Lehigh to offer plant tours for festival


UNION BRIDGE will hold its 11th annual Fall Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The festival began as a way to raise money for a new Town Hall, said Kathy Kreimer, the festival's organizer. "We wanted to raise money so we wouldn't have to raise taxes," she said. "We started making money before we started building."

The town has been in the building since 1992.

Last year's festival raised more than $4,000.

As in the past, the festival will be on Lehigh Cement Co. grounds.

Lehigh will be conducting 90-minute tours of its new plant, which has doubled its construction output, said Wally Brown, training supervisor. Civic leaders have toured the plant, but this will be the first time the public will be allowed inside, he said.

"The tours will start with a 15-minute construction video, which starts with footage from the first shovel until the plant's dedication" in early May, Brown said.

The public will ride a motor coach through the plant grounds and visit the quarry, the plant and the main office buildings. They will be able to get off the bus and walk around the central control room and the automated laboratory. They also will get to visit the five-phase, preheater calciner kiln that towers over the area.

Tickets are free but limited in number, Brown said. Buses will run every half-hour. Tours start at 9 a.m. and end at 1 p.m.

In addition to plant tours, the festival will feature more than 30 arts and crafts vendors, Kreimer said. The festival will have kids games, family-oriented activities, sand art and pony rides. David Stambaugh of Baltimore Life Co., will offer free child photo identifications. The Carroll County Sheriff's Department will offer to check child safety seats.

Kreimer said the festival's auction, to begin at 2:30 p.m., is expected to feature more than 100 items. "We had 150 items last year, and there's at least that many this year," she said.

Featured are Orioles vs. Red Sox baseball tickets donated by the Orioles, birdhouses, a small afghan, a day trip to Atlantic City, N.J., donated by Lehigh, cast-iron toys donated by John Gartrell and a gift basket donated by Kim Crouch.

The A Cappella Gold will perform at 11:45 a.m. and the Browningville Cornet Band will perform at 1:30 p.m.

Kreimer said a 50/50 drawing will be held. "If we sell all 1,000 tickets, then the winner would get $500 and the town would get $500," she said.

Kreimer praised area businesses for their support.

"The community really supports us," she said. "And Lehigh has been wonderful. They let us use their grounds, they donate the [portable toilets] and they set up the sound system."

The festival begins at 9 a.m., but breakfast will be served from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the community center.

Information: 410-775-7400.

Day of caring

Some people attended memorial services to remember the victims of last year's terrorist attacks. But four individuals chose to volunteer at Brethren Service Center in New Windsor and Taneytown Senior Center to mark the Sept. 11 anniversary.

Barbara Abrams of United Way and Erin Inman of Volunteer Carroll volunteered for four hours at Brethren Service Center's gift shop. Jacki Anderson and Bob Stavisky, both of United Way, were at the senior center.

All four were volunteering as part of United Way of Central Maryland's "Day of Caring," said Sandy Sipes, regional director.

Each September, the United Way of Central Maryland picks a day to launch its Day of Caring campaign. This year, the group found it most appropriate to use Sept. 11 as its inaugural day.

"People were looking for a way to acknowledge that date," she said.

Abrams and Inman helped inspect gift items for quality and package Nativity sets.

"I think everyone is looking at this day as a day of reflection," Inman said. "Most people have responded in a positive way. They have helped others by volunteering."

Abrams agreed. "I think it's great so many people are coming together," she said.

In another part of northwest Carroll, Anderson and Stavisky served lunch at the senior center. Anderson said she and Stavisky also visited with seniors.

"The televisions are on, but they don't want to talk about it too much," Anderson said of the seniors' mood on the anniversary of the attacks. "But by being here we wanted to make a difference in the lives of senior citizens."

Stavisky said he was happy to volunteer. "Today is a special day," he said. "Today is a day of community. We wanted to get out in the community."

About 60 United Way volunteers gave their time in Carroll County, double from last year, Sipes said.

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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