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Town's pride on parade

July 16, 2006|by MARIE GILBERT

SMITHSBURG

It was a slice of Americana - a parade through the center of town on a hot summer day.

There was a color guard flanked by American flags, firetrucks (old and new) and waving politicians.

"It's a simple, homespun event," said Dave Trussel, a spectator along the route. "But everyone loves it."

The Saturday parade was part of Smithsburg Pride Days, a celebration held annually to showcase the community.

People began to line Water Street an hour before the parade, searching for the perfect vantage point.

While waiting, many people took time to enjoy an open house at the Smithsburg Historical Society or tried to beat the heat with refreshments from the many food vendors.

Parade coordinator Charles Baker estimated that several hundred people turned out for the event.

"I think things went really well," Baker said following the parade. "We had between 35 and 40 units that participated, and we tried to offer something for everyone."

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In addition to the parade, Saturday's activities included a baseball tournament, 5K run, open houses at several churches, musical entertainment, crafts and a spaghetti supper.

But for many, the parade was the highlight of the day.

"I know it's not the biggest parade around, but I like it," said Teri Mitchell of Hagerstown. "I'm originally from Smithsburg, but I always try to come back for the parade. It's also a chance to see friends."

Margaret Schlimme, who lives outside of Smithsburg, has served several years on the planning committee, and credits "a good group of people" with making the event a success.

She was accompanied by her granddaughter, Susan Barber, originally from Smithsburg and now living in Virginia.

"It's nice to come back home for Pride Days," Barber said. "I usually get to see people I went to school with, as well as teachers and other friends."

Activities will continue today, beginning with a community worship service at 8 a.m. on the grounds of St. Anne's Episcopal Church.

Other events scheduled throughout the day will include a vehicle extrication demonstration presented by the Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Co.; a chain saw carver exhibit and demonstration; live entertainment; children's games and activities; and church tours. Craft and food vendors also will be featured.

Last year, organizers estimated more than 5,000 people attended Smithsburg Pride Days.

"It's always a fun weekend," Schlimme said. "I know I enjoy it."




If you go



What: Smithsburg Pride Days

When: Today, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Downtown Smithsburg

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