2016 Boonsboro Green Fest Opening Ceremony

Photo by Ana Solberg

Festivities get under way

The rain took a break as blue skies and blue t-shirts came out for eighth annual Boonsboro Green Fest at Shafer Park on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Close to 5,000 attended the day-long event. The opening ceremony at the Bandstand was delayed because some of the attendees, including master of ceremonies Tim Rowland, Herald-Mail columnist, were delayed because of a traffic accident on I-70.

Pictured (above) at the ceremony are (first row, from left) committee members (in blue shirts) Sean Haardt, Laura Schnackenberg and Amy Jones, Rowland, committee members Barbara Wetzel and Rosemary James, and Mark Widmyer, the governor's Western Maryland coordinator; (second row) committee members Renee Elias and Kathy Vesely, Washington County Commissioner Jeff Cline, Brunswick Mayor Karin Tome and committee member Janeen Solberg; (third row) committee member Brigitte Schmidt, Boonsboro council member Cindy Kauffman, sponsor Shannon Murphy of BodySense PT, Congressman John Delaney's representative Caitlin Ainge', Washington County Board of Education president Donna Brightman and sponsor JoAnne Grove of Turn the Page Bookstore; (fourth row) Boonsboro town manager Megan Clark, Boonsboro assistant mayor Howard Long, Boonsboro police chief Chuck Stanford, Boonsboro Middle School principal Gary Willow and Brunswick city council member Ellis Burress; and (back row) Charles "Skip" Kauffman, Washington County register of wills Jason Malott, county treasurer Todd Hershey, Boonsboro Economic Development Commission chair Dick Keesecker, Hagerstown mayor David Gysberts and Kai Hagen of Envision Frederick and former Frederick County commissioner.

Committee members not pictured included Leslie Haardt, Darrell Jones, Dan Murphy, Rick Schulman, Susan Simonson, Greg Solberg and county liaison Tony Drury, recycling coordinator, who were busy working in the park as the festival got under way.

The opening program that kicked off the all-day event included the singing of "This Land is Your Land", led by area singer-songwriter Tony M. Music. The Woody Guthrie song has been adopted by the Boonsboro Green Fest Committee as the festival's unofficial theme song.

Both Congressman Delaney and U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski sent resolutions of congratulations to the committee. New Washington County commissioner Wayne Keefer did not arrive in time for the ceremony due to the traffic accident.


Scenes from the 2016

Boonsboro Green Fest

Committee member Greg Solberg hoist a load of Styrofoam.

Tony M. Music & committee member Sean Haardt entertain youngsters in the Kids' Zone. Sean and his wife Leslie, also a committee member, have co-chaired the children's activities for the last several years.

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Ready to go

8th annual Green Fest

Saturday in Boonsboro

BOONSBORO, Md. (May 2, 2016) - The town of Boonsboro will play host to its first big outdoor festival of the season Saturday, May 7, when the 8th annual Boonsboro Green Fest starts at 10 a.m. at the conclusion of the opening ceremony.


The event runs until 5 p.m. in beautiful Shafer Memorial Park. Admission and parking are free to the rain-or-shine event.


The festival features 200 eco-friendly vendors, children's activities, live music all day, food, Wine & Beer Garden, drive-thru drop-off recycling zone with two dozen collection stations, the popular clothing and sports equipment swap and sale, and the new Eco-transportation zone, with some of the newest innovations in motor vehicles, as well as some more traditional modes of travel.  

The festival is made possible by the monetary and in-kind donations from 67 sponsors, the modest vendor registration fees and the close to 150 volunteers. A total of 63 green banners, which have been purchased by sponsors since 2011, have been installed on the decorative lampposts along Main Street and park access streets.

The opening ceremony, beginning at 9:45 a.m. at the bandstand, features the singing of "This Land is Your Land" by singer-songwriter Tony M. Music and the introduction of visiting dignitaries, local officials, major festival sponsors and committee members. Author, columnist and humorist Tim Rowland will be the guest master of ceremonies and help out with announcements throughout the day. The Woody Guthrie composition has become the unofficial song of the Green Fest.


Recycling opportunities

The festival offers a convenient way to recycle a wide range of items at two dozen collection stations in the drive-through, drop-off recycling zone set up in the parking lot of the community center. Items will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Items to be collected include electronics, televisions (one per person), bikes, medical equipment, batteries, fluorescent tubes (four-foot, limit of six), plastic buckets, furniture and play equipment, unwanted drugs, metal appliances including air conditioning units and clean block Styrofoam. Free paper shredding will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a limit of four boxes.


A complete list of items to be collected can be found on the festival's website at www.boonsborogreenfest.com.


Brochures listing all of the items were distributed with the April 1 quarterly utility bills to all the 1,600-plus households in Boonsboro and Keedysville. In addition, many customers of Weis Market in Boonsboro have received the brochure in their shopping bags, in advance of Green Fest.


