Autumn has arrived in Carroll County and this weekend is full of celebrations of the season.
In Mount Airy yesterday, many stopped along Main Street to listen to the South Carroll High School Marching Band open the two-day Festival on the Ridge.
At the Carroll County Farm Museum's Fall Harvest Days, families strolled among the crafts and food vendors, listened to bluegrass music, took wagon rides and enjoyed games.
The Northwest Business Association offered its first Autumn Days Festival in Big Pipe Creek Park outside Taneytown, complete with crafts, food, music and entertainment.
A less frenetic pace could be found at Everybody's Quilt Guild's Harvest of Quilts at the National Guard Armory on Hahn Road in Westminster, where more than 150 quilts were displayed.
Mount Airy's Main Street was jammed with vendors offering crafts, food and children's activities, along with civic and charitable organizations featuring their services.
"We had 12,000 people last year and we're going to have two wonderful days of weather, so we should have 12,000 each day this year," Festival on the Ridge Chairwoman Linda Boyer said jokingly.
New this year were a rock climbing wall and a mechanical bull, plus more entertainment on three stages, Boyer said.
The mechanical bull enticed a number of youngsters to try to stay mounted as an operator made the bull buck and turn. Most fell off as soon as the bull made its first turn.
Sara-Michele Lazarus, 14, and her brother Bradford, 12, of Mount Airy, both managed to stay on the bull for most of their allotted time.
"The secret is, you pull up on the rope that you hang onto," Bradford said.
Festival on the Ridge continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today with a bed race and pie-eating contest among the entertainment.
This is the Farm Museum's 33rd annual Fall Harvest Days Festival and perhaps its second largest event behind the Wine Festival.
"So many other things are going on, but we feel we have the ambience," said Dottie Freeman, executive administrator of the 140-acre Farm Museum.
This event offers wagon rides, scarecrow making, a Native American tepee, old-fashioned crafts and demonstrations that show how people lived 100 years ago.
New this year are puppet shows with popcorn and a soda for a small fee, a checker tournament, a milk mustache contest and the "proper ladies" strollers.
Carroll County Commissioner Donald I. Dell played checkers and competed in the milk mustache contest yesterday.
"I won a checker board," Dell said proudly. "I had three opponents and the fourth I tied -- we called it a draw."
He came in second in the milk mustache contest, losing to Pat Bussard of Westminster, who had a real mustache to help him. John Lang, a fire policeman, came in third.
Michael and Rochella Eyler of Powhatan, Va., near Richmond, came for a bit of family reunion and partly for a sad occasion.
"My grandmother, Joyce Williams, has had a booth here for 25 years and this is her last year," Michael Eyler said. "She's moving to Florida."
Williams is better known to festival goers as the Spider Lady, whose long-legged toy critters can be seen every year carried by hundreds of children.
Fall Harvest Days continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.
The new Autumn Days Festival outside Taneytown wasn't drawing the crowds sponsors had hoped, but people did come to check out the crafts, food and entertainment yesterday, one volunteer said.
Down a path under large shade trees near Big Pipe Creek, Ken Barker and James Scott from the Carroll Carvers were carving wood spirits from tree limbs and selling club carvings.
The Autumn Days Festival continues from noon to 6 p.m. today at Big Pipe Creek Park on Old Taneytown Pike.
For lovers of handmade quilts, the Harvest of Quilts at the National Guard Armory on Hahn Road, Westminster, is the place to be. Scraps of material, patterns, sewing machines, and other supplies to make a quilt are available.
The event is a judged competition. "It's an open competition for members and others outside the guild," said Joyce Cone, event chairwoman.
In a back room of the armory, Joan Coale Klosek appraised antique quilts.
A white and green "Tree of Life" quilt, made for a four-poster bed, was spread on a large table. Sally Lufkin said her great-aunt made the quilt.
"We can estimate it was made circa 1900," Klosek said.
Before leaving, Lufkin also got tips on how to care for and preserve her family heirloom.
The Harvest of Quilts continues from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Admission is $3.
Pub Date: 10/03/99