Old and new come together at Mountain Top Heritage Days

June 30, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

BLUE RIDGE SUMMIT, Pa. - The old and new combined to create the friendly, hometown atmosphere of this weekend's Mountain Top Heritage Days in Blue Ridge Summit.

The second annual weekend dedicated to the mountaintop community kicked off Friday with a dance at the Blue Ridge Fire Hall. Saturday started with a parade, then transitioned into a bustling scene of crafts vendors, food stands, performers and artisans.

Visitors to the events, who overwhelmingly chose to park their vehicles and reach everything on foot, hailed from all over.

"I was getting phone calls from New Jersey and places saying, 'I need directions,'" said Lynn Ford, a member of the organizing committee.

Butch Upole drove from Oakland, Md., to display and sell his "natural pictures." He gathers materials from the woods and arranges them to create rustic, framed scenes.


"I use a lot of bark. I use a lot of hornets nests. I use a lot of flowers, weeds, cornsilk, anything I can find," Upole said.

The hardest part is creating contrast, he said.

"I don't add color of any kind," Upole said.

His pictures, which sell for $35, will be available again today with the other artisans stationed at The Spring House on Jacobs Church Road.

Also on today's schedule is an "old-timers softball game" starting at 3:30 p.m. The game at the Pen Mar baseball field is expected to bring out eight to 10 of The Summiteers, a semi-pro baseball team that played on the mountain around 50 years ago.

Two of The Summiteers served as grand marshals in the parade Saturday morning, which had 33 entries ranging from vintage cars to youth leagues.

"It brought a lot of people out," Ford said. "You just look around and see everyone having fun."

The new museum at Fort Ritchie will be previewed today from noon to 5 p.m. Starting at 1 p.m., the base will host a World War II reunion.

John Miller is hoping for better turnout today at the Civil War encampment at the Lions Club park in Rolando Woods.

"Basically, we're here to talk about the battle (of Monterey)," said Miller, vice president and Civil War historian of the Emmitsburg (Md.) Historical Society.

Miller thinks that visitors especially will enjoy seeing the antique weapons on display.

"If we get enough of a crowd out here, they'll do a public firing demonstration," he said.

Half of the 15 re-enactors, who will be set up until today at 3 p.m., went into the craft area Saturday, trying to encourage people to visit their camp.

Jaden Harrison, 3, of Fairfield, Pa., checked out his Pap's green 1970 Duster at the car show before ordering a hot dog and grape snow cone in the afternoon. Grandparents John and Maureen Harrison of Waynesboro, Pa., also had visited the craft and antiques vendors with Jaden.

"It's a really nice festival to come to for a relaxing Saturday afternoon," Maureen Harrison said.

Edna Flohr of Blue Ridge Summit had been to the event in its inaugural year last summer.

"They have a lot of crafts," Flohr said, showing off the towels, necklace and earrings she had purchased.

Roger and Wanda Grothen of New Oxford, Pa., ran into friends upon first arriving at Mountain Top Heritage Days.

"This is the first we've been here," Wanda Grothen said. "They have a nice setup."

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