This year in Carroll County, fall began at 8:03 p.m. on Sept. 22. Scientifically it’s the autumnal equinox, the time when the sun shines directly on the equator, and the southern and northern hemispheres receive the same amount of sunlight. After the 22nd, the northern hemisphere began to tilt away from the sun.
According to an article in Reader’s Digest that I stumbled upon, the first day of fall usually lands on Sept. 22 or 23. “The date varies from year to year due to the Gregorian calendar, which defines a year at 365 days, while it takes the Earth 364 and 1/4 days to completely orbit the sun.”
The word autumn comes from the Latin, autumnus. The word first appeared in the 1300s in England. In Old French the word is autumpne, or automne.
Another word for the third season of the year, fall, comes from the Old English words, fiaell or feallan — to fall from a height or the “fall of the leaves,” which was shortened in the 1600s to fall. Interestingly enough, the third season of the year has come to be called fall in the United States, while England has clung to the word autumn.
Long before the third season of the year came to be called fall or autumn, it was called simply, harvest. It seems that the word comes from the Old Norse word, haust, which means to gather or pluck.
According to the article in Reader’s Digest, the “Jewish High Holy Days fall near the autumn equinox — the date for the Jewish New Year comes 163 days after the first day of Passover, which is coordinated with the spring equinox in March. Because of that, it tends to be near the first day of fall. In 2022, Rosh Hashana begins Sept. 25 and leads to Yom Kippur (starts the evening of Oct. 4 in 2022) or the Day of Atonement — the holiest day of the year.”
This year September has provided us with 22 days to say goodbye to summer and prepare for fall. Although in Maryland it is not out of the ordinary for us to experience the weather of all four seasons in a single week.
For those of us who love summer, the first day of fall can only mean that winter will soon be upon us. Others look upon the fall season with excitement. Indeed, in Carroll County fall brings about a cornucopia of community events. Fall is for apples, pumpkins, sweaters, fuzzy socks, and colorful leaves.
Let’s look at three of the events on the calendar for fall. The 43rd annual Westminster Fallfest will be held from Sept. 22-25 at the Westminster playground at 11 Longwell Ave. On Sept. 24, the Miss Carroll County Scholarship Competition will take place at Westminster High School. The start of October will be celebrated at Oktoberfest at the Carroll County Agricultural Center on Oct. 1 and 2.
Westminster Fallfest, Sept. 22-25:
Westminster Fallfest started in 1978 to promote awareness of the renewal of the downtown shopping district. According to information provided by the City of Westminster, this year’s Fallfest charity partners are, Crossroads Church, Catholic Charities Head Start & Early Learning, Westminster Municipal Band, and Together We Own It. “Selected partners will assist with planning ... complete tasks delegated by organizers, provide and coordinate volunteers to manage and staff several activities during the four-day festival, and attend mandatory monthly meetings. In return, each partner receives a portion of the proceeds generated from the event to benefit their organization.
“Fallfest is a four-day community event with fun for everyone! The festival is [composed] of rides, games, food, entertainment, and on Saturday and Sunday only, an assortment of craft, commercial, and nonprofit vendors. Hundreds of volunteers from local organizations and area schools help staff this event.”
Miss Carroll County Scholarship Competition, Sept 24:
According to an article on the Carroll County Tourism website:
Carroll County Daily Headlines
Doors will open to the theatre at the Westminster High School at 5p.m. Sept. 24 for the Miss Carroll County Scholarship Competition. “Beforehand, there will be a ‘Forever Miss Maryland/Miss Carroll County Museum,’ featuring memorabilia from former Miss Marylands from 4:30 to 5 p.m.”
The competition takes place at Westminster High School, 1225 Washington Road, Westminster. All tickets will be available for purchase at the door. Admission for adults is $20 and for children $10. All ticket sale proceeds go toward the Miss Carroll County Scholarship Fund.
Carroll County Rotary Clubs Oktoberfest, Oct. 1-2
According to an article on the Carroll County Tourism website, the festival will take place at the Carroll County Agriculture Center and feature “many family activities as well as authentic style German foods, beers, and music … with live entertainment all day.” Oktoberfest will take place Oct. 1 from noon to 8 p.m., and Oct. 2, from noon to 5pm.
Admission is free for those arriving in authentic German attire. General admission is $7 in advance and $10 at the door. Children ages 10 and under are free. Save $2 with a donation of five nonperishable food items that will go to the Westminster Rescue Mission.
Enjoy fall in Carroll County — but think spring.
Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. His Time Flies column appears every Sunday. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.