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Hoping to take advantage of the city's First Thursdays, during which downtown businesses stay open later, home decor and arts business Vintage Colors is debuting the first Downtown Taneytown Art Experience Aug. 6.

"This is just the first one — we're going to try to do a lot more," said Lauren Wieprecht, co-chair of the Taneytown Main Street board's promotions committee.

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While the regular First Thursday evening shop hours are from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month from May through September, the Downtown Taneytown Art Experience, at Vintage Colors at 1 Frederick St. in Taneytown, will be available from noon to 8 p.m., she said.

Free activities include taking your picture in one of four classical paintings, such as Edvard Munch's "Scream," wherein the face in the portrait has been removed so that visitors can put their own faces inside it. For this night, the store will also have four local artisans showing off and selling their goods.

The guest artisans who will be at the shop include Russell Huntley, who creates hand-crafted turned wooden bowls and plates; Jeanne Gibbons, who makes handcrafted sterling jewelry that she sells at her Etsy shop, Echo and Wild; Emily Graham, who is planning to open a paper craft business in Taneytown and will be giving a sneak preview of her goods; and Kathleen Cheslock, of Oh my Gosh! Babe! Gifts, a regular designer featured in Vintage Colors who will be bringing a larger collection of her handcrafted goods.

Participants will also be able to decorate pottery tiles using nontraditional methods at one of four art stations for a fee.

"It's not so much about the actual painting of the piece [of pottery]; it's more about learning the technique and experiencing something different," owner Dave Hammond said.

At the art stations, participants will be able to learn how to paint ceramics through bubble glazing, finger painting, and spin art, as well as how to glaze tiles with a water gun. The walk-in rate is $10 per station per person or $30 for all four stations. Pre-registered groups of six or more can receive a discounted rate by calling the store in advance.

Most of the tiles will be 6- by 6-inches, and can be used as trivets, framed, or hung by ribbon as wall art.

Hammond will fire the tiles in his kiln the week after they are decorated, and they should be ready for customer pick up about 10 days after the event.

Vintage Colors, which originally opened as a home decor business in 2013, debuted a paint-your-own pottery studio in April which has really taken off, Hammond said. His goal in creating the Downtown Taneytown Art Experience is to introduce more people to the studio, and to create a bigger draw for First Thursdays, which have seen declined participation, he said.

Wieprecht said she would like to see more businesses get involved in future Downtown Taneytown Art Experiences on First Thursdays. Some new businesses should be opening downtown this fall, she said, and will have plenty of time to think of some ideas before First Thursdays are offered again in the spring.

For more information or to pre-register a group for the painting stations, call Vintage Colors at 443-789-0831.

Area groups to hold annual softball tournament

Representatives of the Harney VFW, Harney volunteer company and Saint Paul's Lutheran Church are holding their fourth annual softball tournament Sept. 12 and 13 at the Harney ballfield, at the intersection of Conover Road and Bowers Road in Harney.

All neighboring fire departments, service clubs and local ball clubs are invited to participate in this Class low-D softball tournament, which aims to honor the memory of the Harney Baseball Club, which played on the Harney ballfield from 1946 to 2001.

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The entry fee is $125 per team. Cash awards will be given to the top three teams in the eliminations, as well as gift certificates to all teams. First-, second- and third-place trophies will be awarded to the respective teams, with participating medals being awarded for each registered team.

The tournament will take place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 12 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 13. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Proceeds will benefit an area family in need.

Registration is required by Sept. 7. To register or for more information, contact Frank M. Rauschenberg at 410-756-5444 or fm32@rcn.com.

Do you have community news?

If your organization has any events coming up that you would like to share with other readers in the West Carroll area, please send me your event's information with at least two weeks' notice so I can schedule it to run in the Neighborhoods section. Events for the fall are also welcome.

Carrie Ann Knauer covers New Windsor, Union Bridge, Taneytown and neighboring communities in the West Carroll area. Contact her at 410-596-9248 or carrie.knauer@gmail.com.

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