"We were just out looking for adventure," said Kelley Gordon of Hampstead. Her family followed signs to the Fall Festival, Flea and Craft Market at Union Mills.
The festival has been sponsored by the Silver Run-Union Mills Lions Club for the past six years. The Gordons soon discovered why folks have returned every year.
Sprawling over shaded acres, tables of antiques, collectibles and crafts led down to the pony rides and games.
On stage, musical entertainment played non-stop.
The Lions filled three tents with hot food, apples, pies and more.
Fire trucks from Pleasant Valley were open for inquiring youngsters, who got free balloons, stickers and pencils.
An enormous farm wagon offered Indian corn, pumpkins and gourds.
The Maryland Gold Wings covered one field with about 30 members' motorcycles on exhibit.
The Honest Chisler was chipping wood into his apron, sculpting tiny figure. Robert Hoy, 76, of Westminster, enjoys whittling wooden birds, people and an occasional fish. As he carved, his engaging conversation held festival-goers in good humor.
Nearby, Raymond Bankert of Westminster sat between two humming antique gas engines. The heavy wheels spun, dripping water washed across a radiator and, with a chug, a puff of blue smoke rose. When attached with belts, he said, these engines would run hammer mills or saw wood, just as they did in 1914.
The petting zoo drew a crowd of children.
Kelley Gordon and her husband, Don, watched their daughters Lorien, 4, and Allison, 1, tickle a bunny. The rabbits, chickens, goats and a calf were from Sandhaven Farm, and 11-year-old Josh Sanders helped answer questions.
He stroked the Holstein calf. It was as big as he. "It was born about 6 this morning," he said. "It's very soft," mused Mrs. Gordon. "And it's not so small," said Lorien.
While the lunch crowd closed in on the barbecued chicken, hamburgers and giant slices of pie, Harold Mort, a Lions Club charter member, scrubbed pans from the breakfast eggs, sausage and pancakes.
"We began cutting them off at 10, but had to serve right up to 11 a.m." he said, hands in the suds.
He and one dozen other Lions began working under the tents at 5 a.m. to start serving at 6.
More than 150 breakfasts were sold, said John Stuffle. He'd helped set up the portable kitchens Friday, working until dark.
Mr. Stuffle and Mr. Mort have been Lions for 31 years.
When Mr. Mort moved to Littlestown several years ago, he stayed with the Silver Run-Union Mills club. "Our club is pretty active, compared to most others," he said.
"All the money we make we spend on our community," for rehabilitation equipment needed by people in recovery, he said.
The club supplies such things as wheelchairs, crutches, beds and hospital equipment to a district that includes north-central Carroll County and communities nearby in Pennsylvania, including Pleasant Valley, Littlestown and Kingsdale.
The Lions also help fund Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other community groups.
At the flea market tables, Debbie Muse selected an antique dairy cream bottle. "I think these are cute," she said.
Carol Reely flipped through several hundred sewing patterns. "I'm really a fabricaholic," she joked, viewing her gold mine of future projects.
The Gordon family was moving toward the spilling water of the Union Mills grist wheel.
"We took a tour of the house, and we're doing the mill next," said Mrs. Gordon, pushing a stroller.
There was no hurry.
The Fall Festival would not end until dusk.