Gather up your fishing rods and fish bait — it's fishing time.
Many Individuals Helping Individuals (MiHi) will hold its ninth annual Fishin' Frenzy combining children, seniors and individuals with disabilities for a day of fun in Hagerstown's Pangborn Park.
MiHi is a local organization dedicated to providing assistance and recreational activities to senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.
The event centers around Pangborn Lake lined with participants as they wait for a tug on their lines.
Fishin' Frenzy drew more than 300 people last year, according to Bill Beard, MiHi board chair and this year's event coordinator. This year, the frenzy will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Pangborn Park.
"This is a family event, so it appeals to everyone," Beard said.
MiHi's Fishin' Frenzy originated when the late Linn Hendershot realized a need for Pangborn Park to be accessible to everyone, regardless of their disabilities. Beard said Hendershot, who was a Hagerstown city councilman, resolved this when he partnered with MiHi.
Nine years later, the Fishin' Frenzy is still part of the community.
"It creates a recreation activity for seniors and disabled individuals," Beard said, "as well as being a family event for grandparents, parents, and kids."
The event bridges a generational gap mingling ages 12 and younger with those ages 65 and older.
Reeling in the line, the City of Hagerstown takes a large role coordinating with MiHi, preparing the venue, and gathering sponsors such as Antietam Bassmasters Federation, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Alsatia Club.
"Fishing is great for everyone. This is a great quality of life event where people enjoy the park, fish, and have good family fun on a Saturday," said Karen Giffin, the director of community affairs at the City of Hagerstown.
On the other end of the fishing lines will be several hundred fish in Pangborn Park Lake, supplied courtesy of Albert Powell Fish Hatchery.
To reward patient and fortunate fishermen, fisherwomen, and fisher-kids, the Antietam Bassmasters Federation will award the individual with the smallest fish, the largest fish, the largest trout and the largest five trout.
"I always enjoy when people get a big fish on the line and run up to get it weighed," Giffin said. "Seeing the excitement on the children's faces when they run up is my favorite part."
"It's always enjoyable to see everyone having a good time," added Beard.
Those unlucky with fishing can also enjoy other activities provided at Fishin' Frenzy including free pony rides, hayrides and barrel cart rides.
Food will bait hungry attendees and music will keep the community spirit flowing.
"We all have a good time fishing and enjoying the park system and knowing we have a great community," Giffin said.
if you go ...
What: MiHi's ninth annual Fishin' Frenzy
When: Saturday, June 18. Registration begins at 8 a.m.; fishing will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Pangborn Park, 530 Pangborn Blvd., Hagerstown
Contact: Call 301-745-6444 or go to www.wc-link.org/wmhc/mihi.htm
More: Bring your own fishing poles and fish bait. The event is free for all participants. Fishing is only open to people who are registered to fish.