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Canal-Apple Days draws large crowd

September 19, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

HANCOCK -- The Hancock Lions Club hosted its 33rd Canal-Apple Days Festival by welcoming what appeared to be one of the largest crowds ever.

Larry Gerber Sr., chairman of the festival, estimated from the thousands of people lining the street Saturday to watch the parade that by the close of the festival today, more than 5,000 people would come to celebrate the town's unique heritage.

The festival began as a way to honor the canal and the many orchards surrounding Hancock, Gerber said.

Widmeyer Park, which is along the C&O Canal, is filled each year with a mix of unique food and craft vendors, a few of which hold true to the festival's namesake.

The food and fun lure the crowds to celebrate at the park, Gerber said.

"Oh, they come for the Catholic church's homemade apple dumplings, the Lions Club's barbecue and rides on the little train," he said.

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More than 50 craft and food vendors peppered the park, hoping to take advantage of the large turnout.

While many were repeat vendors, Gerber said his hope is that most, if not all, of the vendors come back next year.

"If it's not broke, don't fix it. That's what I'd say," Gerber said of the event. "We just hope the vendors do well enough to come back and sell again."

Gerber said the event is not a fundraiser for the Lions Club, but the club does raise money through sales of barbecue and funnel cakes.

If you go



What: Hancock Canal-Apple Days

When: Today, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Widmeyer Park, Hancock

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