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25 years of peaches

August 12, 2004|by Cheryl M. Keyser

LEITERSBURG - Peaches have the starring role this coming weekend as the 25th annual Leitersburg Ruritan Peach Festival gets underway in Leitersburg on Saturday, Aug. 14, and Sunday, Aug. 15, at Leitersburg Ruritan Community Park.

The event celebrates the annual harvest of one of nature's sweetest creations and is designed as an outing for the whole family.

"We are trying to showcase our community. We want people to come out and enjoy themselves and feel like they got some bargains," said Ray Johns, chairman of the Peach Festival and member of the Leitersburg Ruritan.

Peach lovers can sample peach pies and cobblers, ice cream and tea, or indulge themselves the old-fashioned way, with juice from the fresh fruit dripping between one's fingers.

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Last year, 330 gallons of hand-dipped peach ice cream and more than 1,000 pies were sold at the festival, according to Johns.

Ivy Hill Farm and Barr's Orchards will provide a variety of peaches and peach products.

The peach pie contest will be held at noon Saturday.

"Anyone who wants to can enter their pie," Johns said.

Food is a major feature of the festival, with barbecue, sausage, country ham and open-pit roast beef sandwiches for starters.

More than 60 crafters and folk artists will be present, and local author Robert Saunders will be autographing his book, "Tommytown."

Each day there will be a display and parade of antique tractors. New this year is a tractor contest with trophies awarded by popular vote.

Music will accompany the festivities with Ernie Bradley and the Grassy Ridge entertaining with bluegrass tunes on Saturday and the seven-member Stevens Family with gospel music on Sunday.

A Civil War re-enactor encampment, representing the 6th Maryland Volunteer Infantry Regiment, will be set up.

"We are trying to include more things for children," Johns said.

This year there will be a petting zoo and a small train for kids to ride.

At 5 p.m. Sunday, a quilt raffle will be held. The queen-size quilt is embroidered with the phrase "25th Anniversary Leitersburg Peach Festival."

And for the dedicated shopper, Leitersburg streets will be filled with yard sales both days.

If you go


25th annual Leitersburg Ruritan Peach Festival

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14

Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15

Leitersburg Ruritan Community Park

Free

For more information, call 301-797-4419.




Cheryl M. Keyser is a freelance writer for The Herald-Mail.

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