A peach of a day

Leitersburg Peach festival starts Saturday

Leitersburg Peach festival starts Saturday

August 06, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

LEITERSBURG - Mother Nature wiped out many peaches with a June hailstorm. Tri-State-area residents can take advantage of the survivors this weekend at the 30th annual Leitersburg Peach Festival.

Sink your teeth through the fuzzy exterior into the flesh as the juice runs down your chin.

"I think it just makes you think about summer. That and they're sweet," said Sue Edwards, festival chairwoman and president of Leitersburg Ruritan. The festival will be held at Ruritan Community Park behind the town's fire hall.

If you don't want to get too messy at the festival, you can buy a basket of peaches to take home or snack on peachy foods instead.

There will be peach pie, peach ice cream and peach cobbler to eat and peach tea to quench your thirst, said Bruce Melton, past president of Leitersburg Ruritan.


You can buy a chance, a raffle ticket, to wrap yourself in a peach-themed quilt.

And if peaches aren't your thing, there will be at least 75 vendors at this year's festival - arts and crafts vendors, home improvement vendors or others.

The annual festival is the Ruritan's only fundraiser. Proceeds go toward community service projects such as food for the needy, street lights for Leitersburg, and maintenance of Leitersburg Ruritan Park, Edwards said. The club also sponsors Boy Scouts Troop 108, funds scholarships, and hosts and provides cash prizes for the Leitersburg residential holiday lights contest.

Smithsburg-area Ivy Hill Farm and Barr Orchards will provide about 400 bushels of peaches for purchase this weekend.

John R. Martin, co-owner of Ivy Hill Farm, and Bruce Barr, co-owner of Barr Orchards, expect to bring Red Haven and John Boy peaches. Martin said he'll also have some Harmony peaches at the festival.

June's hailstorm damaged about 60 percent of Ivy Hill's peach crop and affected about 50 percent of Barr's crop, Martin and Barr said.

The undamaged peaches that survived are big, thanks to rain and pruning by Mother Nature or orchardist.

Last year's peach festival had fantastic weather, with thousands of people showing up, Melton said.

Edwards is optimistic about good weather for this weekend. As of Wednesday, the National Weather Service was calling for cloudy skies with high temperatures in the mid to low-80s this weekend.

In addition to peaches, there will be other food options, such as barbecue pork, roast beef sandwiches, fresh-cut french fries, and funnel cakes.

Entertainment includes pony rides, a children's barrel train, a display of antique tractors and, weather permitting, a petting zoo.

Edwards said this year's petting zoo will include a Scottish Highland calf, a miniature donkey, a pot-bellied pig, llamas, an emu, a snake, a lizard, goslings, a ferret, a yak, a fainting goat, a peacock, a pheasant and parlor rolling pigeons.

If you go ...

WHAT: 30th annual Leitersburg Peach Festival

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9

WHERE: Leitersburg Ruritan Community Park, behind the Leitersburg fire hall

COST: Free admission and parking

CONTACT: Call Sue Edwards at 240-420-5795 or Bruce Melton at 301-797-1335

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