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Tradition draws people to Hancock Canal Apple Days

September 14, 2008|By Alicia Notarianni

HANCOCK - Wesley and Christi Mosier of Hancock say it is simple pleasures that lead them to Hancock Canal-Apple Days each year.

Wesley, 27, and Christi, 26, grew up in Hancock. Going to the festival has always been tradition, and now they are passing it on to their 21-month-old daughter Payton.

"I like to come to the parade for her," Wesley said indicating Payton. "And it's a good place to see old friends."

"I like the apple dumplings. And the Lions Club chicken is always great," Christi said.

The 32nd Canal-Apple Days kicked off Saturday morning with a parade of tractors, bands and marching groups that led to Widmeyer Park, where 65 vendors offered a variety of wares.

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"Canal-Apple Days goes back to the heritage we had here," said Hancock Town Manager David Smith. "We had major apple growers for decades. Unfortunately, we lost the orchards, but the festival has survived, thanks to the Lions Club and its dedication and commitment to it."

While the apple industry is gone, its legacy remains, with homemade cider and apple dumplings remaining among the festival's big draws.

Event Chairman and Hancock Lions Club member Larry Gerber, said the festival has grown considerably over the years. He said he expects a crowd of 10,000 people over the two-day course of the festival.

"This is not a moneymaker for the Hancock Lions Club. We put it on as a public service to bring people to the community so they can see what we have to offer," Gerber said.

Jessica Francis, 26, of Hancock, said her son was in the parade with the Boy Scouts. Afterward, her family went to the festival.

"The kids like to see the different activities and I like the firemen's food," Francis said.

Sandy Crouse of Needmore, Pa., went to the festival with her two daughters, Megan, 19, Macy, 13, and their friend Jenna Barch, 13.

"I work as a nurse for Southern Fulton schools and I like to see the kids in the band," Sandy Crouse said.

Her daughters and their friend said they enjoyed the festival food, with ribbon fries, kettle corn and apple dumplings topping the list.

Scott and Beth Buskirk of Hancock took their 5-day-old baby Chandler to the event and planned to take him back for Sunday's baby contest.

"We like to come for the parade then have breakfast in the park," Scott Buskirk said. "Really, around here you don't see anybody too much unless you come out for things like this. I'll see people I haven't seen since last year."

Angie McCray, 28, said Canal-Apple Days is a new tradition to her family. The McCrays just moved to Hagerstown from Florida last year. Alex McCray, 7, said he liked looking at the tractors and voting for his favorite one, and he was looking forward to the moon bounce.




If you go:

What: Hancock Canal-Apple Days

When: Today, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Widmeyer Park

Features: Baby Contest, Hancock United Methodist Church Praise Band, vendors

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