Around Hancock

April 22, 2010|By ANNE WEATHERHOLT / 301-678-6888

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Soap Box Derby had a successful run

From Soap Box Derby to 175th anniversaries, Hancock is full of "living history."

High Street became a "speedway" last weekend with the first soap box derby competition in 50 years. While worries with traffic tie-ups never materialized, the townsfolk came out to enjoy the sight of boys and girls in healthy competition using nature's own gravity to power their handmade cars - talk about "green fun."

Churches to mark milestones in area

This coming weekend, several historic events are featured in our area.

St. Peter Catholic Church, Hancock, will celebrate the 175th anniversary of its founding Sunday at a Mass officiated by Archbishop Edwin O'Brien. All are welcome to attend. Throughout the year, there are celebrations planned at the church, picnics and artistry displays. Call 301-678-6339 for information.

Its sister church, St. Patrick, in nearby Little Orleans, is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a Mass this fall. These two religious families, along with neighboring St. Thomas' Episcopal, also celebrating its 175th, now span nearly two centuries in and around Hancock.


Market fair

And another, even older historical event takes place in nearby Fort Frederick (at Big Pool) this weekend as the Friends of Fort Frederick State Park host the yearly 18th Century Market Fair.

The four-day event opens today and continues through Sunday afternoon. Visitors to Market Fair will meet more than 150 artisans, craftspeople and vendors.

This is the 16th annual Market Fair at the fort, which was dubbed "The Gibraltar on the Potomac."

More than 650 campers are signed up for the weekend.

Re-enactors will conduct live firing demonstrations of period weapons as well as demonstrations of 18th-century life in the fort amidst a 1730-1790 encampment.

Interpreters will present continuous living history programs within the historic fort walls.

A small admission fee is charged for adults and kids, with those younger than 6 admitted free.

The fort is a mile south of Interstate 70 at Exit 11 at Big Pool. Call the park at 301-842-2155 or go to

Earth Day

Today is "Earth Day" - a day that reminds us to be good stewards of the environment and the beauty and bounty of nature around us.

St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, at Church and High streets, as part of its year-long 175th anniversary festivities, will hold a special Earth Day service Sunday morning at 10.

The service will feature related hymns, scripture readings and prayers, and the Rev. Allan Weatherholt will focus on this theme in his sermon.

Earth Day activities following the service will include crafts for the Sunday school children, displays of "green" cleaning products (and how to make them yourself) and information on recycling.

Parishioner Beth McCarty is organizing the celebration, along with a committee. Earth Day dates from 1970 when it was initiated by then-U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Today, it is observed each April in more than 175 countries.

Farmers market

The farmers market opens Saturday at Joseph Hancock Park.

I was able to get great fresh veggies last year, plus pies and baked goods from time to time. Vendors can register at Town Hall during regular office hours. The market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Health center

Tri-State Community Health Center will hold a community public focus group session for the purpose of obtaining business and service information.

This will help the center establish its strategic plan for the next two years. The forum needs citizens' input from Hancock and surrounding communities, both patients of Tri-State and others.

The meeting will be Thursday, April 29, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the meeting room at Town Hall, 126 W. High St.

Health fair

Meanwhile, Tri-State will host its sixth annual Health Fair Friday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its facility, at 130 W. High St.

There will be health screenings, health vendors from the local area, information on teen pregnancy prevention, snacks, games, free literature and a "Prom Package" giveaway. Tri-State's mission is to provide quality health care to area citizens, regardless of ability to pay.

Museum Ramble

Washington County's seventh annual Museum Ramble is scheduled for the weekend of May 1 and 2.

Sponsored by the Washington County Association of Museums and Historical Sites and the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the event includes 20 local museums and historic sites on a self-guided tour.

Hours for the event are 1 to 5 p.m. on both Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2.

A printed guide is available at the Visitors Welcome Center, and it can be viewed online at

In the Hancock area, Woodmont Rod and Gun Club is included. Woodmont is on Woodmont Road about six miles off Interstate 68 at Exit 77.

Of Maryland's 300-plus museums, more than 10 percent are in Washington County.

Adopt a plot

Local citizen Barbara Hinckle is inviting folks to "adopt a plot" along Main Street for flowers and plantings. She will be glad to assist with information if you call her at 301-678-6535. All flowers you purchase and donate are tax-deductible.

Exhibit to open

Mark your calendars now for the May 11 opening of the new Sideling Hill exhibit center on Main Street in Hancock. More details will follow in next week's column, but the "critters" and exhibits are now being installed.

'Hancock in Motion'

The citizens' group "Hancock in Motion" is sponsoring a "Kid's Resale" of children's clothing, toys, books and furniture. This is a baby-to-teen-item sale only in Widmeyer Park May 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Spaces cost $10 each and you must provide your own table. Deadline to register is May 1. Call 301-988-2776, obtain a form at the Hancock Town office, Philips Fashions or e-mail">

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