EACH YEAR, Union Mills Homestead holds its Flower Mart and Antique Show. But this year the celebration will be expanded because this is the year of the Homestead's 200th anniversary.

"We have added some extra features to help us celebrate," said Esther Shriver, director of Union Mills Homestead Foundation. "We'll have our usual flowers, plus specialty flower vendors, herbs and a goldfish pond display.

"Three floors of the mill will be filled with mid-Atlantic antiques. On Saturday, there will be an art show in the mill, with a rain date of Sunday. We'll have a blacksmith, Williamsport artisans, and a wheelwright," she said. "Also on Saturday, we will have a hot-air balloon ascension at 3: 30 p.m., and there will be plenty of food vendors with lunch available."

Friday night, the 19th Drum and Fife Corps will set up camp at Homestead Park, staying for the weekend. Dressed in authentic Civil War costumes, the re-enactors will have a parade and music and will feature living history at their campsites.

The Patriot Daughters also will be on hand. Attired in clothing from the era of Prohibition, they will speak against the dangers of alcohol.

Admission to Homestead Flower Mart and Antique Show is free. According to Shriver, a nominal charge will be applied to the house tour and the antique show.

Over the years, I have enjoyed this rite of spring. By visiting the homestead for its annual flower mart, I have been able to track the growth and rebuilding of this piece of history.

I remember the old tannery, and the burned-out site where it once stood. Pictures in my album show the rebuilt tannery. I remember how Amish artisans worked to get it finished in time for a flower show. Now, a new sign, engraved with gold lettering, announces the 200-year mark, 1797-1997.

For those who enjoy reliving part of Carroll County history while welcoming spring, Union Mills Homestead Flower Mart and Antique Show is the place to be Saturday and Sunday. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Information: 410-848-2288.

Handwriting champ

Amy Rebert, a student at Charles Carroll Elementary School in Silver Run, is a state champion in the National Handwriting Contest sponsored by Parker Pen and Zaner-Bloser, the nation's leading publisher of handwriting texts.

Amy is a student in Mrs. Dilley's fifth-grade class. She competed against more than 100,000 students from around the country, and now will compete for the title of national grade level champion and grand champion national champion. State champions, including Amy, will receive framed certificates and Parker Jotter Pens.

Annual Children's Fair

The Christian Preschool and Kindergarten Program of First United Presbyterian Church in Westminster is sponsoring its fourth annual Children's Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The fair will be held at the school at 65 Washington Road, rain or shine.

Activities include carnival games, pony rides, raffles and face painting.

The fair will feature a moonwalk, silent auction, storytelling, children's aerobics, a bake table, nursery plant sale, balloons, a candy shop, cotton candy, popcorn and more.

The fair is free. Information: 410-857-4389.

Pub Date: 4/28/97

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