130 Paradise Ridge PRICE REDUCTION

4BR, 3BA home with assigned dock slip at Paradise Ridge. Open floor plan, multiple family areas, wet bar, hearty woodstove, 1.5-car garage, vaulted ceiling and 3 levels of living space. Views of the water from the lot, short walk to community lake access area – one of Deep Creek Lakes finest!

for more information call Jay Ferguson at 301-501-0240

50th year of Autumn Glory Festival begins next week

OAKLAND — Garrett County’s autumn splendor is gracefully arriving just in time for the 50th annual Autumn Glory Festival, which is set to begin next Wednesday, Oct. 11. Guests from all over either travel or return home to the mountain this time of year to take in the sights and sounds of fall.

The Glorious Harvest Farmers Market & Craft Show will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and be open various hours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Mtn. Fresh Pavilion at Oakland Town Parking Lot. A sale and glassblowing demonstrations will be offered daily at Simon Pearce, Mtn. Lake Park. The Cove Run Farms Corn Maze will open Wednesday by appointment, then with a different schedule daily.

The traditional Autumn Glory Kick-off Reception will be held Wednesday evening beginning at 6 p.m. at the Ag Heritage Hall at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry. Autumn Glory royalty will be crowned and several honors and awards will be given throughout the evening.

for more information click here

Tenth Annual Festival of Trees – Nov 24 & 25

The Tenth Annual Festival of Trees will be held at the Garrett County Fairgrounds on November 24 and 25. Start your day with Breakfast with Santa on either Friday or Saturday for either 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. and have a professional photo taken with Santa in his sleigh, then decorate your own cookie at Santa’s Bakery. Spend as much time as you want with the many free kids’ activities and the try out the Lego robotics.  Be sure shop for your friends and family for only $1 per item at the Elfenheim Mall.   Don’t miss a visit with our numerous vendors for mostly hand-made unique gifts for family, friends and YOURSELF.  (Pay vendors directly.)  And Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, sponsored by Sorrellee’s Pizza, is open all day until 5 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday – Very reasonably priced and tasty food for the entire family.  You will also enjoy our new BUY ME NOW tables of holiday items instead of the usual silent auction.  No waiting!  Treat yourself to a $3 sundae you make yourself, sponsored by the fabulous Lakeside Creamery.

For more information click here

Price Improvement! 6 Bright Passage Lane #1C

Sporting high-end finishes and professionally decorated, this 4 level Villages of Wisp unit will blow you away! Upgrades include hardwood floors & carpet, fresh paint, new lighting, washer and dryer, designer furniture and new TVs. Seller also added 2 AC units. Seasonal views of the water. This specific area has a HUGE backyard area – perfect for entertaining or playing in the yard.

For more information click here

Thirteen years of art and wine: The history of the Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival

MCHENRY — The 13th annual Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry. Proceeds will benefit HART for Animals and the Garrett Lakes Arts Festival (GLAF)

The fundraiser began 13 years ago when the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce’s newly formed Marketing Roundtable was given the task of developing an attraction that would increase county visitation, sales, and accommodations after Labor Day, according to HART executive director Paula Yudelevit, festival co-founder.

“After debating several possibilities, the committee began researching wine festivals as a vehicle to achieve our mission of putting ‘heads on beds,’” she said. “Because of the success of these events in other regions, the Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival was born.”

Roundtable members knew that numerous volunteers and many resources would be needed in order to bring the concept to fruition, so they solicited nonprofit organizations to be the event’s beneficiary and provide support where needed.

The Marketing Roundtable then organized a second committee for the specific purpose of managing and coordinating the festival.

“In its first two years, the chamber was instrumental in providing monetary and marketing support to the event,” Yudelevit said. “After the second year, the committee became self-supporting by retaining a small amount of the profits before presenting the beneficiary with their donation.”

She noted, however, that the first year was challenging. The location of the festival was originally planned to be held at Fantasy Valley restaurant, leased at the time by Ruth and Wendell Beitzel.

“After submitting our application for the one wine festival license granted each year in Garrett County, a group of us from the committee went to the liquor board hearing at the county courthouse, ready to receive the license,” Yudelevit said. “We anticipated a 30 minute conversation at the maximum. It turned out to be almost two hours.”