Clothing Swap and Sale

Volunteers will be working all week to prepare for the huge community Clothing & Sports Equipment Swap & Sale in pavilion #1, next to the recycling zone. Residents can drop off items at the Community Center in the park on Tuesday through Friday from 4:30-8 p.m. and on Wednesday from 9 a.m.-noon. They will receive vouchers for the number of items donated and be able to redeem the vouchers for the same number of items at Green Fest on Saturday.


Items will also be sold at yard-sale prices to those without vouchers. Some of the donated clothes will be worn in a walk-around fashion show throughout the day to help promote the swap and sale.


All proceeds are donated to Micah's Backpack, a program providing food to school children during weekends. All excess donated clothing items are given to Children in Need of Washington County. Organizers expect to handle at least 12,000 pieces of clothing during the week.


Eco-Transportation Zone

Four Hagerstown car dealers will be showcasing a variety of energy efficient vehicles so festival-goers will have an opportunity to compare side-by-side the various features of the cars in the Eco-Transportation Zone. Participating in the new feature this year are Hagerstown Honda/Kia, Hoffman Chevrolet/Cadillac, Sharrett, Inc. Subaru and Younger Toyota.


In addition to the open-air car display, the zone will also include booths promoting a local bicycle club, a horse-drawn carriage/wagon service and a bicycle/kayak shop.


Wine & Beer Garden

Wines and beers produced locally will be available for purchase in the Wine & Beer Garden from 12 noon to 5 p.m.


Beverages will be poured by: Antietam Brewery of Hagerstown, Big Cork Vineyards of Rohrersville, Boordy Vineyards of Hydes, Md., BP Lesky Distributing of Hagerstown, Brewer's Alley of Frederick, Flying Dog Brewery of Frederick, Knob Hall Winery of Clear Spring and Monocacy Brewing Co. of Frederick.


Proceeds are donated to the Friends of Shafer Park and designated for use by the aquatic and recreation center project. The garden was introduced at the 2014 festival, when more than $600 was raised; last year 1,200 was donated to the park fund.


Live Music All Day

Three bands will keep the music going all day on the stage between pavilions 1 and 2:


10:30 a.m.-noon - Cookin' with Fire: Ernie Bradley, Dino Delray and Doug Five create a "Rockin Americana Blend" that draws from bluegrass, blues and rockabilly with a tasty mix of originals. 


12:30-2:30 p.m. - Mountain Ride: This Pennsylvania quintet - vocalists Eric Avey (guitar), Drew Jones (mandolin), Scott Matlock (fiddle) and Kate Avey (bass), with Corey Woodcock, on the banjois, is deeply rooted in bluegrass - with a twist of jam grass and country.


3-5 p.m. - River Run: The soulful harmonies of singers/songwriters Glenn Holcomb, Crissy Tubbs and Mark Rommel bass, deliver a well-rounded performance of rock and blues with a little country.


Food & Refreshments

Some of the items offered by the food vendors in and around the concession pavilion #2, include falafels, apple pie, ice cream, breakfast sandwiches, Greek dishes and salad, pulled pork, German cuisine, ribs, Ruebens, vegetarian and vegan choices, Kombucha beverages, teas and organic juices.


Kids' Zone

Plenty of children's activities are planned all day long in and around the Kids' Zone pavilion, Youngsters will be able to create a Mother's Day card, make a Pledge to the Earth, help create a huge bottle-cap mosaic, plant flower seeds, explore Geo-caching, play Lawn Twister and enjoy the music of Tony M. Music.


In addition, students from Boonsboro, Pleasant Valley and Rockland Woods elementary schools, and Claud E. Kitchens Outdoor School will be contributing clever green-themed arts and crafts projects. Art students at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts prepared the mosaic design that the younger children will "color in" with bottle caps. A mosaic is done every other festival and is displayed in the community.


Silent Auction

Almost 100 different items donated by vendors and local businesses will be up for bid in the Silent Auction tent, where festival-goers will have an opportunity to inspect the items and place bids. Three separate auctions are scheduled with winners announced at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.


Volunteers in Yellow

 The nearly 150 volunteers will be wearing special yellow t-shirts provided by Ryan Homes at Sycamore Run, BodySense Physical Therapy and the Hagerstown-Washington County Visitors and Convention Bureau.


Green Fest Store

This year the official Green Fest t-shirt is blue. The organic cotton shirts made in the USA and the popular reusable water bottles will be on sale at the Green Fest tent across from the concession pavilion for $15 each.


The Green Fest was begun in 2009 on the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend by a small group of Boonsboro residents who were advocating for a town residential curbside recycling program. Seven of the nine original members of the Green Fest Committee have remained active since the first year of the festival, whose mission is "to promote conservation, recycling and sustainable living within our community."


The committee now has 15 members. The Washington County recycling coordinators have been liaisons to the committee and taken part in the planning of each year's event. The festival is also an official event of the Town of Boonsboro.


For more information, go the www.boonsborogreenfest.com. Attendees may pick up a free, 16-page program brochure which includes a handy map and location of the vendors.