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21st Apple harvest festival

October 18, 2000

21st Apple harvest festival



By KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer


Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival is coming of age. The event marks its 21st year this weekend in Berkeley County, W.Va.

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The festival, as all-American as apple pie and a marching band, will have apple pie and marching bands and much more. The weekend will be full of entertainment, fireworks, arts and crafts, and apple-pie baking, apple-peeling and eating contests. The highlight of the Apple Harvest Festival, the Grand Feature Parade, will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21.

The Clear Spring High School Blazer Band, which took first place in last year's 20th-anniversary parade, is getting ready to defend that title and reclaim the trophy the school won several times in the last decade.

"Clear Spring has always been known as a parade band. That's something they've been famous for," says Jennifer Stouffer, band director.

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Clear Spring High School doesn't have a football team, but the band plays in field formation at soccer games and some field shows. Kari Mowen, 17, a senior who plays baritone saxophone, likes parades. The band has to work together as a whole, she says. It's easier to communicate because the marching musicians are closer together. There's no individual here. "It's a big team," she says.

"We're very good on the street. That's sort of our forte," says Brian Hose, the Blazer band's senior drum major. Brian, 17, will get a good workout leading the band Saturday. He'll be marching backward, using the trumpet line as his guide, looking over his shoulder every few steps.

Micah Socks, 17, a Clear Spring High School senior, plays sousaphone, a member of the tuba family.

Socks is usually tired after toting the heavy instrument. He'll be tired Saturday. The Apple Harvest parade will travel a two-and-a-half mile route through Martinsburg, says Christopher Ross, parade coordinator. Ross expects approximately 225 units. "It's growing every year."

Grand marshal for this year's festival is Doug Hill, who will become Washington, D.C.'s WJLA-TV chief meteorologist Dec. 1. Hill was in Martinsburg last fall doing live broadcasts for WUSA, another D.C. television station. He met some of the festival organizers, who invited him to the 2000 event.

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