THE BEST part of living in Laurel or Savage is the old-time, small-town atmosphere residents create.
Although many residents work in Washington or Baltimore, somehow this area has never felt like a mere bedroom suburb.
This atmosphere is no accident -- many people dedicate their free time to such activities as the Scouts, the Boys and Girls Club sports teams, area churches and of course Savage Fest.
Savage Fest, held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday is the community's gift to itself. It's a combination block party, political rally and fun fair. Low key, it is a perfect showcase for the civic activities of the community. It is also a lot of fun.
The parade sponsored by the Savage Volunteer Fire Company begins at 10 a.m., winding down Savage-Guilford Road and ending at the fest itself on Baltimore Street.
After the parade passes by, the entertainment begins. Dancing programs by area schools, folk singer Nancy Felkow, performances by the Benny Dean Band throughout the day and other entertainment are on the program.
Baldwin Commons, the site of the fair Foundry and Baltimore streets, will be filled with games and rides at nominal fees. The Savage Mill is sponsoring a hayride through the historic portions of the town. Pony rides and speed pitches are planned, and pedal cars will be available.
The organizers have scheduled a magician and several more dance demonstrations to be held on the commons during the day. Food will be provided by the Hammond High cheerleaders, the Boy Scouts and area restaurants.
New this year is a Civil War Living History Group camping out for the day. The re-enactors will explain what life was like more than a century ago.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the efforts of the usual suspects -- the people who always gets roped into helping to organize this festival.
While exhausted, they have outdone their previous efforts to bring the community a special day. Thanks go to Sharon Spicher, who coordinated the booths and vendors; to Bill Waff, who got generous donations from area businesses and made up the program; to Ellen Waff, general coordinator of the festival; to Bobbie Fairall who arranged for the entertainment; to Erin and Gene Lucas for the children's games; to Warren Williams, who successfully navigated the permit maze to insure the legality of the festival; to Mary Ann Gardes for publicity; to Cathy Whitehead, who got door prizes; to Charla and Joe Long, who made the new festival signs and took charge of the raffles; and to Linda and Neil Doran for their work with the Civil War re-enactors.
As if there wasn't enough to do tomorrow at Savage Fest, Savage United Methodist Church is holding its annual Strawberry Festival across the street.
Famous for its homemade ice cream and fresh strawberries, the congregation is also offering a selection of pit and barbecued items for hungry diners. There's even takeout available so no one has to cook tomorrow.
The graduation ceremony for eighth-graders at Bethel Christian Academy featured a presentation by Nekita Woodson on her stay at Bethel; remarks on why he returned by Kevin O'Malley; a speech on setting goals by valedictorian Kourtney Bennet; and advice on how to be a leader from Tenisha Vest, elected student of the year.
Please wish Keith Collin Allison, Jessica Evans, Jadon Ephraim, Tiffany Henard, Rachel Holsomback, Aubyn Jones, Derrick Larkins, Chris Lynn, Melanie Oehlert, Heather Salcedo, Kourtney, Kevin, Tenisha and Nekita, all the best as they head for high school.
The kindergartners at Bethel Christian Academy are also graduating.
Plans for their ceremonies, scheduled for tonight, include several musical interludes and short plays. Gabrielle Cazeau, Jared Christensen and Robert Parker are to lead the pledges to the U.S. and Christian flags and to the Bible.
The first song "Arky Arky," will be performed by Cedric Hanley, Shannon Bishop, Ayo Mott, Joshua Knox, Caity Wallace, Alvina Pillai, Megan Casto, Desaray Carroll and Sarah Murphy.
The story of Zaccheus will be performed by Morgan Hill, Devin Whiteman, Jaclyn Harbison, Taylor Leaper, Johanna Henningsen and Taylor McCarl.
The story of Jericho will be performed by Annelise Murphy, Nkechi Okereke, Alex Taylor, Ayana Moore, Kaitlyn Simmons, Jada Nicome, David Harum, Timothy Harvey and Jake Rotter.
A Day at the Farm will be presented by Anita Garay, Andre Morales, Kourtnie Wash, Taylor Campbell, James Elk and Robert.
Good Morning will be performed by Maggie McClary, Olivia Owens, Chloe Kettell, Dechia Adesugun, Stacy Hand, Kaitlyn McGaffin, Jessica Mundo, Rebecca Frost, Rebecca Mannas, Kelsey Cox and Gabrielle.
Pub Date: 6/05/98