Food, vendors, music -- even 'Dunk the Dentist' on tap for Hereford Fall Festival

The Hereford Volunteer Fire Company and the Hereford Zone Business Association sponsor the Hereford Fall Festivall, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 20 and 21. It offers wine tasting from three local wineries, beer, food, music, activities and vendors.

"My phone has been blowing up," said festival chairman Tom Ruhl. "I get calls all day, every day from people asking if there is still space for vendors or to sell food. It's crazy. We had 17 vendors our first year. We already have 100 this year."

Vendors will sell everything from jewelry, toys, scarves and vintage glassware to used books, dog and cat products and wood sculptures.

Activities include a moonbounce, tractor-drawn hay wagon rides, pony rides, monster truck rides and face painting.

A new attraction this year is "Dunk the Dentist." Hereford dentist Dr. Craig Longenecker will perch above a tank of water on Oct. 20. People pay $1 for the chance to dunk him by hitting a target with a ball. All proceeds will help pay for fireworks following the June 30, 2013, Hereford Independence Day parade.

Parents may want to check out the child identification station run by Ravens Roost 118 from Pioneer Pub, in Hereford, and Maryland Masonic Charities representative Greg Hudnet of the Freeland Masonic lodge.

The free ID program offers a CD that contains information on a child that includes a photo, digital fingerprints, a voiceprint and a DNA swab.

To find the ID tent, just look for Hudnet's purple Ravens 1952 Buick and his Orioles orange 1941 Plymouth. (See sidebar.)

Hungry visitors can pick from hamburgers, bison burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, pit beef, pit ham and french fries, as well as crab soup, Jambalaya, pizza, tacos, sandwiches or onion rings.

The Hereford Zone Business Association is once again supplying a hospitality tent where people can sit and enjoy their food. The tent also features seven themed baskets filled with at least 20 items that will be raffled off. Raffle tickets are $3; 4 for $10; or 10 for $20.

In addition, HZBA members have rounded up 70 silent auction items that include coupons to 25 restaurants and unique items, such as a Dell Notebook computer, steamed crabs, trees and topsoil.

John Mays, who owns Kingsdene Nursery & Garden Center and who chairs the HZBA project, said the group raised $11,600 last year. All proceeds were donated to the Hereford Volunteer Fire Company, the Hereford Volunteer Ambulance Association, the Hereford Food Bank and the North Cluster Food Bank.

Live music is offered both days. Bands include Little Tree, RailAway, Dalton Gang, Green Branch, Ivy Mike and The Uncommitted.

Admission to the festival has remained the same over the years. Wine drinkers pay $10 and get a wine glass and six sampling coupons to try wines from Boordy Vineyards, Basignani Winery and Woodhall Wine Cellars. Nondrinkers pay $5. Children under 12 are free with a paying adult. Parking is free.

The festival is held in a field next to Graul's Market, 200 Mt. Carmel Road, one block east of Interstate 83 and Exit 27.

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