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Cabin Fever Festival owes its beginning to unseasonably wintry October weather

January 28, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • Greg Hoover balances a tray of fresh cheeseburgers Saturday for the Cabin Fever Festival at John Wesley United Methodist Church in Hagerstown.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

With unseasonably warm temperatures for much of the winter and little snow, no one seemed to be feeling feverish Saturday at the Cabin Fever Festival at John Wesley United Methodist Church in Hagerstown.

And no was missing the snow, either.

“Not one inch of it, not one flake of it,” said Bob Moales, laughing in the church’s fellowship hall.

Moales, 81, and his wife, Jean Moales, of Hagerstown, were among about 80 people who purchased tickets to the festival, event chairman Greg Hoover said.

The church fundraiser owes its beginning to the unseasonably wintry weather on the last Saturday of October 2011, which prompted the cancellation of the Alsatia Mummers Parade, Hoover said.

Members of the congregation usually operate a concession stand during the parade to benefit church activities, Hoover said.

With no parade, church members began talking about options, and ultimately found a way to use hamburgers and items purchased for the parade through the festival, which raised money for the church’s music department.

Indoor horseshoes, three holes of miniature golf, face painting, bingo, raffles for table centerpieces and musical performances were among the activities on tap.

Lois Noll of Clear Spring said she wasn’t experiencing cabin fever, but recounted more than one occasion when she experienced symptoms.

In 1993, Noll said the wintry weather prevented her from leaving her house for two or three days thanks to drifting snow that piled 10 feet high and blocked the road.

The festival afforded Linda Sappington of Hagerstown the opportunity to wear a Hawaiian-print jacket with bright orange lining, which she had made for her daughter’s wedding.

Allen Loser, who was to sing with a barbershop quartet Saturday, said the festival got him away from his work desk, at least for a couple of hours.

A real estate appraiser, Loser said he doesn’t miss the snow or essentially building an igloo by shoveling the white stuff at his house, but added his daughter, who works at Flannery’s Tavern On the Square in Mercersburg, Pa., probably feels differently because the business benefits from the nearby Whitetail Resort.

On the menu Saturday were hot dogs, potato and macaroni salads, baked beans, chips and an ice cream sundae bar.

“This is a just a reason for United Methodists to eat ... and enjoy the fellowship,” Bob Moales joked.

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