Canal-Apple Days brings visitors out to play

September 18, 2010|By MARIE GILBERT
  • Marco Ward scrutinizes a chain saw-carved bear Saturday at Canal-Apple Days in Hancock. The bears are carved from tree trunks by Thurmont, Md., artist Joe Stebbing.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

HANCOCK -- Julia Miner is a passionate evangelist for apples.

She eats them almost daily, bakes them in pies and extols their healthy benefits.

So it's no surprise that she found time Saturday to attend the Hancock Lions Club's 34th annual Canal-Apple Days.

The Warfordsburg, Pa., resident was among thousands of people who lined Main Street for a parade and then headed to Widmeyer Park for the festival.

The event continues Sunday.

Among the offerings are arts and crafts, an antique tractor display, music and food, including apples.

Dozens of people lined up Saturday to sample an assortment of apple dishes prepared by the Piney Plains United Methodist Women.

"We have apple dumplings, apple pies and applesauce bread," said George Keidel, who was working the booth with his wife and other church members.

"We get a lot of return customers," he said. "People buy a little bit of everything, but it's the apple dumplings that are the movers. That's what people really seem to like."


At the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal Association booth, volunteer Rita Bauman said there had been a steady stream of people checking out a canal display and picking up literature about the organization.

Bauman said the group's mission is to protect, preserve and promote the assets of C&O Canal National Historical Park.

"We also try to educate," she said. "It absolutely floors me when people come up to me and say 'what canal' or 'what park.' This is part of our local heritage."

Jamie Hartings of Hagerstown attended the festival with her mother and sister, who live in the Hancock area.

"It's a family tradition," she said. "Every year, we go to Canal-Apple Days."

Hartings said she enjoys the wide assortment of crafts, but it's the food that's hard to resist.

"The apple dumplings are worth the trip," she said.

Organizers are expecting more than 5,000 people to attend this year's event. Admission is free.

If you go

What: 34th annual Canal-Apple Days

When: Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Widmeyer Park, Hancock

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