Biggest event of its kind
in Western Maryland
By Barbara Wetzel
BOONSBORO, Md. (May 4, 2015) – The committee is putting the final touches on preparations for the 7th Annual Boonsboro Green Fest, set for Saturday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the town’s Shafer Park.
The free festival is the largest event of its kind in Western Maryland, drawing several thousand from the entire region. It is held rain or shine.
Sponsored by the all-volunteer Boonsboro Green Fest Committee and more than 70 sponsoring partners, the day-long event features 200 Earth-friendly vendors and exhibitors and includes live music by local artists, children’s activities, three dynamic expert speakers, a Health and Fitness tent, a Wine and Beer Garden and lots of food selections.
More than 150 volunteers of all ages have signed up to help during Green Fest activities. Volunteers will be easily identified by their bright yellow t-shirts.
The drive-thru, drop-off Recycling Zone in the Community Center parking lot will feature more than 24 collection stations for everything from TVs (one per household), denim, sneakers, household items, to hard plastic furniture and children’s playground sets to wheelchairs and bicycles to rechargeable batteries and CFL bulbs to paper shredding (four-box limit) and unwanted medications.
A complete list of recyclables can be found on the festival’s website at www.boonsborogreenfest.com. Fliers with the entire list of recyclables were distributed to about 1,700 households in Boonsboro and Keedysville in early April with quarterly municipal utilities bills and to customers of Weis Market in Boonsboro about two weeks before the event.
Trees, Composting & GMO Speakers
Expert speakers will give presentations in the tent behind the Bandstand on trees, backyard composting and GMOs (genetically modified organisms). At 10:15 a.m., Shawn Walker, an arborist and independent tree consultant from Shepherdstown, W.V., will discuss the anatomy of trees with an emphasis on the planting and caring for trees. Beginning at 11:15 a.m., Rick Lowman, a master composter of Martinsburg, W.V., will present a program that will be of interest to both first-time and experienced composters. At 12:15 p.m., Nicole McCann, the food campaigns director for Green American in Washington, D.C., will lead a discussion about GMOs and how consumers can avoid them.
Youngsters can stay busy all day in the Kids Zone where they will be able to create a Mother’s Day card, play lawn Twister, write a Pledge to the Earth, go on a scavenger hunt, explore Geo-caching, plant seeds, learn how to make a bird feeder, make a magazine collage and enjoy a puppet show.
Students from Sabrina Blair’s Boonsboro Middle School’s environmental club (ECO-BMS), Christina Hammer-Atkins’ Boonsboro Elementary School class and Rockland Woods Elementary School will be helping with the presentations.
The ECO-BMS students will present the puppet show on the half-hour from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., while live music will be offered throughout the day in the Kids Zone by Tony M. Music, a popular singer-songwriter who has been a regular performer at the Green Fest.
Music Will Fill the Spring Air
Three local area acts will provide the music throughout the day on the special stage near the array of picnic tables. Festival-goers everywhere in the park will be able to hear the performances over the park’s PA system.
- 10:30 a.m. – Strung Tight, the Waynesboro, Pa., acoustic duo of Eric Avey on guitar and Kate Avey on bass, will start off the festivities. Both singers, the Aveys’ selection of songs are original, fun, rowdy, classic and heartfelt.
- 12:30 p.m. – Andy Carignan’s many area fans will be happy to know that he will be back on stage at the Green Fest again this year. Carignan made his first appearance at the Green Fest a year ago.
- 3 p.m. – Dino Delray & the Compadres is an acoustic rockabilly band playing traditional folk, Americana, rock and alternative country. They are making their debut appearance at Green Fest this year.
- All Day in the Kids Zone – Tony M. Music has been a mainstay at the Green Fest from the very first year. He will be singing and playing guitar throughout the day for the youngsters (and the adults) in Pavilion #3.
Yoga Instruction for Everyone
Yoga Groove, a fun-filled 20-minute workout will be presented by Fit In BoonsBoro to anyone interested in participating beginning at 12 noon and 2:30 p.m., between the music acts, in the grassy area in front of the stage. This yoga and dance inspired movement will “energize your soul, relax your body and excite your spirit.”
