Spud Fest offers a day of old-fashioned fun

August 14, 2003|by KATE COLEMAN

There's something Tom Sawyerish about Spud Fest, the Saturday, Aug. 16, event sponsored by Friends of the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum.

Remember how in Mark Twain's book "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" Tom got his friends to whitewash the fence for him? He even got them to pay for the privilege of doing his work.

You won't have to pay to help harvest potatoes at Spud Fest, though. The festival will include rewards aplenty with games and food.


James Reeder, president of the museum committee, grew up on a farm south of Boonsboro and didn't think "digging potatoes" was fun when he was a kid.

But for kids who've never dug potatoes, who've never experienced seeing that potatoes come from any place other than the grocery store shelf, picking up spuds in the field can be a fun, learning experience.

The museum and its supporters are working to preserve the heritage created by the people who came to the area and "hacked out" what has become the community we enjoy today, Reeder says.

Bill Poffenberger, a member of the Friends group, will borrow a horse to pull his grandfather's more than 100-year-old plow.

Velma Poffenberger (no relation) will lead the team that will slice the potatoes - on antique slicers - and cook them in an old butchering kettle. Cooking the potato slices in 350-degree old-fashioned lard will ensure their crispness, she says.

The homemade potato chips will be "nice and salty and greasy," Reeder says. "Cholesterol heaven," he laughs.

There will be old-fashioned games - three-legged races and a peanut scramble. Chuck Hulse will demonstrate marble-game skills.

A picnic lunch will be served at 1 p.m., and homemade ice cream will be available - another taste of the county's agricultural heritage.

If you go

Spud Fest

11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 16; picnic begins at 1 p.m.

Washington County Rural Heritage Museum
Washington County Agricultural
Education Center
7313 Sharpsburg Pike, Md. 65,

seven miles south of Hagerstown

Free, but donations are welcome.

Rain date is Saturday, Aug. 23.

For information, call 240-313-2839.

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