Hancock festival expands

September 11, 2003|by ANDREA ROWLAND

Hancock's Canal Apple Days festival marches into its 27th year this weekend with its biggest parade yet and an expanded palette of quality arts and crafts.

The festival - which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, at Widmyer Park - features live entertainment, food, arts and crafts, a parade, contests, classic cars and, of course, apples.

"We're looking forward to a great weekend," says Frank Stotler, a member of the sponsoring Hancock Lions Club.

Hancock police reported that between 8,000 and 10,000 people attended last year's festival - and organizers hope even more people will turn out to this year's celebration to watch the parade, listen to live music, eat and browse booths filled with hand-crafted items, event organizer Fran Shives says.


The Canal Apple Days parade will kick off the festivities at 11 a.m. Saturday with more than 100 units parading down Main Street from the Park-N-Dine restaurant to Widmyer Park. Participants include marching bands, floats, Tri-State area fire and rescue companies, classic cars, scouting groups, Shriners, majorette drum corps, Miss Berkeley County (W.Va.) 2003 Queen Jacki Truman and local politicians Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, Del. Leroy Myers, R-Allegany/Washington and Washington County Commissioners Dori Nipps and Jim Kercheval.

Mary Burral of Boonsboro, who served with the U.S. Army's 54th Engineer Battalion in Iraq until she was wounded, will serve as the parade's grand marshal, says Stotler, chairman of the parade.

Parade entrants will vie for more than $2,500 in prize money, he says.

At Widmyer Park, about 75 arts and crafts vendors will peddle wares ranging from portraits, slate paintings and wooden furniture to leather goods, jewelry and crafts created using butterflies, Shives says. His festival advertisement in several major metropolitan newspapers and a variety of arts industry publications helped to attract some interesting new vendors to the venue, he says.

"We're sold out," Shives says. "We have a lot more vendors."

Festival-goers also can indulge in such edibles as steak sandwiches, barbecued chicken, funnel cakes and apples in forms ranging from apple cider to apple dumplings. On Saturday, oldies band "Lost in the '50s" will take listeners on a trip down memory lane. And vocalist Maria Rose will entertain crowds on Sunday, Shives says.

The Hancock Lioness Club's baby contest will begin at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, with registration starting at 12:30 p.m. A classic car show also will be held Sunday at the park.

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