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Parade, deep-fried Oreos highlight Apple Harvest events

October 19, 2003|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Nathanael Hoffmaster, 7, walked down South Queen Street Saturday afternoon with the right sleeve of his T-shirt rolled up. He wanted the world to see the American flag painted on his shoulder.

He said he thought "it looked cool."

Hoffmaster was one of several hundred children who lined up in front of an old school bus on West Burke Street as the 24th edition of the Mountain State Apple Harvest Parade rolled down South Queen Street.

The sign in front of the bus offered free face and hand painting by the Child Evangelism Fellowship of the Eastern Panhandle of WV.

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Ken Burkhart, its executive director, said he expected to paint a couple of hundred youngsters Saturday.

"We did 421 at the Apple Butter Festival last week in Berkeley Springs, W.Va.," he said. "In the last 12 years, we've done about 80,000."

The youngsters get a dose of the Word along with their paintings.

"As we paint them, we give them a verbal Bible story," Burkhart said.

The 90-unit parade began on West King Street, turned left onto North Raleigh Street, then right onto Martin Street to Queen Street before ending at Martinsburg High School. The parade is sponsored by the Martinsburg Lions Club.

A long line of antique and hot-rod cars led the march, followed by the screaming sirens of trucks from more than a dozen area fire companies.

Then followed marching bands from area schools, floats, convertibles carrying dignitaries, including soap opera star Aiden Turner of "All My Children," the parade grand marshal, and Jennifer Leigh Custer, Queen Pomona XXIV, who was crowned at a ceremony Friday night.

This year for the first time in many years, Ruby Kern of Inwood, W.Va., stood on the sidelines as the parade of convertible-carrying dignitaries rolled by.

Ever since she bought it new in 1994, Kern had driven an important personage, usually the parade grand marshal, in her red Pontiac Sunbird convertible. "It was fun," she said.

"There are too many new convertibles out there now. They don't call me anymore," she said. "I still drive in the Inwood Christmas Parade."

Kern said she enjoyed watching the parade go by instead of being part of it.

"After a while, you get tired of it," she said.

She described her car as "red with a white top and white leather upholstery. It only has 18,000 miles on it. I mostly drive it in parades."

Deep-fried Oreo cookies made their Martinsburg debut during Saturday's festivities.

Judy Boykin of Martinsburg walked into the R. Lewis Clothier men's store at 123 S. Queen St. with a tray of the delicacies. Boykin was munching on one.

"Don't believe you're eating an Oreo cookie," she said. "These things would definitely not make the Dean Ornish diet list."

She got them at Calvin Hoffmaster's funnel cake stand at the corner of Queen and East Burke streets. Hoffmaster sells four of them for $3.50.

He said he learned about them at the Johns Hopkins University Spring Fair.

"They asked me if I could make them," he said. "I just figured it out."

The recipe is simple - take an Oreo cookie, cover it with funnel cake batter, deep fry it and, when it's done, sprinkle on powdered sugar.

"I'm introducing them here this year. They're starting to pick up," Hoffmaster said.

A major feature of the three-day festival, which began Friday and ends today, is the arts and crafts show at the Berkeley County Youth Fair Grounds.

Barbara Arndt, festival treasurer, was selling $1 tickets for the 24th Apple Harvest quilt, made in the last few years by Mollie Kennard of Inwood.

Each year, Kennard and the festival's quilt committee members get together and come up with the design and color scheme for the quilt.

The raffle usually nets the festival about $500 a year.

Traffic at the fairgrounds was steady Saturday afternoon, Arndt said. A larger crowd is expected Sunday because the parade on Saturday creates competition, she said.

Bob Rogers, chairman of the arts and crafts show, said about 100 exhibitors set up booths this year. Normally, the number runs from 120 to 130, he said.

A crafts fair in Frederick, Md., is taking away some patrons and there are fewer crafters this year because of economic conditions, Rogers said.

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