INDULGE YOUR SENSES on Sunday at the annual Honey Harvest Festival at Hashawha Environmental Center, where the sweet golden thread of honey is woven into a full day of activities.
Visitors can enjoy the honey-pancake brunch, a hay ride through an apiary, peach-honey ice cream, honey tasting, as well as crafts for children.
The Carroll County Beekeepers Association will demonstrate opening hives and extracting honey and honeycombs. At an indoor hive, where the interior of the honeycomb is visible, association members will talk about the honeybee.
Children can take a winding pony trail in a meadow for a fee, choose face painting for $1, or enjoy free make-and-take crafts. They can meet Buzzy Bear, the festival mascot.
The Lowe family will again bring their family petting zoo, which includes rabbits, chickens and small farm animals.
During the day, naturalist Sherry Fisher will carry birds of prey and present impromptu talks.
"She'll get out an owl or hawk and walk around with it. Like the Pied Piper, when she's walking with these birds, the kids follow her around. We gear her programs to the children, but the adults enjoy it, too," said JoAnn Hunter, director of the environmental center.
An unusual event is the bee rodeo, in which several beekeepers try to pick up as many bees as they can before they fly away. "Some people can do it real fast, and it doesn't hurt the bees," Hunter said.
Blacksmith Gary Anderson will be at the forge all day, and about a dozen private vendors will offer plants, produce and crafts.
Visitors can taste honey products for sale, and honey and baked goods made with honey can be entered for a judged event and baked goods auction.
At 1 p.m., a slide show about the Africanized honeybee will be shown by beekeeper Steve McDaniels of Manchester. The Africanized bee is an aggressive bee thought to be confined to warm climates.
Last year, about 1,000 people attended the Honey Harvest Festival.
The festival runs from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $2 per vehicle. Hashawha is on John Owings Road off Route 97 north, adjacent to Bear Branch Nature Center.
Rodeo at church
Grace Bible Church will hold a free rodeo by River Valley Ranch from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday on the church grounds at 3250 Charmil Road, Manchester.
Participants can enter several invitational events. The "wild cow milking" is a new event this year, and the piglet chase is fun for children.
Settle back to watch cowboys from the ranch showcase animal handling skills. They'll entertain with bull riding. They're known for their trick riding and for rope tossing while on horseback.
The rodeo is provided as a community outreach by the church.
Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.