Weather brightens annual event; Fallfest: Crafts, entertainment, food and late-night sales mark Westminster's 21st celebration of autumn.


A flawless blue sky, bright sunshine and warm weather brought out people of all ages yesterday for the 21st annual Westminster Fallfest.

The Longwell parking lot was filled with vendors selling books, wood crafts, home and garden decorations, clothes, dolls, jewelry, Halloween decorations, furniture, candles, wind chimes, paintings, flower arrangements, leather goods, teddy bears and yo-yos.

Wayra Rodriguez, a Peruvian Indian whose first name means "wind," drew curious crowds as he played a handmade siku, a bamboo panpipe that resembles a miniature pipe organ. His repertoire included classical and contemporary songs, including "Wind Beneath My Wings," "Tears in Heaven" and "My Heart Will Go On."

The tennis court behind the old armory was turned into a Kids' Court, with face painting, crafts, hula hoops and a mini moonwalk. For $1, youngsters could make the rounds of every activity.

Carol Nevin of Finksburg had her two children, Katie, 4, and Jenny, 8, in the Kids' Court. Katie had face paint on her hands while playing a game as Jenny came over with a tissue paper flower she had made.

"We've been here since 11 a.m., riding the rides, eating the food and playing in the Kids' Court," Carol Nevin said. "They enjoyed walking along the shops with their dad last night."

Bob Brantley of Westminster came for the food -- hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, crab cakes, cheesesteak sandwiches, sweet-potato fries, onion rings, ice cream and candy apples. He, his father-in-law, wife, sister and nephew strolled the crafts stands looking for a plant hanger before seeking something to eat.

"I'm looking for the fried chicken," Brantley said. "We'll hang out all day -- unless the chicken doesn't show up."

Lucy Swain of Sykesville was listening to Terry Gourley & Band while waiting for her sister to take her children on the rides.

"We shopped the vendors and got something to eat," she said. "I come every year. I bought a flower arrangement and some odds and ends."

Warm weather, a Ronnie Dove concert and "midnight madness" shopping helped bring out the crowds Friday evening, too. East Main Street was closed from Longwell to Railroad avenues, and shoppers filled a number of stores that stayed open for the event.

Westminster Mayor Kenneth Yowan and his wife, Joy, were among Friday's shoppers.

"We dropped a few dollars last night shopping, then we had dinner at Johanssons," the mayor said. "Last night I said to Joy, 'Maybe we should do this [midnight shopping] every weekend.' That and the entertainment were great."

The concert by Dove, a popular singer well known around the Baltimore area, drew an enthusiastic audience of about 300 Friday night as he belted out songs from the '50s and '60s.

The concert was marred in the beginning when a man leaped onto the stage, almost knocking Dove into the drums.

Edward Goering and his girlfriend, Paula Hanson, were arrested a short time later by Westminster police.

Goering was charged with assault and disorderly intoxication and Hanson with disorderly conduct. Both were later released, said Capt. Dean Brewer, Westminster police spokesman.

Fallfest continues from noon to 6 p.m. today at the city playground and Longwell parking lot. Music will include the Jazz Caravan and the Old Line Statesmen Barbershop Chorus.

Other activities scheduled today will be a pumpkin pie-eating contest at 2 p.m., and the Fallfest Olympics, which include a three-legged sack race, hula hoop contest, a scavenger hunt and egg relay.

Fallfest is a major fund-raiser for six designated charities every year. The 1999 charities are 4-H Therapeutic Riding, Bright Vision Therapeutic Riding, Carroll Hospice, Christmas in April, the Kiwanis Club of Westminster and the Northeast Social Action Program.

Pub Date: 9/26/99

Copyright © 2021, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad