Fun time is here

A preview of festival season in the Tri-State area

A preview of festival season in the Tri-State area

May 03, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

Rides! Cotton candy! Bands and demolition derbies!

The season for that Americana staple - festivals - is upon us.

Some events have changed dates or scaled back a bit this year, but there will still be plenty of opportunities to eat a bunch of french fries before jumping on a spinning amusement ride.

Roundhouse Rail Days in Martinsburg, W.Va., is moving to the fall, Oct. 3 to 4, because July was too hot for many visitors, volunteer Donev Hatcher said.

After six years, lack of funding did in the Summer Gospel Fest & Hog Roast in Shepherdstown, W.Va., said Tim Barr, director for Jefferson County (W.Va.) Parks and Recreation Commission. The parks and rec department received a 35-percent budget cut from the county, he said.


The Hancock Firemen's Carnival will not have fireworks this year because organizers have not been able to find a sponsor, carnival organizer Greg Yost said.

And there was not enough attendance at Art in the Park, in Hagerstown's City Park, so that event will not be held this year, said organizer Ron Lytle. Instead, the Contemporary School of the Arts & Gallery is holding silent art auctions this spring and summer, and a gospel concert on June 20.

Hal Spielman, president of the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair, said fair officials were still working on bringing in amusement rides for the July fair.

And while a specific date has not been set yet, Lollipopalooza is expected to be held in mid- to late summer at Hagerstown Community College's Alumni Amphitheater, said Leigh-Anne Mauk, HCC spokeswoman. The event includes children's music and games.

Here's a list of several of the festivals to be held in the Tri-State area this spring and summer.

Washington county

National Pike Festival will be Friday, May 15, through Sunday, May 17. Wagons expected to arrive at Plumb Grove in Clear Spring around 5:30 p.m. Friday. Visit with horses and mules; chat with pioneer re-enactors on the wagon train. Wagon train departs Plumb Grove at 9 a.m. Saturday and travels east along U.S. 40 to Hagerstown, and on Sunday to Boonsboro's Shafer Memorial Park. Boonsboro will host activities, including pony rides, on Sunday. Go to Clear Spring will host several activities at Clear Spring High School on Saturday, including craft displays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; an antique tractor show and classic car show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; children's activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and a 5 p.m. gospel concert that costs $10. National Pike Day Parade down U.S. 40 starts at 10 a.m.

Great Boonsboro Rescue Co. Carnival from Friday, May 22, through Saturday, May 30, in Shafer Memorial Park, Boonsboro. Carnival opens at 5 p.m. Food and amusement rides. Nightly concerts at 7:30 p.m., weather permitting. Concerts include Hicktown on May 22, the Boro Boogie Pickers on May 23, Tori Anderson & Possum Holler on May 24, The Legends on May 25, Georgia Lea & Stone Cold Country on May 26, Redline on May 27, The Van Dells on May 28, Andy Griggs on May 29, and the Brandy Stills Band on May 30. Fireworks on Friday, May 29. Call 301-432-6979.

Halfway Park Days at Martin L. Snook Memorial Park from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 23, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 24. Entertainment includes a magic act on both days, South Hagerstown and Williamsport High schools' jazz bands on Saturday and a duo performing music from the 1960s through 1990s on Sunday. Also about 100 arts and crafts vendors, food and face-painting. Call 301-739-3219.

Fourteenth annual Western Maryland Blues Fest from Thursday, May 28, through Sunday, May 31. Acts include the Derek Trucks Band, Campbell Brothers, Roomful of Blues and Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers. Blues Prelude will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at University Plaza Park downtown. Lotta Blues Show will be held from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday at the city's central parking lot; Saturday's Downtown House Party is from noon to 9:30 p.m. at the same location; and Sunday's free Family Blues Picnic at City Park will run from noon to 5 p.m. Call 301-739-8577, ext. 116, or go to

Strawberry Festival at the Ringgold Ruritan Club building on Windy Haven Road off Md. 418, at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 6, until sold out. Strawberries, ice cream, shortcake, strawberry pies, soups, country ham, hot dogs, chili dogs, steamers. Call John Lefebure at 301-824-3084.

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