Wine & Beer Garden
Representatives of local wineries and breweries will be pouring their products in the Wine & Beer Garden, in the large tent in front of the stage, from noon until 5 p.m. only. Participating this year are Antietam Brewery of Hagerstown, Big Cork Vineyards of Rohrersville, Knob Hall Winery of Clear Spring, BP Lesky Distributing of Hagerstown, and Brewer’s Alley, Flying Dog Brewery and Monocacy Brewing Co., all of Frederick. Proceeds will be donated to Friends of Shafer Park and designated to the town’s new Aquatics & Recreation Center project.
Variety of Food & Beverages
Food vendors will fill the concession pavilion and dispense their tasty offerings from food trucks stationed nearby. Offerings will include breakfast fare, a variety of Greek food items, felafel, pizza, pulled pork sandwiches, two kinds of ice creams, shaved ice, herb drinks, Kombucha — a fermented effervescent drink made with tea — and two food trucks.
A water bottle filling station will be set up nearby. Festival-goers and vendors are encouraged to bring refillable bottles, to cut down on the use of plastic beverage containers.
Health & Fitness Tent
The yellow and white striped, big top tent in the southeast corner of the park will be filled with health and fitness professionals who will be ready to dispense information and advice. Participating will be BodySense PT, Boonsboro Family Dentistry, Boonsboro Wellness Center, Diagnostic Imaging Services, Hauser Health, Hospice of Washington County, South Mountain Dental, Renaissance Lavender and Washington County Health Department.
More than 80 items, most of which are being donated by the vendors, will be up for bid in the Silent Auction tent. Participants can write down bids, then hope their bid is the highest when the winners are called at different intervals throughout the day. Participants must be present to win. Proceeds from the auction will be plowed back into the Green Fest, helping to defray the cost of producing the festival which is financed by monetary and in-kind contributions and the modest vendor fees (only $20 for early bird registrants).
Generous Sponsoring Partners
A total of 72 sponsoring partners, including 11 new lamppost banner sponsors, make it possible for the festival and most all of the activities to be free of charge to festival-goers. Major sponsors are King Road Associates (Sycamore Run), Boonsboro Family Dentistry, Herald-Mail Co., Michele Shaffer, CPA, Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Middletown Valley Bank, Ryan Homes, Eby’s Garage, Cronise Corp., Diagnostic Imaging Services, Antietam Cable TV, Big Cork Vineyards, Antietam Spirits, Turn the Page Bookstore, Dan’s Restaurant & Tap House, DM Designs, Bellwether Printing, Cochran Auctioneers, Natural Fusion Hair Studio, Flynn & Son Electric and Donna Brightman.
Over the first five years of the program, 34 different sponsors have purchased a total of 58 green lamppost banners, which are displayed on the decorative lampposts along Boonsboro’s Main Street and in Shafer Park during Green Fest week. A few more will be needed next year so that all the lampposts, including the 10 in the newer section of the park, off of Potomac Street, will be decked out in green. The banners are used from year to year as long as they are in good repair. The good news is that none of the banners has been retired yet.
Clothing Swap & Sale
Adjacent to the Recycling Zone will be the popular Gently-Used Clothing & Sports Equipment Swap & Sale, a very long title for an equally as large enterprise. Community volunteers will work the week before the festival collecting and sorting an anticipated 10,000 items for the annual project. Festival-goers will be able to shop in the pavilion using vouchers received for donated articles or purchase items for 50 cents each. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to Micah’s Backpack, while leftover articles will go immediately after the event to Children in Need of Washington County, Inc. Tax donation slips will be available.
Committee Produces Festival
The all-volunteer Boonsboro Green Fest Committee members are Co-chairs Janeen Solberg and Barbara Wetzel, Leslie and Sean Haardt, Rosemary James, Amy and Darrell Jones, Dan Murphy, Brigitte Schmidt, Laura Schnackenberg, Rick Schulman, Greg Solberg, Kathy Vesely and county liaison Tony Drury. Seven of the 14 members have been on the committee since the first Green Fest in 2009.
For more information, go to www.boonsborogreenfest.com or check out Facebook. The festival is an official event of the Town of Boonsboro.