What the festival committee members did not know was that, while the applicant must have a liquor license, the actual event cannot be held on his or her property.

“After months of planning, and with the advertising materials ready to print, the committee stood outside the courthouse to find a new venue,” Yudelevit said. “I remember one of our members calling a person on the fair board to see if the fairground was available. It was. The next question was if the festival could serve and sell alcohol. Fortunately, that was a ‘yes,’ too.”

With a committee of business leaders and a group of volunteers, the Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival gates opened as scheduled in September 2005.

“We had hoped for 500 people the first year,” said Vianne Bell, festival co-founder. “We ended up with 800. There was so much we didn’t anticipate or even think of. Wine buckets had to be emptied, water pitchers constantly refilled, crackers replenished. We had to leave the event to buy more crackers, and beg for ice from Wisp Resort and Burger King.”

The wine is now sold during the festival at a “wine store,” conveniently located in the Ag Heritage Hall. The first year, however, the wine was sold out of the window of the fair board’s original office.

“We had wine stacked around us, with a cash box and an old-fashioned credit card machine,” Bell said. “Paula and I swore we wouldn’t do it again.”

However, the event netted $11,000 and was such a success that Bell signed on for another nine years. Yudelevit still co-chairs the event, along with Mary Callis, executive director of GLAF.

“For the first eight years, the beneficiary of the festival was a national nonprofit organization,” Callis said. “In its ninth year, the committee opted to change the beneficiary due to a major reorganization of the original charity.”

When the opportunity came along, HART and GLAF submitted a joint proposal to become the beneficiaries.

“As two local nonprofits, the proceeds now stay in the county,” Callis said. “We also have booths available for five or six local nonprofits so they too have the opportunity to benefit from the large crowds.”

Over the past four years, the festival has raised more than $200,000 for HART and GLAF, according to Callis.

The Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival has come a long way in the last 12 years. According to Yudelevit, it is one of the top events in the county. Approximately 2,800 people come each year to taste over 200 regional, national, and international wines, peruse the 40-plus artisan booths, listen to live entertainment, purchase wines to take home, bid on silent auction items, and have a fun time with friends.

“More people mean more volunteers,” said Judy Carbone, volunteer chair. “In addition to Garrett College’s 80-plus athletes, we have about 70 guest pourers and another 50 or so at the front gate, as cashiers, and general helpers.”

“The festival could not be successful without an amazing committee,” Yudelevit said.

Callis concurred.

“These volunteers put hundreds of hours into this event; a few have worked on this since its inception,” she said.

In addition to co-chairs Yudelevit and Callis, the 2017 festival committee members are Sam Housley, Andy McKenzie, Michael Pellet, Ken Carbone, Judy Carbone, Ken Korando, Betty Ellington, Erin Croake, Tom Hertz, Lori Zagola, Sue Arnson, Jimmy Flanigan, Joe Refosco, Lilian Steele, and Debbie Archer.

“A few changes have occurred over the years, keeping the festival fun and appealing to the wine lovers,” Yudelevit said.

For example, a “Premium Wine” area was added several years ago to accommodate those looking for high-end varieties. The wine tasting glasses have taken a “colorful twist,” she added, with the stem color changing year-to-year, making them a “must-have” collectible.

The Friday night wine pairing dinners at local restaurants have also evolved to include winery representatives introducing wines paired with specially prepared dinner courses.

Tickets for this year’s festival are $35 each for adults age 21 and older. Those who purchase advance tickets online (http://www.deepcreekwinefest.com) will receive $5 off each ticket. A ticket includes the entry fee, a commemorative wine glass, and unlimited wine tasting. An admittance-only ticket is $12, and children 12 and under are admitted for free. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more. Persons can call 866-635-3560 for prices.

Festival lodging packages are available at participating resort rental agencies, including Taylor Made Vacation Rentals, Coldwell Banker Resort Rentals, and Railey Mountain Lake Vacations.

