The annual Sykesville Fall Festival, which marks its 38th annual edition next Saturday, Oct. 8, is a celebration that includes games, music, food, vendors, crafts and activities for kids of all ages.
But the festival, stretching out along Sykesville's Main Street, also carries two important themes:
• Showing off Sykesville's attributes to visitors.
• Strengthening the fabric of the Sykesville area's community life.
Ivy Wells, Main Street manager and director of Economic Development for the Town of Sykesville, said events such as the festival "not only bring new people to town, but also connect our existing community together."
She said vendors, volunteers and those attending, "look forward to seeing their friends and neighbors.
And, "it's a wonderful way for people to become acquainted with our historic town — and choose to visit again."
The festival is sponsored by the Sykesville Business Association, in conjunction with the Town of Sykesville.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Main Street will be turned into a plaza of entertainment, artisans ... and eats.
The food actually flows a bit early from St. Barnabas Church Parish House on Main Street, which hosts its annual pancake breakfast, 8 a.m. to noon.
Plain or blueberry pancakes, country sausage, applesauce and beverages are $7 for adults; $3 for children ages 4 and older, and free for ages 3 and younger.
The Main Street stage will feature entertainment and demonstrations throughout the day, as follows:
10:30 a.m. — Sykesville Tae Kwon Do Academy demonstration.
11:30 a.m. — Carroll County Dance Center performing movements from "The Nutcracker."
Noon — Tristar Martial Arts demonstration.
1 p.m. —JoeyDCares Rock Orchestra, a program of the Freedom Area Recreation Council through which local music students work with adult mentors under the leadership of music teacher Joey Dundore.
2 to 5 p.m. — Plan B, an acoustic rock trio playing classic rock from the 1960s to the early 2000s.
A children's activity area will be operated all day by the Artists 4 Amy foundation, a nonprofit that offers assistance to families that have a sick child.
Meanwhile, Samsara Salon, located on Main Street, will conduct "Cut-A-Thon for a Cause," with all proceeds donated to the Women's Place at Carroll Hospital Center. A minimum $10 donation is requested for each haircut provided. Call to reserve, at 410-552-6900.
The menu of food for the Sykesville Fall Festival will include offerings from CJ's Catering, AW Boys Fries, EW Becks, Olde Country Kettle Corn, Pepperjack Grille, Everything Nice Funnel Cakes and French Twist crepes and coffee.
St. Paul's Church will host a bake sale and flea market, and vendors will sell everything from jewelry, NFL logo items, purses and wood furniture to hand-sewn items, silk screen prints, wind chimes and spiced nuts.
Parking around town will be limited, but throughout the day, a free shuttle bus will be operated from Freedom Park, 100 Raincliffe Road, to take people down to Main Street.
There's a rain date of Oct. 15, but Wells and the merchants in Sykesville's downtown area hope it won't be needed.
Rain or shine, Wells wants people to come and see "the beauty of our buildings and to learn the history of our town and the friendliness of our business owners and the uniqueness of our shops."