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Peaches are main event in Leitersburg

August 14, 2005|By DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

daniels@herald-mail.com

LEITERSBURG - Despite the blisteringly hot temperatures, there were plenty of draws Saturday for the 26th annual Leitersburg Peach Festival other than the event's seasonal headliner.

Maugansville resident Kelli Mooers, for example, said she brought her 3-year-old daughter Mackenzie to the event for the petting zoo. There also were about 80 craft vendors and about a dozen food vendors selling everything from crab cakes and lemonade to T-shirts and jewelry, as well as a display of tractors and an antique firetruck.

On second thought, though, Mooers admitted that for her, the annual event was all about the peaches.

"Why we came is for (Mackenzie)," she said, holding a plastic bag with more than a dozen peaches, of which she planned to give half to her mother. "I'd say, for us, the peaches. You can make a variety of things with them."

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Not intended for direct consumption, Mooers said her half was destined to find its way into a peach cobbler.

John R. Martin, co-owner of Ivy Hill Farm in Smithsburg, said by 1 p.m., he had sold about 100 of the 120 bushels he had brought to the festival Saturday morning and planned to bring a second truckload back to avoid disappointing his fans, or at least his peaches' fans.

Martin said a cold spring delayed the harvest this year and made for better pickings during the narrow harvesting window from July 15 to Labor Day. Peaches gain about a third of their size in the final 10 days before they are picked, he said, and a good amount of rain during that period helped as well.

Event chairman Ray Johns said festival-goers come from a wide geographic area for the annual festival, drawn not just by the quantity, but also the quality and value of the peaches available for sale.

"I think one of the reasons is we try to deliver quality and quantity of food at a fair price," he said.

The festival will continue today from noon to 5 p.m. at the Leitersburg Ruritan Community Park. Parking is available by the Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Company on Leiter Street between Leitersburg Pike and Ringgold Pike.

For more information, call 301-797-4419.




If you go


What: 26th annual Leitersburg Peach Festival

When: Today, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Leitersburg Community Ruritan Park

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