This year’s festival is sponsored, in part, by numerous area businesses, including the McHenry Beverage Shop, Taylor Made Vacations and Real Estate, BB&T, Taco Bell, Arrowhead Deli, the Mountain State Brewing Company, Vacation Surfing, Railey Mountain Lake Vacations, Shop ‘n Save, Schoolhouse Earth, First United Bank & Trust, RBC Wealth Management, Pepsi Cola, American Metro, Little Mountain Promotions, DeepCreekTimes.com, NuWay Interiors, Piet and Rosie Versteegen, the Lake-Front Magazine, and Archie’s Barbeque.

Staff writer Renée Shreve can be reached at 301-501-8394 or by email at rshreve@therepublicannews.com.

For more infromation click here.

How does a bear cool off at Deep Creek Lake? How else?

Why did the bear cross the lake?

Video Here

We’re not sure what prompted this bear to swim across Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland, but he did reach the other side, as shown in the video captured by some recreational boaters on the water recently.

This particular bear couldn’t be reached for comment, but it certainly managed to get to the other side of the lake with energy to burn. Watch as the bear climbs ashore near a lake-side residence and jets off into the distance as boaters look on — shouting warnings to folks on land as the swimmer approached shallow water.

That video had 27,000 views as of Monday morning.

It’s not the first time a local photographer captured bears in the lake. Check out this video from 2016 here.

A bear presumably swam across the Susquehanna River last May when sightings were reported progressively more west in Cecil County before there was a report of one in Harford County.

In June of last year, there were 11 reported bear sightings in Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s County in a one-week span.

“You have a lot of young bears looking for territory to call their own,” Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson said at the time. “Male bears need a pretty big hunk of territory, females less so. They keep roaming until they find an area they can claim. It’s all territorial, trying to find a new home.”

But most of the bear sightings in Maryland take place in Western Maryland — where, according to the Department of Natural Resources, there is a breeding population in the four westernmost counties. That includes Garrett County, where Deep Creek Lake is located.

A few tips from DNR: Don’t feed bears. Don’t panic or approach a bear. Back away slowly. If you’re outside, get inside the nearest building.

If you’re in the lake, boating alongside the Michael Phelps of bears: just keep a safe distance. And maybe do the neighborly thing like these boaters did and warn the unassuming folks on land.

Oh, and capturing it on video doesn’t hurt.

Copyright © 2017, The Baltimore Sun

For more information click here

Commissioners hold public hearing on DCL water service boundaries

OAKLAND — The Garrett County commissioners and the Department of Public Works —Utilities Division held a public hearing Monday afternoon at the courthouse on water district boundary changes at Deep Creek Lake.

“We are proposing to change the Thayerville and McHenry water service boundaries to include a small section of Deep Creek Drive between the Rt. 219 bridge over Deep Creek Lake and Gravelly Run Road,” said Pat Hudnall, Utilities Division chief.

The county also wants to combine the two districts into one, which would be called the Deep Creek Lake Water Service Area.

Hudnall noted that ad valorem tax rates will be affected. McHenry customers are currently paying $.05 per $100 of assessed value on improved and unimproved property. For Thayerville, the cost is $.24 per $100 of assessed value.

“Once combined, the tax rate will be $.10 per $100 of assessed property value on improved and unimproved parcels across both service areas,” Hudnall said. “This would take effect in next year’s tax cycle.”

He indicated that combining the two systems, in part, was in preparation for the Hoyes Run Road project, which is two to three years from being constructed, and to provide an additional water source for McHenry.

“MDE (Maryland Department of the Environment) is going to view this as an alternative water source/supply for the McHenry system, should we run into issues with the Hoyes Run project down the road,” Hudnall said.

He stressed, however, that the new Deep Creek Lake Water Service Area would only be a possible backup for Hoyes Run, not a substitute for that project.

“It will only supplement what we need,” Hudnall said. “This won’t carry enough water to meet all of our demands in McHenry.”

Commissioner Paul Edwards indicated ad valorem rate changes, therefore, are inevitable.

Two people voiced their opinions at the hearing. Del. Wendell Beitzel asked that the county extend the proposed Deep Creek Lake Water Service Area boundary up to the intersection of Rt. 219 and Rt. 42. This would enable the Maryland State Police barrack and Northern Garrett Rescue Squad to connect to the system if they so desired.

