When an organization is in danger of losing something, such as a paid staff person, for lack of money, naturally it holds a fund-raiser.
But when the fund-raiser turns out to be a lot of fun for everybody involved, the organization may keep on having it. Which is what Piney Run Park and Nature Center is doing this weekend for the seventh straight year, as it celebrates fall with an Apple Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
"The Apple Festival is still a fund-raiser for the Piney Run Recreation and Conservation Council," said Deanna Hofmann, park naturalist, "but we wanted to offer a fun activity for the whole family to come out and enjoy.
"The key is old-fashioned family fun that may have been common on the farm in the old days, like horse-drawn wagon rides, that people don't get a chance to do now."
Horse-drawn wagon rides, tractor-pulled hay rides, an old-fash
ioned cider press with samples, apple butter making and demonstrations of cooking in Revolutionary and Civil War times are a few of the activities that will be demonstrated throughout the day.
Or take a trip back in time with Tony Breda as he demonstrates how early peoples made a dugout canoe with stone axes and fire.
"The dugout canoe is a very ancient mode of transportation," Mr. Breda said. "I scrape, then burn, then scrape some more and hack at the wood with stone tools the way they did."
Rather than take the time to scrape a 10-foot or longer log by hand, Native Americans probably burned the center of the log to make scraping it out easier and faster, Mr. Breda theorizes.
He'll bring his 10-foot-long, 19-inch-wide canoe to the park for some fine-tuning and demonstrating the techniques involved in making this early water vehicle.
The 28-year-old Towson resident also will demonstrate flint knapping, which is making knives, axes, arrowheads and other tools out of stone.
Other activities will include fly-tying for anglers, blacksmithing demonstrations, scarecrow stuffing, a bee hive observation, face painting and pumpkin painting.
"You can buy a pumpkin or bring your own and paint it for 50 cents," Ms. Hofmann said.
L The Nature Center will be open with the following offerings:
* A children's hands-on craft-making session at 10 a.m.
* A program on the history of the apple at 11 a.m.
* Storytelling at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
* A puppet show at noon and 12:30 p.m.
* A live hawk program at 3 p.m.
* Organized games at 1 p.m.
Other scheduled activities include pontoon rides every hour starting at
11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and guided canoe tours at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Ms. Hofmann said tickets for the pontoon and canoe rides should be purchased in advance at the ticket booth by the tennis courts. Other tickets for the wagon rides ($1 each), face painting and pumpkin painting (50 cents each), the children's craft session (50 cents) and scarecrow making ($4) also will be available.
Wherligig will entertain with traditional folk music at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., and Johnny Appleseed may put in an appearance.
And don't bother to cook Saturday. The Apple Festival will have lots of food vendors selling a variety of goodies, including apple pies, apple dumplings and apple fritters.
A number of craft vendors also will be on hand, and the Nature Center shop will offer bird seed and other gift and souvenir items for sale.
The festival will go on, rain or shine. Admission is $3 a car for county residents and $4 a car for out-of-county visitors.