Weather smiles on Hurlock’s Fall Festival

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Special to Dorchester Banner/Kelly Helmer 2014 Little Mister Fall Festival, Carter Helmer and 2014 Little Miss Fall Festival Alisa Harris opened the event on Friday evening, June 3, at the Talent Contest held at the American Legion.

HURLOCK — This year’s Hurlock Fall Festival dodged a washout by only a few hours. The weather just continues to smile on the town’s two-day party.

The weekend opened with a Talent Contest at the American Legion on Friday night. New this year was the Little Mr./Little Miss contest. Mayor Joyce Spratt said, “Congratulations to Little Mr. Fall Fest Carter Helmer and Little Miss Fall Fest Alisa Harris!”  Talent winners included Eli Talley, Meredith Bell, the North Dorchester High School cheerleaders, and PJ Durham.

The annual Saturday parade, again managed by volunteer John Stitchberry, drew even more displays than last year. At 9:30 a.m. the rain chances looked 50-50. The northwest sky was dark and threatening and the air felt misty. But when the parade began at 10am there was no rain – not even a drop. And it was beautiful from then on.

The St. Andrews Episcopal Church held its annual Silent Auction in the parish hall as children played games and feasted on chili and hot dogs. For adults, the auction offered over 170 contributions to bid on. According to Fr. Bryan Glancey, “This has been a successful, beautiful day with lots of children, lots of parents, lots of fun. And plenty of good food.”  The church garners between $2,000-2,500 yearly which goes directly to support the Maryland Food Bank. In turn, the church offers a well-stocked and well-visited Food Pantry to the community on Wednesday mornings.

A first at this year’s festival was Nothing Better, LLC and their mini donuts. And they were unique. Ever had a pumpkin pie mini donut?  With whipped cream? Vicki and Nick Bohenko with son Tyler brought their portable business to Hurlock from Bridgeville, Del. for the first time. Judging by the response, they’ll be back. Former festival chair Earl Murphy suggested they come weekly and set up shop on a street corner.

At the parking lot across from the Hurlock Volunteer Fire Company motorcycles and old cars battled for attention. Every vehicle was spic and span – so shiny you could see yourself.  Some proud owners set up chairs next to their car or motorcycle and chatted with passers-by.

As always, the train ride between Hurlock and Federalsburg was chock-full of passengers. The little ones cannot keep their feet still as the time approaches to board the train. They dance around until they can climb the steps into the cars and then their faces appear at the windows – solemn in anticipation if this is a first trip; excited if it is not. Nine volunteers from the Wilmington chapter of the National Historic Railroad Association drove from Delaware and spent the day explaining the workings of a railroad to interested passengers. They promise to return next year as well.

Every year it seems the vendor numbers increase. All thanks to volunteer coordinator Maria Bono who handles inquiries, reservations, and locations. It is always fun to have Baywater Animal Rescue at the event with some dogs that are up for adoption. There were other animals around as well: Ponies, for example, at the free pony rides; horses pulling carriages, puppies in their owners’ arms, and well-behaved leashed dogs. But nothing beats the children whose faces show their excitement at being part of this day of fun.

Watch a slide show of selected images below:

 

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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