“Please consider it,” Beitzel asked the commissioners.

McHenry water customer Robert Kelly reviewed the history of the original McHenry Water System expansion project. In 2011, he noted the ad valorem tax rate was expected to be between $.02 and $.04 per $100 of his assessed property.

“The residents were overwhelmingly opposed to the expansion of the system in 2011,” Kelly said, referring to a public hearing in which 200 people attended.

Kelly estimated that he is actually currently paying a $.13 ad valorem tax rate, or $717.47, a year. Under the new proposed rate, that would go up to $1,200 a year.

“We, the residents of McHenry, just get crucified,” he said about continual increases in water rates and other taxes. “It’s got to stop. There has to be innovate thinking to deal with this issue.”

He acknowledged that a $.02 to $.04 ad valorem rate was probably not realistic now. But he did suggest that a moratorium be placed on all Public Works projects until a financial study could be conducted by an independent company.

“I’m not opposed to this,” Kelly said about expanding the water system. “What I’m opposed to is my $717 going to a $1,200.”

He called conducting the independent study a “confidence builder.”

“I have no faith, and most people don’t have any faith, in the numbers thrown out, as you can see, by the Public Works department,” Kelly said.

The commissioners left the comment period open on the proposed McHenry and Thayerville water service boundary changes until Monday, Aug. 21. Maps of the areas are available for viewing online at garrettcounty.org.

The commissioners will hold their next public meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at the Ryan’s Glade Community Center, Gorman, at 6 p.m.

For more info, click here.

Vacation-home market booms in Maryland and Virginia

The robust housing landscape in Washington exists for more than just primary residences. A number of second-home markets have seen an increase in popularity in the past few years across a wide variety of destinations — from waterfront communities to mountain retreats.

We’re take a closer look at three such markets that are showing clear signs of increased demand among Washingtonians seeking a getaway.

The Eastern Shore of Maryland
Maryland’s picturesque Eastern Shore has long been a second-home destination for Mid-Atlantic city dwellers, but its popularity has reached new heights within the past two years.

Homes on the Eastern Shore are selling in half the amount of time that they were when the country was coming out of the recession, with median days on the market dropping from more than 100 in most months of the year from 2007 to 2013. Now, the days on the market is more likely to be under 75, even hitting a record low of 45 in June 2016 and 46 in May.

The number of closed sales per month keeps climbing on the Eastern Shore, with even the winter months of the past two years seeing approximately the same number of sales as the peak spring selling months of just a few years prior. While there’s an active market, the area still provides value.

The median sales price for homes here has stayed steadily between $200,000 and $250,000 for the past nine years. However, with all other indicators showing a return to demand, we expect prices to increase over the next year or two.

Shenandoah County, Va.
For those looking for an escape near the mountains, the Shenandoah region’s real estate market is showing signs of renewed strength. The number of active listings has plummeted, even though the number of new listings coming on the market has stayed roughly the same for the past several years.

This trend suggests that although new listings are coming onto the market, they are selling quickly and therefore don’t remain active for long. Every month for the past two and a half years, the number of active listings has decreased compared with the same month for the year prior and, more notable, the size of the decrease has grown to percentages in the double digits over the past year.

Correspondingly, the number of days on the market has started to tick downward, moving from 100 in the past two years and staying under 80 for the majority of months. Median sales prices have also trended upward over the past year, settling in around $175,000 this past spring.

This is part of the slow but steady climb from the low point during 2010, when prices were closer to $125,000, after reaching peaks of more than $250,000 during the boom years around 2007.

Garrett County, Md.
One location Washingtonians should keep an eye on is Garrett County, Md. Approximately three hours from Washington, this county borders West Virginia and contains Deep Creek Lake — the largest man-made lake in Maryland. Fly-fishing, boating and white-water rafting are common summer activities, and during the winter Wisp Resort attracts skiers and snowboarders to the slopes.

This region has started to show all the signs of a market on the cusp of becoming highly competitive. Prices have made a noticeable rebound by crossing the $300,000 mark (after a few post-recession years when they dipped to $150,000), and the median days the on market has dropped by more than a half, from more than 200 just a few years ago to as low as 54 in July 2016.

