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Frederick event a treat for all

October 02, 2005|By TAMELA BAKER

tammyb@herald-mail.com

FREDERICK, MD.

Spectators lined Market Street in anticipation as police officers closed intersections and steered traffic away.

At the Junior Fire Company No. 2 station, volunteer Sharon Botkin placed a handwritten sign on an antique wheelchair to be sold at the company's first ever "yard sale" fundraiser.

"We used to sell food" at Frederick's annual In the Street celebration, Botkin said as potential buyers browsed the jewelry, books - and a vintage Frederick's of Hollywood catalog - "but the price of food went up. So we thought we'd try this."

The fire company hoped to generate enough interest to do a sale every year - and even rent space to others with a few items to sell, she said.

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Down the street, Sgt. Tiffany K. Carter guarded a Marine Corps booth with the aid of a huge, burly inflated Marine. In the Street provided an opportunity for recruitment, she said.

The Marines were conducting a "pull-up challenge," with steel bars as a screening tool. Takers who might qualify would be asked if they were interested in signing up, Carter said, but mainly the booth was there "to create a good awareness of the Marine Corps."

Soon, strains of "We Are Family" could be heard, courtesy of the Frederick High School marching band, and the parade was on. Christina Klipp of Union Bridge, Md., sat on the curb with her father and her three children - Dixie, 8; Harley, 6; and Francis "Bubba" Jr.

"This is great," Klipp said. "We do it every year."

There was an assortment of politicians - Sen. Alex Mooney, R-Washington/Frederick, rode by on the back of a convertible, while U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., walked behind his. And, there were majorettes and beauty queens among the bands, floats and assorted other attractions. Even local librarians got into the act - the "Dewey Decimal Dancers" whirled down the street with book carts.

Harley liked the beauty queens, but Bubba sat wide-eyed as a troop of Star Wars characters marched by. Dixie kept watch for candy.

The family had moved from Frederick, Christina Klipp said, but comes back every year for the festival.

Bringing up the rear were horses from Maple Lane Stables, followed by a cleanup crew with a large shovel and a larger tub - and, appropriately enough, a Frederick city street sweeper.

And then, downtown Frederick turned into one big street party.

"I've never seen this many people out this early," said Tom England, who runs Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts with his wife, Marlene.

The Market Street shop was doing a brisk business.

"This is always a good day for us," Marlene England said. By a little after noon, they'd already had about 50 customers, she said.

"This is great - it brings a lot of people to Frederick," she said.

Live bands played at five stages scattered along the street, martial arts clubs performed and a pair of tiny pink-clad students from the YMCA School of Dance performed a tap routine to "Good Ship Lollipop." Food vendors hawked everything from pizza to Ethiopian fare.

And there was no escaping the city's ongoing municipal election campaign - signs, stickers and balloons were everywhere. The braver candidates took turns risking a bath in the dunking booth.

Further down the street, sisters Burma Buttrum of Dundalk, Md., and Jean Senft of Bunker Hill, W.Va., guided children and adults alike as they painted their own ceramic souvenirs.

"They love it," Senft said. "The kids are so proud of themselves afterward."

Ian Kerr, 11, of Frederick, painstakingly painted a ceramic cat. He planned to put it in his room, he said.

Ian always took special care with his projects, said his grandmother, Margaret Stirling, who had traveled with her husband from their home near Glasgow, Scotland, to care for Ian and his siblings while their parents were traveling.

"We came all this way just to baby-sit," she said.

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