturday for the 29th annual Boonesborough Days celebration.

Sponsored by the Boonsboro Historical Society, the early American festival features more than 150 juried arts and crafts vendors, numerous food stands, entertainment and children's activities.

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The event also includes demonstrations of such 18th-century trades as soap making, basket weaving, chair caning, woodcarving, broom making, quilting and blacksmithing.

About 10,000 visitors were expected to attend this year's celebration, which continues through today, said Event Coordinator Lori Perkins.

"It really is a community-run event, and everyone in the community participates in it," Perkins said.

The popular event provides an excellent fund-raising venue for numerous school, civic and church groups, she said.

Boonsboro High School cheerleaders sold cheesecakes while the Band Boosters peddled old-fashioned root beer. The Washington County Historical Trust made its first appearance at the festival, raffling a doll house to raise money for historical preservation.

The South Mountain Relic & Coin Club displayed such historic wares as oxidized Civil War bullets.

Club members answered many questions about relic hunting and tried to recruit new members, said John Owens, who joined the club after visiting its booth at Boonesborough Days three years ago.

Nearby, the Boonsboro Lions Club's biggest annual fund-raiser sat in 5-gallon buckets and sizzled in hot grease.

The Lions bought 300 pounds of flour, 100 pounds of sugar, 30 pounds of baking powder, 75 pounds of powdered sugar and 40 dozen eggs to prepare for heavy sales at its funnel cake booth, said club member Dale Seburn.

Benevola U.M. Church in Boonsboro made 5,000 of its famous apple dumplings in anticipation of the event, said church member Mike Wounkins.

The Kettle Corn stand drew a crowd, including popcorn lovers like Collette Caniford, of Martinsburg, W.Va.

"It's worth waiting for," she said. "I discovered Boonesborough Days last year and I couldn't wait to come back."

Neither could many vendors.

"It's a very good show," said woodburner Dan Fout, of Burkittsville, Md. "It's been consistently good for the 20 years that I've been here."

Silver spoon jewelry makers Philip and Joanne Physioc of Hagerstown said they've been vending at Boonesborough Days for 27 years.

Ralph Hains, 55, of Marlowe, W.Va., said the show's food and large variety of arts, crafts and collectibles have drawn him to Shafer Park each year for 18 years.

"It's really nice. The booths are wonderful," said Joyce Mauer, who traveled from Baltimore with her family for the show.

Boonesborough Days boasts everything from fresh honey to handmade hats. There are flowers, quilts, paintings, weather vanes and holiday items galore.

For children, there are the park's playground and such activities as pony rides.

A community worship service at 10 a.m. will begin today's festivities, and antique cars will be on display throughout the day.

Admission is free.

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