Heritage and more

Ninth annual Smithsburg Pride Days features military living history, railroad heritage, arts and crafts

Ninth annual Smithsburg Pride Days features military living history, railroad heritage, arts and crafts

July 18, 2002|by KEVIN CLAPP

It was an event without a name, a celebration of past and present wrapped up in a two-day community salute to civic pride.

"We felt it was more than our heritage," says co-organizer Charlie Slick. "We are proud of our heritage and we are proud of our present."

And so Smithsburg Pride Days were born, the ninth edition of which will bow this weekend to showcase all that was, and is, good about the eastern Washington County town.


From a fun run and baseball games to local groups manning food tables, Pride Days is the extension of the town's 175th birthday party in 1988. Slick and Nick Shillinger birthed the festival as a way to bring the ever-expanding community together. Since 1982, Slick says, the town has grown from 800 to more than 2,500 people.

"Everyone we talk to seems to look forward to it every year," Shillinger says. "There are a variety of things going on so there's always something that appeals to someone."

New this year is a World War I living history display at Veteran's Park on West Water Street. This display joins a Civil War living history display at St. Anne's Church; both are gateways to a time gone by through which residents can go to learn about the past.

Slick says town history will also be marked by the event program, featuring biographical sketches and photos of 10 names from Smithsburg's history. Starting with town founder Christopher Smith, others recognized in the booklet include Smithsburg's first merchant, Issac Gehr, and school master George Pearson.

"I would hope every town would be proud, and every citizen of the town would have an interest in the town beyond being a reasonable place to live," Slick says. "The things we highlight are the things that have attracted them and hopefully make them proud to make Smithsburg their home."


Pride Days

Saturday, July 20

6 to 10 a.m. - Pancake, egg and sausage breakfast at community fire house.

8:30 a.m. - Fun Run at Carnival grounds off North Main Street; 5K run follows at 9 a.m.

10 a.m. - Tennis tournament at Smithsburg High School tennis courts

11 a.m. - Parade on Water Street and Bradbury Avenue from FilTec to the tennis courts

7:30 to 8:30 - Karaoke on Railroad Lane

8:30 to 11:30 p.m. - Street dance on Railroad Lane

Sunday, July 21

8 a.m. - Community worship on the grounds of St. Anne's Church

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Car and truck show at carnival grounds

Saturday and Sunday:

Craft and food vendors along Maple Avenue and Railroad Lane.

Children's game and activities on the grounds of St. Anne's Church.

An exhibit by local artists and craftspeople at Trinity Lutheran Chapel.

Civil War Living History Display on the grounds of St. Anne's Church.

World War I Living History Display at Veterans' Park.

Emergency Medical Service will conduct blood pressure screenings.

A model railroad display on second floor of Smithsburg Town Hall.

K-9 demonstration at St. Anne's Church

Exhibit of school memorabilia at the Historical Society Heritage Room

If you go . . .

Smithsburg Pride Days

Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21


To Smithsburg: Take Md. 64 eastward. At intersection of Md. 64 and Md. 66/Water Street, turn left and follow into downtown Smithsburg. Maple Avenue and Railroad Lane will be closed.

For information, call 301-824-7154

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