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Boonsboro Fishing Derby is reel community fun

May 11, 2008|By MARIE GILBERT

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BOONSBORO -- Some people have yoga or therapy.

Harvey Evans finds peace in fishing.

Almost every warm weather weekend, he rises before dawn, fills a thermos with coffee and grabs his fishing rod.

Down the road, his brother is doing much the same thing.

Together, they head to their favorite fishing hole, drop their lines and wait.

Evans said he has been fishing since he was a child and passed his love of the sport on to his daughter.

Now, a new generation is hooked.

Saturday morning, Evans proudly stood by as his 5-year-old grandson participated in Boonsboro's annual Fishing Derby.

The event, sponsored by the Town of Boonsboro, was held at the fishing pond behind the newly constructed library.

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"It's an opportunity for families to have fun," said Richard Hawkins, a member of the town council. "We offer a lot of activities during the year that are free and open to the public and this is one of them. It's a way of keeping the community together. And, as a small town, we really believe in that."

Hawkins said donations by 22 local businesses and organizations helped make the fishing derby possible.

He also credited town employees and volunteers, "who contributed manpower and a lot of legwork to make this event a success."

Hawkins said the fishing derby has been held over the past 13 years and usually draws more than 250 children. With this year's inclement weather, he expected a lower turnout.

The children who did show up Saturday circled the banks of the pond, where they cast their lines in hope of catching trout. Children ages 1 through 6 were the first to fish, followed by the 7-to-12 age group.

Hawkins said the Albert Powell Trout Hatchery provided 400 trout for the derby and children were limited to three catches.

There were free hot dogs and drinks, and every child who attended the event received a prize, he said.

Among those going home with prizes were Jack and Josephine Jacobs, 5-year-old twins from Boonsboro.

"This is the third year we've attended the fishing derby," said their father, John Jacobs. "This year, it's kind of wet. But it's good fishing weather."

The rain had Kelly Baranowski thinking twice about attending the event with her 6-year-old daughter, Eliza.

"But we'd been talking it up all year, so here we are," she said.

Baranowski said this is the second year they had attended the fishing derby, which she called "a fun family activity."

"Last year was our first year living in the Boonsboro area," she said. "We moved here from Anne Arundel County, Md., where you probably wouldn't see an event like this."

"We love the small-town atmosphere and the sense of community that you find in Boonsboro," she said. "And we love these kinds of family-oriented activities."

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