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Something for everyone on Pen Mar's special day

August 30, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

CASCADE - It took Jerry Defenderfer about three months to build it.

And hardly a detail was left out.

The carousel Defenderfer handcrafted in his Chambersburg, Pa., home spins around using electric power and it looks like it's right out of a carnival.

The creation's curved shapes, tiny white lights and red, blue and green colors adds to the life-like feel of the carousel. Animals like horses, deer and lions rise up and down as the carousel spins.

It was one of at least eight miniature carousels set up in a pavilion Sunday at Pen Mar Park as part of Everybody's Day.

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Everybody's Day is intended to offer something for everyone, and the attractions included big-band music, a jitterbug contest, a mustache and beard contest, and plenty of other fun in the park.

At the pavilion where the carousels were set up, a steady stream of people slowly walked around the creations, talking to the craftspeople who designed them.

Defenderfer, 78, said he retired from Letterkenny Army Depot and wanted something to do. He set his sights on re- creating carousels and in 1986, he started the Miniature Carousel Builders Club.

Others have joined Defenderfer in his fascination of making miniature carousels, and the club has members from as far away as New Hampshire and New York. Group members have traveled, showing their craft to others.

"We've been all over the United States," Defenderfer said.

Some crafters showed other items, like a miniature Ferris wheel.

The crowds came on a picture-perfect day at the park.

A cool breeze blew though the mountaintop park and the sounds of children's laughter filled the air.

Lower down in the park at a large pavilion, the dance floor was full of people moving to live big-band music. People were also packed in front of the pavilion, sitting in chairs they unfolded under trees.

James E. Powers Sr., who has been organizing the event's music for 19 years, said an estimated 6,500 to 7,000 attended, exceeding last year's crowd of an estimated 6,200 people.

Fun at the park setting dates to the 1930s, and to re-create some events that would have been popular at that time, the park on Sunday hosted competitions like a mustache and beard contest.

Doug Helm of Waynesboro, Pa., sat in a shaded area. He said he and his wife often come to the park on Sundays to hear music.

"It's always so calm and peaceful," Helm said.

Also on Sunday, a new Maryland Civil War Trails marker was dedicated at the park.

The marker recalls the Battle of Monterey Pass, which occurred around the area of the park and involved 1,500 causalities. The battle started on the evening of July 4, 1863, during the armies' retreat from Gettysburg, Pa.

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