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Rohrersville festival is a berry good time

June 11, 2011|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI | alnotarianni@aol.com
  • Ruby Lyn Miller enjoys a mouthful of strawberry shortcake, strawberry ice cream and fresh strawberries Saturday at the Rohrersville Strawberry Festival. The 19-month-old child and her mother, Lindsey Miller, were visiting Lindsey's parents in Keedysville and took a trip to the festival.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

ROHRERSVILLE — Patti Benner has fond memories of time spent on the grounds of Rohrersville Ruritan Community Park.

As a child growing up near Brownsville, Benner, 50, of Sharpsburg, frolicked with family at annual reunions there. Trolling the Ruritan carnival was a highlight of her summer.

The Strawberry Festival Saturday at the park took her back to those days of wide-open spaces and old-fashioned food and fun.

"I always looked forward to coming out here back then, so I wanted to come out and see what was going on now," Benner said. "It's just memories for me. I love it here."

Benner reminisced with her cousin Tina Grimm, 48, of Sharpsburg, and shared accounts of her childhood in the country with her daughter Kacee, 31, also of Sharpsburg, and two of her grandsons.

Rohrersville Ruritan Club President Butch Himes said the festival is a much-anticipated tradition in Rohrersville. The town, surrounded by green hills, has a population of less than 200 and a total area of not quite one square mile.

People from surrounding communities attend the strawberry festival to shop at the community yard sale and craft booths, listen to live music and eat country cooking and sweet desserts.

Dave and Barbara Nicodemus, 56 and 55, of Boonsboro, who participated in the yard sale, said they planned to taste as much festival fare as they could.

"We started here with breakfast. As the day goes on, we'll keep going back for more," Dave Nicodemus said. "The food is delicious. Everything."

Sisters Nancy Intyre and Emma Jean Robertson, both of Boonsboro, shopped the sales before sampling some strawberry shortcake under the shade of a pavilion.

"It's nice to be out in the country and helping to support the community," Robertson said.

Phillip Wiles, 35, of Hagerstown, brought local history to life with his display of a three-quarter-scale steam locomotive that his great uncle built in 1938. Also drawing attention was the rumble of his early 1900s hit-and-miss engines, and a functioning two-hole corn sheller.

"People come up and say, 'What's this do, what's that do?'" Wiles said. "My grandfather used these things in his house."

Pat Kline, 76, of Boonsboro, went to the festival with her mother, Madeline Smith, 97, of Rohrersville, and her great-grandson, Dylan Kline, 3, of Inwood, W.Va. While Kline likes the hot dogs and Dylan likes the machinery, Smith said the festival is all about the people.

"I like to visit. I like the fellowship," she said.

Himes said he expected nearly 1,000 people to attend the event Saturday and today.

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