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A Civil celebration

September 17, 2009|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

SHARPSBURG -- Organizers plan to use "Sharpsburg-isms" to lure crowds to Sharpsburg Heritage Festival on Saturday.

Meredith Poffenberger and Natoma Vargason organized events based on two Sharpsburg-isms that could earn people prizes: residents' claims of relation to Capt. Riley Bender; and a resident's (or restaurant's) pronouncement of having made the best steak-and-cheese sandwich ever.

Sharpsburg Heritage Festival is a celebration of the town's history and will showcase regional bands, craft vendors and food. Organizers will return the event back to its street-festival roots, staging events in and around Sharpsburg's Town Square. Last year's event took place at Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Co. grounds.

When it was a street festival, Sharpsburg Heritage Festival drew 2,000 to 3,000 attendees, but crowds have dwindled to a couple hundred, Vargason said. The Sharpsburg Historical Society has hosted the event for years but decided not to this year, said Vargason, who's on the historical society's programming board.

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"We couldn't let it die," Vargason said.

Sharpsburg Heritage Days has a new organizer, the town of Sharpsburg, which has earmarked $1,500 of its hotel-motel tax money to sponsor the event, town councilman and co-organizer Mathew Barnhart said.




If you go ...



WHAT: Sharpsburg Heritage Festival

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19.

WHERE: Sharpsburg Town Square, at Main Street (Md. 34) and Mechanic Street. Main Street is accessible from Md. 65.

COST: Free admission

MORE: Other activities include a pancake breakfast, a community yard sale, carriage rides, house tours. For the full schedule, go to www.sharpsburgheritagefestival .org .




Street closings



In recognition of the Sharpsburg Heritage Festival, the following streets will be closed Saturday, Sept. 19, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.:

Main Street, from Church to Hall Streets

Mechanic Street, from Chapline to Antietam streets




Sharpsburg Heritage Festival highlights

7 to 10 a.m. - Pancake Breakfast, Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Co., 110 W. Chapline St. $5

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Artists, vendors and demonstrations, Main Street.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Community yard sale, Sharpsburg Fire Department

9:30 a.m. to 9:40 p.m. - Live music at the North Mechanic Street stage

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Meet local authors at Sharpsburg Public Library, 105 E. Main St.

Noon to 12:25 p.m. - Steak-and-cheese contest entries accepted. Entrants must bring two, already prepared sandwiches: One for display and one for the 12:30 judging. Captain Benders Tavern, 111 E. Main St. $5 to enter.

4 p.m. - Drawing for the Six Degrees of Separation from Capt. Bender contest. To enter, fill out a form to "prove" you're related to Capt. Bender.

7 p.m. Candlelight alley walk. Led by the 2nd Maryland Fife and Drum Corps. Starts at the music tent and continues through Sharpsburg's historic alleys.

9 p.m. to midnight - Kelly Carmichael performs. Captain Benders Tavern, $5.

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