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People pack park for Boonesborough Days

September 10, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

Boonsboro- Yard sales sprang up Saturday morning between Funkstown and Boonsboro to entice those heading to the 35th annual Boonesborough Days festival.

Cars and pedestrians flooded into the small town of Boonsboro, where event organizers expected about 10,000 to visit the craft vendors and historical demonstrations this weekend.

Debbie Miller sat on her neighbor's yard with friends, watching people browse through her yard sale before heading into Shafer Memorial Park for the craft festival.

"It's a lot of people, too many to keep count of," Miller said. "It's the best time to have a yard sale."

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Inside the park, 150 vendors peddled everything from jewelry to quilts to soy candles.

Linda Zvolenski stood at her easel in the middle of the park and worked on a pastel picture of a flower. Nearby, her pastel and watercolor landscapes, florals and local scenes were set up to attract buyers.

Zvolenski, of Braddock Heights, Md., said she visited Boonesborough Days several times as a customer before deciding to become a vendor at the festival this year.

"I came for the jewelry," said Leisl Miller, of Smithsburg, who sat with her husband and sons eating french fries. Her son Preston, 10, said he liked the Kettle Corn at the festival. Paul, 8, said he saw glow-in-the-dark rings that he liked.

Lindsay Moler, of Martinsburg, W.Va., was selling jewelry.

"I'm trying to get more local exposure," said Moler, who has been making jewelry with glass, semiprecious stones and Swarovski crystals for more than a year.

"It's pretty good business," she said.

Boonesborough Days is always held the weekend after Labor Day, and is the Boonsboro Historical Society's only fundraiser, said Jan Wetterer, one of the event's organizers.

Vendors come from all over Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and even Michigan, she said.

"The park is full all day," she said.

Holding historical demonstrations at a craft fair makes Boonesborough Days unique, said Karen Greeley, another event organizer.

Weavers, potters and spinners set up throughout the festival demonstrating crafts from different time periods, she said.

Re-enactors set up camp at the back of the festival, near the ring where children were led around on pony rides.

Chris Holmgren, who was with Friends of Fort Frederick, worked with a lathe, turning wood into chair legs. Lathes would have been used in the 1750s, he said.

A man in period costume took questions from a group of children about the equipment he carried in his pack. Steve Woods, president of Friends of Fort Frederick, showed the children period weapons, blocks of tea and dried bread.

Boonesborough Days also gives local nonprofits a chance to raise funds, said Wetterer.

Boy Scouts rented parking spaces in local parking lots, and sold cold sodas inside the park. Local churches sold various dinners, pies and drinks to festival-goers.

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