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Plumb Grove the site of old-fashioned holiday

July 03, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

CLEAR SPRING - It was the revival of an Independence Day celebration held in Clear Spring from 1820 through the Civil War.

So it was appropriate for the town's Independence Jam, held Sunday, to be at historic Plumb Grove on Broadfording Road. Elizabeth Lay, who helped organize the event, said she wanted the evening to have an "old-fashioned" atmosphere.

"We wanted a sort of old-fashioned comfortable celebration," she said.

A barbershop quartet sang to groups of three or more gathered on the mansion grounds, and there was a reading of the Declaration of Independence.

"Maybe not the whole thing," Lay said.

There was music, food, family activities and a fireworks display.

Sunday's celebration was the first of what will hopefully become an annual event, Lay said.

"This is a good family atmosphere," said Nelson Kline of Hagerstown. "If people had any sense, they'd be here."

While Kline and others were waiting for the first of four bands to begin to play, there were separate activities for area children.

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Kadra Tedrick, 7, said she wanted an American flag painted on her face to celebrate the Fourth of July. She was also looking forward to a balloon toss.

Her brother, D.J. Tedrick, 6, also wanted a flag, but had his painted on his forearm.

"He said it was a tattoo," said his grandmother, Connie Tedrick.

Other children's activities included a watermelon seed spitting contest, sack races, a three-legged race, a bag toss and a bicycle parade. Bikes were decorated for the parade with flags and other red, white and blue items.

Tedrick said she lived near Plumb Grove and she and her family planned to watch the fireworks from there. A 15- to 20-minute fireworks display was planned to begin at 9:30 p.m. Patriotic music was planned to accompany the fireworks, and Clear Spring resident Matthew Sword was going to sing.

"Every community should celebrate Independence Day," said David Wiles, president of Clear Spring District Historical Association.

Shortly after the event was under way, people were setting up lawn chairs in front of two stages. While Memories, the barbershop quartet, was strolling the grounds, other bands would perform there, including Don and the Starlighters, New Life Christian Ministries Band, Five Forks Bluegrass Band and Speakeasy Boys Hobo Bluegrass.

Tours also were given of the Plumb Grove mansion.

Lay said she was unsure how many people to expect. About one hour into the event, about 100 people were at the mansion.

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