Farm Museum jubilee: a bumper crop of fun


Rex Barney didn't make it, and the crowd was smaller than usual, but those who did attend the Community Jubilee Day at the Carroll County Farm Museum on Friday ate, danced, chatted and generally had a good time.

"We're having a lovely time here," said June Ward of Westminster, as she finished a tour of the 1852 farmhouse and headed off to watch a line dancing demonstration.

About 300 people attended the event, estimated Jean Scott, program coordinator for the Farm Museum. "That's not very many," she said.

In recent years, the event has drawn crowds of about 1,000.

Ms. Scott said the organizers sent invitations to more than 400 senior citizens centers around the region, but the response was lower than usual and fewer centers sent buses.

"There's certainly nothing wrong with the weather," she said.

The organizers, the Carroll County Bureau of Aging, the Carroll County Farm Museum and the Senior Planning Council, had asked Orioles announcer Rex Barney to be master of ceremonies for the event.

"He wasn't able to come," said Dottie Freeman, Farm Museum spokeswoman. "But they sent the Oriole Bird."

The Bird joined about 20 seniors in a demonstration of armchair aerobics led by Nancy Kiser, exercise therapist for the Westminster Senior Center Lunch Bunch.

Ms. Kiser devised the armchair program to enable people with health problems -- such as stroke, knee or hip replacements, and arthritis -- to engage in a mild form of aerobic exercise.

To the strains of "Pretty Woman" and "Achy Breaky Heart," the participants stretched, tapped their legs and waved their arms.

In the farmhouse, Marta Bowes of Westminster played "Amazing Grace" and military waltzes on a pump organ from the mid-1800s.

She pointed out a nearby grandfather clock with wooden gears that was made in the 1700s by Eli Bentley of Taneytown.

"It keeps better time than anything in my own house," she said.

Outside, seniors sold crafts and knickknacks at about 10 tables. Around the corner, several seniors clubs sold crab soup, baked goods and other homemade victuals.

Dorothy Houff, center manager of the North Carroll Senior Center, said her crew had made about 550 apple dumplings for the occasion.

"I love those apple dumplings up there," said Carolyn Jennings of Upperco. "The North Carroll Senior Center has great food."

Then she was off to the stage, where the crowd was invited to take a crack at line dancing. "I've never had any lessons," she said, "but I've got the guts to try."

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