CRISP BREEZES ushered in the FallFest parade in downtown Westminster on Thursday evening.
Streets were blocked and crowds huddled in blankets in front of Carroll County Public Library and along Main Street. With red-tipped noses and neighborly smiles, folks greeted each other and shared in autumn's festive spirit.
It was the beginning of the biggest fall festival in Carroll County.
If you wish you had been there, don't despair -- the county has a few more fall celebrations to offer.
Union Mills festival
Check out the annual Fall Festival at Union Mills Homestead, sponsored by Silver Run/Union Mills Lions Club.
The festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Early risers can enjoy breakfast, which will be served from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday.
The menu features buckwheat pancakes, with flour ground from the homestead's mill, regular pancakes, eggs, sausage, orange juice, coffee or tea.
The event features fall flowers, pumpkins, decorations and more. Plenty of fall crafts will be available with more than 70 craft and flea market vendors participating.
"We'll have kiddie rides, pony rides, continuous entertainment, antique cars and gas engines," said John Hopkins, festival promoter.
Admission and parking are free. Guided tours of the grist mill and Union Mills Homestead will be offered from noon to 4 p.m. each day. A fee will be charged.
Entertainment begins at 11 a.m. Saturday with gospel singer Kitty Warner. Carroll County Cloggers perform from noon to 1 p.m. and Ashley Marie takes the stage at 1 p.m.
Sunday's entertainment begins at 11 a.m. with Miss Maryland Jaime Fox, who will sing and pose for photographs. Ashley Marie sings again at 1 p.m. The Alesia Band plays at 2 p.m.
The homestead is seven miles north of Westminster on Route 97.
Wal-Mart fall fair
Stop by a fall craft fair and carnival from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Westminster Wal-Mart parking lot.
Featured will be craft vendors, games, vintage cars and displays by community agencies, including the county Health Department, Westminster police and Carroll County General Hospital.
Proceeds will benefit the Johns Hopkins Children's Miracle Network.
I want to offer a warm thank you to all of my loyal readers. I was always gratified when I heard from you through notes and telephone calls.
Your kind comments always made me think about the service this column provides. I have enjoyed being your local correspondent, but it is time for me to move on.
Many of you know how hectic my schedule has become with two daughters. Add to that a full-time position at Western Maryland College, which I recently began, and you will understand that I have lost the time it takes to produce this column.
Lisa Breslin will fill my shoes, and I know she will not let you down.
Breslin has been involved in community journalism for more than 10 years and teaches English part time at Western Maryland College.
She lives in Westminster with her husband, Jim, an environmental biologist, and two daughters, Kyleen, 7, and Katie, 5.
Again, thanks and good luck, Lisa.
Pub Date: 9/29/97