Hampstead will be flashed around the world Friday when the Tour DuPont bike race whizzes through town.
At 12:20 p.m., about 128 bicyclists will enter Carroll County on Black Rock Road east of Hampstead. They'll ride into town behind St. John's United Methodist Church, turn north on Route 30 near Bob's Variety Store, ride up Main Street, then go west on Route 482, past North Carroll High School, and on into Westminster along Railroad Avenue, en route to Frederick County and Hagerstown.
Tour DuPont is an 11-day race that begins today in Wilmington, Del., and ends in Greensboro, N.C. Last year, a crowd cheered the racers onward through Hampstead as the pack slowed around St. John's Church.
Swelling the ranks of the bicyclists are television camera operators straddling motorcycles who zip between the racers to give the world up-to-the-minute coverage. There is a brace of police on motorcycles, clearing the streets of onlookers. There are minivans plastered with corporate endorsements, with extra bike wheels strapped atop the roofs.
There's also usually a final vehicle or two, with doors ajar, announcing, "Thank you, see you next year!"
More than 46 million people saw print or televised coverage of Tour DuPont last year, according to the tour's organizers. Take your lunch break along Hampstead's Main Street on Friday and join the excitement.
On the grounds of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church, at Dover and Pleasant Grove roads in Boring, you'll find a Community Flea Market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
The church is a little more than a mile south of Arcadia, about 6 miles from Hampstead.
"We have more fleas than antiques, but do have several antique dealers," said organizer Vola Osborn, president of the United Methodist Women, which sponsors the event. "We're trying to [encourage] more antiques instead of crafts."
About 15 vendors have registered for tables, but spaces are still available.
For several years, the 20 members of the church women's group have held fall craft fairs and spring flea and antique markets, which typically attract several hundred people.
"Last year we had a real good turnout," said fellow organizer Shirley Koehne.
"Church members will make lunch," Mrs. Koehne said. "Hot dogs, barbecue and chicken corn soup." They also fill a table of baked goods. A table of craft items benefits the Bible study group.
Proceeds benefit the church.
"We put the money back into the church property," Mrs. Osborn said. "Our church celebrates 125 years this year. We're doing extra things each year to get it back in shape. We've done a lot [recently] to our social hall."
Information: Shirley Koehne 429-1981 or Vola Osborn 429-3922.
The weeds are whacked, the grass is trimmed, the plastic bags are bulging with organic refuse. What's next?
If you live in Hampstead, leave that bagged yard waste or tied bundles of woody branches on the curb every Monday, starting Monday. The town will take it to the composting area at the landfill.
"This is a trial we're doing with our own maintenance people," said Hampstead Mayor Clint Becker. "We don't have a handle on how much and how many stops, or how many houses" need service for picking up yard waste. "We'll handle it on our own until we figure it out, and we may modify our plans after that."
Only organic yard waste, such as leaves and lawn clippings, is acceptable. No rocks, soil or tree limbs more than 2 inches in diameter or more than 4 feet long will be taken. Unlike your backyard compost pit, which will accept kitchen waste, absolutely no kitchen garbage will be accepted by the town's collectors.
"You can't mix garbage or anything other than compostable yard waste with collections on Mondays," emphasized Mayor Becker. people do that, it's going to definitely hurt the program," because the yard waste won't be recyclable at the landfill composting area.
Although residents are urged throughout the county to compost their own yard waste, the Hampstead town collection will benefit homeowners who have small yards, the mayor said.
"When you're in a town and the lots are down to an eighth of an acre around a town home, there's not a place in the yard to collect grass clippings," he said.
As in the past, mulch and compost are available at the landfill free for county residents.
Information: Hampstead Town Office, 374-2761.
Let the Burma Shave-style signs along Route 30 lure you. Or the bright yellow tents, the hay rides, or the lawns spread with the wares of more than 70 crafts people.
It's the Country Craft Fair, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 14 at St. George's Episcopal Church, 2434 Cape Horn Road, between Hampstead and Manchester.
Organizer Jeanie Thomas says the fair will offer wood crafts, soft sculpture, garden ornaments, miniature brick doorstops, children's rocking chairs, miniature dolls, shadow boxes, clay jewelry, country porch dolls, preserves, silk florals, watercolors, potpourri, wreaths, gift bags, pottery and stoneware, stenciled baskets, padded photo albums, bead necklaces, decorated T-shirts and sweat shirts, and more.
Space is still available for those who sell handmade items with a country theme. A flea market will not be part of the fair.
"We try to make [the fair] bigger and better each year," Mrs. Thomas said. The fair is the church's main fund-raiser.
About 40 church members are coordinating the day's events, which include hay rides, face painting, numerous children's activities, pit beef and Italian sausages, an indoor country kitchen serving crab soup and lunch fare, a bake shop and two auctions.
A "Chinese auction," which starts at 1 p.m., is a silent auction in which dollar bids are deposited for each item and a winner is drawn. Items in that, Mrs. Thomas said, are "things like manicures, free hair appointments and items of the $10 category, such as free videos or movie passes" donated by local businesses.
A regular auction will begin outdoors at 2 p.m. "In the past, we've auctioned everything from passes to attractions in Baltimore to vacations in Ocean City and Deep Creek Lake," Mrs. Thomas said. "Last year, The Lumberyard donated two gigantic half-moon windows. It could be anything."