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Westminster gets tuned up to begin annual Fallfest fun


The 25th annual Westminster Fallfest starts at 7 tonight with what organizers call "Carroll County's largest parade" through the historic downtown area.

This year's grand marshals are Baltimore sportscaster Vince Bagli, and Mayor Tomis Koiv and City Council Chairman Andes Jalak, visiting dignitaries from Westminster's sister city of Paide, Estonia.

The parade, including floats, marching bands, majorette groups and other organizations, will line up on Monroe Street starting at 6 p.m. Once the parade is under way, police will close streets along the route.

The parade will travel down Pennsylvania Avenue to Main Street to Longwell Avenue to East Middle School. Parade awards will be presented at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the food court stage.

The festival will be open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday on the city playground and surrounding area.

Daily attractions include carnival games and rides, food, a kid's court, scarecrow making, bingo, a petting zoo and pony rides.

The schedule includes:

Tomorrow: music by Bobby Plunkert from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and Super Ride Night for $12.

Friday: music by Ashley Marie & Family from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and Midnight Madness from 6 p.m. to midnight at participating downtown merchants.

Saturday: Entertainment will include Carroll County Cloggers at 10 a.m.; Westminster Family Center Aerobics at 11 a.m.; First Assembly of God at 11:30 a.m.; Patty Neivert School of Dance at noon; Sheila Marie at 12:30 p.m.; Westminster Church of God at 1 p.m.; karaoke contest at 1:30 p.m.; ACRO Gymnastics at 2 p.m.; Carroll County Gymnastics at 3 p.m.; Carroll County Kenpo Karate at 3:30 p.m.; Sheila Marie and Sarah Said at 4 p.m.; Carroll County School for the Performing Arts at 5 p.m.; and Bobbi's Southland Express Band at 6 p.m.

A Kids Day America event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Westminster Family Center will offer free fingerprinting, spinal screenings by Lewis Chiropractic, and health and safety tips from local experts. Games, snacks and demonstrations will be offered.

Other activities include a Super Ride Matinee from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $12; an antique car and Westminster Gold Wings motorcycle display; about 75 crafts and 25 commercial vendors on the Longwell parking lot; and a YMCA teen dance from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the YMCA on Route 32.

Sunday: Entertainment includes Angel's Cheerleading, and Mike Dugan & the Blues Mission at noon; Westminster Dance Team at 12:30 p.m.; Westminster Wildcats Optimist Cheerleading Association at 1 p.m.; a pie-eating contest and High Voltage competition teams at 2 p.m.; Carroll County School for the Performing Arts at 3 p.m.; and Westminster Municipal Band at 4 p.m.

The antique cars and motorcycles will return from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Craft and commercial vendors will be open all afternoon.

In addition, Shepherd's Staff will collect winter coats for all ages to be distributed to the needy.

Coupons for $2 off the $12 ride specials are available from Westminster City Recreation on Longwell Avenue.

With limited parking downtown, the city is making available a free shuttle from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday from the Carroll County Office Building parking lot at 224 N. Center St.

The annual festival is a fund-raiser for county charities. This year's proceeds will be divided among Carroll County Children's Fund Inc., Kiwanis Club, Mission of Mercy and Residents Attacking Drugs.

Information: 410-848-6962 or 410-876-1313.

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