Pecks of peaches at fest

August 11, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

Toddler Henry Garazo wore the blue ribbon for the best two-crust peach pie Saturday at the 23rd Annual Leitersburg Peach Festival.

Henry earned the award for not waking while his mother, Amy-Beth Garazo, was baking her cardamom- and cinnamon-flavored Spicy Peach Pie the night before the contest, she said.

"Henry definitely helped me make it by sleeping quietly so I could bake," said Garazo, 33, of Leitersburg.

Eleven pies were entered in the festival's trademark contest, with Garazo winning the two-crust category and Jessica Cook of Leitersburg capturing the blue ribbon for her single-crust pie, event organizer Margaret Byrd said.


It's a contest Dorothy Henry of Greencastle, Pa., vowed never to judge again.

"It was too hard to pick just one winner," she said. "They all looked so good and tasted so good."

Garazo's unconventional spice combination made her pie a standout, but the cook said it was probably the fresh peaches which made her dessert a winner. She bought them at a stand near Leitersburg on Friday, she said.

"I smelled two kinds and picked the one that smelled the sweetest," Garazo said.

Hundreds of festival-goers sampled peaches fresh off the tree, in ice cream and pies at the event sponsored by the Leitersburg Ruritan Club at Leitersburg Community Park.

About 10,000 people were expected to attend the two-day festival, organizers said.

John R. Martin, co-owner of Ivy Hill Farm in Smithsburg, expected to sell about 300 bushels of peaches at his festival stand throughout the weekend, he said.

"It's so labor-intensive that we hate to see it come, but when we go to the bank on Monday, we say, 'Well, maybe it was worth it,' " Martin said.

Danielle Trego of Chambersburg, Pa., bit into one of Martin's juicy peaches after buying one-half peck at his stand.

"It's one of the best I've ever had," she said.

Sussie Berger of Williamsport let the sun soften the fresh peach ice cream for which she and her husband, Marvin, return to the festival year after year, she said.

Five-year-old Miranda Embly of Hagerstown said she preferred ponies to peaches. Miranda and other youngsters enjoyed the pony rides at the event's petting zoo.

Sabrina Green, 5, said she would rather stroke goat fur than handle fuzzy peaches.

"I like goats. I want to get in the pen and pet all of them," she said.

Tyler Stottlemeyer, 6, of Greencastle, Pa., was more interested in hard tack than soft fruit. He explored Civil War history at Ron and Barbara Benedict's period encampment, rubbing his fingers over the hard tack, lead dice, bullets and other artifacts the Frederick, Md., couple had on display for festival visitors.

The Benedicts, who organize the annual Battle of Funkstown re-enactment, have been setting up camp for the weekend at the Leitersburg Peach Festival since 1989 to help educate the public about the life of Civil War soldiers, they said.

The festival featured a small battle re-enactment until the event's arts and crafts area mushroomed over into the "battlefield," Ron Benedict said.

"I don't mind battling in fields but I'm not going into battle around craftspeople," he said.

More than 70 vendors sold everything from house plants, baskets and jewelry to candles, wooden toys and quilted pillow and purses.

In addition to peach treats, festival food included pork barbecue sandwiches, funnel cakes, French fries and sausage.

If you go

What: 23rd Annual Leitersburg Peach Festival.

When: Today, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Leitersburg Community Park.

Cost: Free admission and parking.

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