Halfway Park Days in its 30th year


HALFWAY -- Amy Messner ambled about Martin L. "Marty" Snook Memorial Park Saturday in search of cows.

And just as it happens for her most every year at Halfway Park Days, she found them.

Not the live, breathing and mooing variety, but crafty, decorative cows.

Messner, who grew up in Williamsport, said she has gone to Halfway Park Days every year for as long as she can remember. She now lives in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., with her husband and daughter and brings them along.

"I like to come out and look for cow stuff," she said. "Today, I found a cow sign."

The Lions Club of Halfway is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Halfway Park Days.

Club President Archie VanNorden said he expected between 5,000 and 10,000 people to attend the festival, which continues today. VanNorden said the group likely would raise around $10,000. The money will benefit projects including the Lions Vision Research Foundation, scholarships for Williamsport and South Hagerstown high school students and provision of eyeglasses for people who need help acquiring them.


"We try to help the community any way we can," VanNorden said.

VanNorden said he was pleased with the steady flow of festival-goers Saturday afternoon, and with the scope of crafts offered by the 100 vendors on hand.

"We have all kinds of crafts," he said. "There is really a wide variety."

April Whetzel, 22, of Boonsboro, discovered handmade kimonos for her daughters, Malia, 4, and Serinity, 18 months. After she purchased the kimonos and some coordinating parasols, Carol Bergered, owner of Burke, Va.-based Carol Fashions, talked April into buying a summery lime-green embroidered tunic and white satin pant set for herself.

Just a few booths down, children stood creating new-fangled sugary concoctions of edible sand art at Sandy Candy. Shellie Davis said she and her boyfriend, Brian Hoffman, never had seen the sugary treats before, but their children noticed them right away.

"There are other vendors with regular sand art, but the kids wanted the kind they could eat," Davis said.

Tyler Hoffman, 11, created his own Sandy Candy in a long clear tube.

"You just take anything you want and dump it in," he said. "There is some sweet, some sour, and you get to pick you own flavors."

Hoffman said while the children were occupied with novelties, he and Davis found a unique flower planter for their front porch.

"It's my first time here. It's neat," Hoffman said. "And it's nice that they have stuff for the kids to do."

Pam Yost of Hagerstown picked up some gourmet treats for her dog. Her daughters, Brittany, 12 and Payton, 6, looked forward to kettle corn and water balloon yo-yos.

"This is such a nice way to spend the weekend with your family," Yost said. "We came out for lunch and to see the crafts. We do it every year. It's a nice family outing and a good way to kick off the summer."

In addition to shopping and concessions, the festival offered a medley of entertainment. Festival-goers gathered for acts including a magic show, live performances by high school jazz bands and a martial-arts demonstration.

If you go

What: Halfway Park Days

When: Today, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Martin L. "Marty" Snook Memorial Park, Halfway

For information, call 301-739-3219

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