Bride, groom take plunge at local lake


The bride wore purple floral swimwear and flowers in her hair. The groom donned a short-sleeve shirt, designed to look like a tuxedo, complete with a pink carnation.

This was a most unusual wedding: Theresa Utz and Mark Johnson, both of Hampstead, stood atop the water slide at Cascade Lake, reciting their marriage vows.

The five-member wedding party stood assembled on the surrounding platform, about two stories above the sprawling network of piers over the busy lake.

Guests and visitors stood behind lifeguards on the piers, clutching pink and purple balloons and video recorders.

Along the shore, hundreds of people were arriving to picnic and swim. Families caught amid ketchup and burgers stopped to watch, and swimming ceased as the wedding unfolded.

"This is a new day, it is forever. Indeed, it is different," said the Rev. James Schwarzlose, pastor of St. Mark's United Church of Christ of Snydersburg.

The couple kissed and a cheer went up. Hundreds of balloons were released.

And everyone in the wedding party, including the pastor, took the plunge into the 76-degree water.

Watching from the pier, the respective teen-age children of the bride and groom, Justin Utz, Travis Johnson, Katy Johnson, Dale Johnson, dressed in similar tuxedo T-shirts and swimwear, jumped into the lake.

"Mark's always had a different way of doing things," observed Tom Thompson, a friend from Sykesville.

The groom's parents, Herbert and Lorraine Johnson, were amused.

"Nobody drowned," Herbert said wryly.

"That's my daughter, she likes things that are original. She started as a lifeguard out here years ago when she was in high school," said the bride's mother, Janet Hill of Manchester.

The couple wanted the ceremony at the picturesque lake and decided to take their vows atop the water slide at the suggestion of Cascade owner Patrick Flynn, who had read about a similar event in California.

The bride's father, George Hill, was delighted.

"Every time I've been to a wedding, I've been in a tuxedo," he said, tugging at his polo shirt. "I prefer this."

Group has crab feast

The Hampstead Business Association will hold a crab feast on Saturday instead of its usual monthly meeting. Unfortunately, the crab feast is already sold out.

The next general meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 4 at Dean's Restaurant.

Tentative plans call for a speaker from the Carroll County Board of Education to address the group.

Information: LaVere Grimes, 239-5555.

Labor Day Century ahead

To a bicyclist, a century means 100 miles in a single day, an obtainable goal for an avid cyclist.

The Hanover Cyclers, a Pennsylvania-based club that encourages biking at all levels, marks National Century Month in September with its own popular event, the Labor Day Century.

The group's 18th Labor Day event includes rides on lightly traveled country roads in the Hanover area.

The rides begin at the South Street Recreation Center in McSherrystown.

Rides of 100, 62 (which is 100 kilometers), 50 and 25 miles are offered. Roads are marked and itineraries are detailed. There are food stops on longer rides and plenty of drinks and snacks at the finish.

Information: Jeff Caples, 105 Main St., McSherrystown, Pa., 17344, or call (717) 633-7273.

Pub Date: 8/14/96

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