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Peach festival turns 30

Organizers expect about 10,000 people at event

Organizers expect about 10,000 people at event

August 08, 2009|By MARIE GILBERT

LEITERSBURG -- After more than 50 years of marriage, Myra Ward knows the recipe for wedded bliss -- love, respect and a good peach cobbler.

"My husband often jokes that he married me for my baking," the 72 year-old Hagerstown woman said. "But as much as he likes that cobbler, I'm not sure he's joking."

On Saturday, Ward was at the Ivy Hill Farm tent at the Leitersburg Peach Festival, waiting in line for what she called "the quintessential summer fruit."

In addition to cobblers, Ward said she planned to make peach ice cream, also a family favorite.

"My husband, my daughters, my grandchildren ... we all love peaches," she said.

Ward was among thousands of people who poured into Ruritan Community Park to buy peaches, snack on peach desserts and buy a raffle ticket for a peach-themed quilt.

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This is the 30th anniversary of the festival, which serves as a fundraiser for the Leitersburg Ruritan Club. Proceeds from the event go toward community service projects, said Sue Edwards-Doyle, festival chairwoman and president of the Ruritan Club.

About 10,000 people were expected to attend the two-day event, she said.

Edwards-Doyle said she is not surprised by the large crowds that turn out each year for the festival.

"First of all, it's a fun and free family activity," she said. "But, also, for many people, it has become a tradition. They love coming out to enjoy the weather, the good food and the crafts."

Edwards-Doyle said this year's festival features 88 vendors, selling everything from plants to pottery. For the children, there are pony rides, a petting zoo and a barrel train. And for the adults, there is a display of antique tractors.

John and Kayla Humphries of Waynesboro, Pa., were among Saturday's festival-goers. But they weren't eating peaches -- they were enjoying kettle corn.

"It smelled so good, we had to have some," Kayla Humphries said. "But we won't be leaving without getting some peach ice cream. Everyone tells me it's awesome."

Martha Harbaugh of Hagerstown said she has attended the Leitersburg Peach Festival since its inception.

"You have to deal with a lot of traffic," she said. "But once you get here, it's  great. For me, it's a part of summer."

If you go...



What: Leitersburg Peach Festival

Where: Ruritan Community Park, Leitersburg

When: Today, noon to 5 p.m.

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