Westminster's annual Fallfest kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 27, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 30, filling the downtown area with days and nights of activity and celebration. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Throughout the festival there will be food vendors, crafts and commercial products, as well as nonprofits promoting their organizations.
The following are some of the day-specific highlights. For more details, go to http://www.westminsterfallfest.com.
Thursday, Sept. 27
Rides and the festival midway open in Westminster City Park at 6 p.m., officially opening the four-day celebration. The Fallfest Mile run will be held at 6:45 p.m. at the corner of Monroe Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The 1-mile run/walk is $10 for pre-registration; $15 walk-up (starting at 5:30 p.m.). The event is timed by the Westminster Road Runners Club, and prizes will be awarded to top male and top female finishers.
But the festivities really start when the annual Fallfest parade steps off at 7 p.m. from Dutterer's Park. The parade of bands, youth groups, floats and more will travel down Pennsylvania Avenue and Main Street to Longwell Avenue and East Middle School.
Friday, Sept. 28
In addition to the rides and festivities from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday night is also Midnight Madness night — from 6 p.m. to midnight, stores will be open late with live music, karaoke, a car show and other attractions. Festivities will take place along East and West Main Street and Liberty, John and Bond streets.
Also Friday, beginning at 8 p.m., is the Wing Eating Contest, hosted by Buffalo Wild Wings. Participants can sign up to be one of 10 contestants in the contest, to be held in front of the Food Court Stage. Competitors will consume as many hot wings as possible in five minutes. You must be 18 years old to participate, and there are a few rules — go to http://www.westminsterfallfest.com/events/buffalowildwings.php.
Saturday -Sunday, Sept. 29-30
Along with rides, food and other festival attractions, weekend activities include the 2012 Karaoke Contest, sponsored by WTTR and Mills Communications.
The contest runs Saturday, 1 to 2:30 p.m., with the finals on Saturday at 3 p.m. People can sign up Thursday or Friday, or Saturday 10 a.m. to noon. Just before the contest starts, 10 contestants from all of the entries will be drawn in each division — kids (15 and younger) and adults (16 and older).
Also over the weekend, vendors and crafters will be set up shop on the Longwell parking lot, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
On Sunday, Fallfest 2012 goes to the dogs — the "Other" Westminster Dog Show will be held on the Longwell stage, with a show and various dog demonstrations, from 1 to 6 p.m.
There will also be other entertainment at the festival Main Stage and also on the Longwell Deck, as follows:
Thursday, Sept. 27
6-10 p.m. — Black Swan
Friday, Sept. 28
6-10 p.m. — Wylde Fire
Saturday, Sept. 29
10 a.m.-noon — Music with Monte
1 p.m. — WTTR Karaoke Contest
6-10 p.m. — Rube Goldberg Solution
8 p.m. — Buffalo Wild Wings Wing Eating Contest
11:30 a.m.-noon — Reflections In Dance
Noon-1 p.m. — Taneytown Dance Center
1-1:30 p.m. — Tristar Martial Arts
1:30-2 p.m. — Chesapeake Roller Derby
2-3 p.m. — Carroll Gymnastics
3-4 p.m. — Sindyanna Belly Dancing
4-5 p.m. — Carroll County Cloggers
Sunday, Sept. 30
1-5 p.m. — Jim Cabral
Noon-1 p.m. — Westminster Wild Cats Cheer
1-6 p.m. — The "Other" Westminster Dog Show