The surest sign that this market is getting hot is that homes are just now getting back to the point of selling close to their asking prices. After a few years when sellers were getting only about 80 to 85 percent of their asking price, Garrett County has crossed into the 95 percent category. This shows that buyers are more motivated than ever to own a home in this community.

With median prices well below those of homes in the Washington region, all three of these markets are poised for growth, and properties in these areas could be a wise investment for the right buyer. Local real estate agents can help identify the best neighborhoods and specific properties, and talk more in detail about these recent trends.

They can help you find the right vacation home at the right price, especially when shopping for a home from out of town.

The fact that a number of second-home destinations continue to see a rise in popularity is yet another sign of renewed health for the housing market in and around Washington. Whether it is mountain trails or the water’s edge that appeals to a vacation-home buyer, our region has a tremendous variety for everyone across the price spectrum.

For more info, click here.

 

61st annual Garrett County Ag Fair scheduled for July 29–Aug. 5

McHENRY — Although there have been various fairs and carnivals held in Garrett County for at least a century, the contemporary Garrett County Agriculture Fair will observe its 61st anniversary this year, with the 2017 event scheduled for Saturday, July 29, through Saturday, Aug. 5.

The fair will once again consist of a myriad of competitions, ranging from the judging of farm animals and their caretakers to canned goods to photography to 4-H projects. There will be tractor pulls and a baby crawling contest, live entertainment on the Exhibit Hall stage every evening, and Reithoffer Shows will provide a wide variety of rides and amusements.

In addition, numerous service organizations, churches, and other nonprofit entities will have various food and beverage items for sale, and the fair will conclude with the annual Garrett County Livestock Sale.

Among the musical entertainers throughout the week will be Russel Dickerson, Tim Litvin, Sundance Head, the Joseph Sisters, and HeartStrings.

Much of opening day, Saturday, July 29, will be spent entering all indoor exhibits, and the Reithoffer Shows carnival rides will run from 5 to 11 p.m. that evening.

Judging of exhibits will be conducted all day on Sunday, July 30, with the barns closed to traffic, and the entering of horses and marketing animals will be conducted throughout the day, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The day will culminate with an interdenominational worship service at 6:30 p.m., followed by the crowning of the 2017 GC Farm Queen at 7:30 p.m.

All exhibit barns will be open to the public beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, the carnvial rides will be open until 11 p.m., and various contests/competitions will be held throughout the day.

Tuesday will be Senior Citizens Day, with free admission granted for those age 60 and older. Seniors may ride midway attractions free from 1 until 5 p.m. The day’s schedule will also include a pet show, a 4-H robotics challenge, a high school junior rodeo, and a performance by the Still Kickin’ Cloggers.

The Wednesday slate will include a baby crawl and judging in various animal categories.

A pedal tractor pull, 4-H/FFA beef showmanship judging, a market beef show, and a heavyweight tractor pull will be among Thursday’s events, with Friday’s schedule including the master showman competition, 4-H engineering events, the costume animal parade, cow patty bingo, mechanical bull riding, and peewee swine show.

The final day of the fair — Saturday, Aug. 5 — will include the Livestock Olympics, a dirty-pony contest, the annual livestock sale, the four- and eight-cylinder demolition derby on the fair track.

The cost of admission to the fair on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday (July 29) is $10, which covers unlimited carnival rides, entertainment, and track events. The admission price for Thursday and Saturday (Aug. 5) is $15, which covers the same items noted above. Non-ride tickets, which must be purchased in advance ($7), include entertainment and track events, but not carnival rides. The non-ride tickets can be purchased at First United Bank & Trust in McHenry, Grantsville, and Friendsville; Slopeside Market, Deep Creek Shop and Save; all First Peoples locations; Double G Ranch; Southern States in Mountain Lake Park; and Gregg’s Pharmacy in Oakland.

More information can be found on the fair website at garrettcountyfair.org.

The Garrett County Agriculture Fair is a non-profit organization that is led by a 24-member all-volunteer board of directors.

 For more info, click here.