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Smithsburg Pride Days offers fun, treats, crafts

July 17, 2005|by MARIE GILBERT/Staff Writer

SMITHSBURG - A covered wagon creaked and swayed down Water Street, a small bucket clanging against its sideboards.

Following close behind, flanked by a color guard, a group of sequined majorettes twirled and waved to spectators lining the sidewalks.

It was a parade with something for everyone and the crowd loved it.

Music, craft exhibits, food and the parade all were part of Smithsburg Pride Days, a community event held annually to celebrate the town's history, people and businesses.

"It's named Smithsburg Pride Days for a reason," parade coordinator Mike Rohrer said. "We're proud of our town, and this event gives us a chance to show visitors all we have to offer."

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According to organizers, this is the 12th year for the celebration.

The event continues today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine.

Saturday's activities kicked off with an all-you-can-eat breakfast at the North Main Street Fire Hall, followed by a fun run and a 5K race.

But what brought out the crowd was a parade that traveled along Water Street and Bradbury Avenue from Fil-Tec Inc.

"This is one of the largest parades we've had since I've been part of the parade committee," Rohrer said. "We had more participants than ever, which probably attracted close to 1,000 spectators."

Charles Smith and his wife, Evelyn, of Waynesboro, Pa., were among the people who turned out for the parade.

Smith said he went to school in the Smithsburg area, but this is the first Smithsburg Pride Days he had attended.

"My great granddaughter is marching in the parade," he said. "If we wouldn't have been here, we would have been disowned."

Activities were held at various locations throughout the town, including a quilt show at Trinity Lutheran Church on North Main Street.

Sponsored by the Smithsburg Friendship Quilters, both new and antique quilts were on display.

The show was organized by Brenda Finch and Betty Jo Ganley, and was called "Our Grandmother's Quilts" because, Finch said, "many of the items on display were borrowed from our grandmothers."

In addition to viewing the 30-plus quilts on exhibit, visitors had an opportunity to learn more about the Friendship Quilters from several members, including 92-year old Margaret Schlimme.

"I've been quilting for quite a few years, and each quilt is special because of all the work you put into it," Schlimme said.

Across the street, members of the Smithsburg Historical Society were outside distributing free balloons.

Inside, visitors had an opportunity to learn more about the town's past through books, historical papers and displays.

"We've had a steady stream of visitors today," said Ann Stouffer of Smithsburg, a member and volunteer with the Historical Society. "If you want to know about the history of Smithsburg, this is where you begin."

Today's activities will get under way at 8 a.m. with a community worship service on the grounds of St. Anne's Episcopal Church on Maple Avenue.

Throughout the day, there will be a variety of activities, including live entertainment, a K-9 demonstration by the Washington County Sheriff's Department, open houses at various churches, craft and food vendors and an exhibit of Civil War relics.

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