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Town set for Independence Jam

June 13, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

CLEAR SPRING - Independence Jam is coming July 2 and organizers are hoping it will be as sweet as anything one can spread on bread.

Long the dream of retired schoolteacher Margaret Cornett, the Independence Jam activities will be centered around Plumb Grove mansion off Broadfording Road near the Clear Spring school complex.

"I just thought Clear Spring deserved to have a celebration like so many others do," Cornett said. To that end, she began spearheading plans for the 2006 Independence Day holiday more than a year ago.

A committee was formed with Elizabeth Lay as chairman. Members include Cornett, Juanita Grimm, David Wiles, Melissa Sword, Jake Shank and Lori Divelbiss.

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"Mrs. Cornett got me involved in her dream," Lay said.

Originally, plans were for the celebration to be on July 4, but the availability of bands was a problem as was the increased cost for fireworks on the actual day, Lay said.

On July 2, activities at Plumb Grove will begin at 4 p.m. and will continue until "the last one leaves," according to the brochures.

Food will be served up by the Clear Spring District Historical Association and the Clear Spring Lions Club - the only thing that costs money at the event.

There will be docent tours of the historic Plumb Grove mansion; basket, quilt and greeting card demonstrations; music, children's activities; and fireworks, which are to begin at 9:30 p.m.

The children's activities will include a patriotic bike parade, a baby contest, balloon toss, three-legged and sack races, and face painting.

Two stages will be set up to accommodate a number of bands, mostly in the bluegrass and contemporary worship styles.

Lay and her husband, Bill, relocated to Clear Spring from Ellicott City, Md., about six years ago. They live in a 200-year-old house with their three children.

"We were driving around on weekends looking for a town just like this and we moved here," Lay said.

Her husband works in Manassas, Va., and she is a part-time grant writer and textile artist.

Support has been good, Lay said, with the Town of Clear Spring, LeRoy Myers Jr., owner of Myers Building Systems, and some area churches leading the way.

Contributors also include the Clear Spring District Historical Association, New Life Christian Ministries, Sword Trucking, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, St. Paul's Reformed Church, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Sword Masonry, Mount Moriah Lodge, Fort Frederick Ruritan, Wilson Ruritan, The Improved Order of Red Men Conococheague Tribe 84, and Mary Firey.

As it turns out, a celebration of the nation's birthday was once part of the fabric of the Town of Clear Spring, according to Wiles, president of the Clear Spring District Historical Association.

"I did some research and learned my great-great-grandfather, Samuel Tice, gave one of 12 traditional toasts at a celebration held downtown in 1832-33," Wiles said.

Someone also would read the Declaration of Independence, Wiles said.




Schedule of events



4 p.m. - Youth activities

4:30 p.m. - Memories of Mercersburg, Pa., barbershop

5:15 p.m. - Don and the Starlighters, Boonsboro, country music

6 p.m. - Baby contest

6:30 p.m. - New Life Christian Ministries, Clear Spring, contemporary

7:30 p.m. - Contemporary Worship Band, Clear Spring, worship

7:45 p.m. - Five Forks Bluegrass Band, Bedford, Pa.

9:30 p.m. - Fireworks

9 p.m. and 10 p.m. - Speakeasy Hobo Bluegrass

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