Annual peach festival draws crowds to the good slice of life

August 13, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

LEITERSBURG - Karen Martin of Ivy Hill Farm will tell you - there's a lot more to know about peaches than the fuzz.

"Each peach variety has its own characteristics," Martin said Saturday from behind the orchard's booth at the 27th Leitersburg Peach Festival at Leitersburg Ruritan Community Park.

Sometimes, the color will be a little different. Other varieties, such as the Harmony peach, have a flat bottom. The Sun High is more pointed.

"Some of the older generations - they really know their varieties," said Martin, as festival-goers purchased the juicy fruit which is also sold at Ivy Hill Farm, off Md. 64 north of Smithsburg.


"I'm going to get some before I leave," said Millie Keith of Hagers-town as her great-granddaughters - Jada, 3, and Alexus, 6 - dug into cups of peach ice cream.

"We came for the pony rides, mainly," Keith said. "It was more than I expected, much more. I'm ashamed I didn't come before ... I might come back tomorrow without the kids to look at all the crafts."

Low humidity and clear blue skies made popping kettle corn a little less taxing for Barbara Eby and Bill Bayman.

"This is going to be a perfect day," said Bayman, owner of Bayman's Kettle Popcorn in Waynesboro, Pa., for six years.

They didn't have any peach-flavored corn for sale.

"I've thought about it, but I've just not had the time," Eby said.

Next door to their booth, members of Leitersburg Grange 361 sold raffle tickets for a queen-size quilt pieced together by A-M McCoy and machine-quilted by Donna Wilhide of Falling Waters, W.Va.

The drawing for the log cabin design of peach and green blocks of cloth - symbolizing the highs and lows of a newly plowed field - will be today at 5 p.m.

Aside from the 350 gallons of peach ice cream and 1,000 peach pies they hoped to sell, members of the Ruritan Club on Saturday found themselves hustling to serve festival-goers links of sausage, peppers and onions; french fries; and pork barbecue, among other items.

Before he returned to a chaotic kitchen, Gene Keadle, a 35-year club member, paused to share that the festival has helped pay for street lights in the community, improvements to the playground and other projects.

"Everything stays in the community," Keadle said.

If you go

What: Leitersburg Peach Festival

When: Today, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Leitersburg Ruritan Community Park, behind Leitersburg Fire Hall, Leitersburg

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