Fall Foliage and Festival Report October 14 – 15

Welcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for the weekend of Oct. 14 and 15, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Office of Tourism.

Garrett County’s biggest event of the year, the Autumn Glory Festival, is underway in Oakland and other locations throughout the county. Highlights of the festival include the Maryland State Banjo and Fiddle Championships, Tall Tale Storytelling and Book Festival, Western Maryland Tournament of Bands, parades, a 5K Run, and an authentic Oktoberfest celebration.

For those heading out to the event, the fall foliage will certainly not disappoint! Reports from the region indicate leaf change has really picked up in Garrett County, moving rapidly towards peak with lots of yellow and orange showing. Recent rain did bring a lot of leaves down over the past weekend. Red and sugar maples and hickory species, with their colorful pinkish orange and yellow foliage, are looking pretty good in the county at Big Run State Park, along New Germany Road to Grantsville and east along I-68 to Frostburg. In Allegany County good color change can easily be seen on ridges near and far.

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Monkey Business Adventure Park is open at the lake

MCHENRY — Adventure seekers of all ages are currently welcome at Monkey Business Adventure Park, which recently opened at 970 Deep Creek Drive, McHenry.

Several choices are available, including ziplining, aerial obstacle courses and free-falling. The park has three elevation levels, each with different challenges.

The park is owned by Deep Creek Lake Adventures, which also owns Splash Island Inflatable Water Park.

“We were trying to create another outlet to get kids out and active,” said Operational Manager Jordan Smith. “The site also gave us the perfect location to create synergy with Deep Creek Lake. I think people who come to Deep Creek need a few more activities, especially in the fall. The course will offer some bombastic views of the fall foliage and whatnot. This is a great way for parents and kids to spend time together. It really is a great confidence-builder for kids and adults.”

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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.

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Garrett Co. Arts Council To Host 38th Annual Heritage Craft Fest

Autumn Glory Festival’s longest running art and craft show, the Heritage Craft Fest, will be hosted for the 38th year at Broad Ford Elementary and Southern Middle schools. This juried show is organized by the Garrett County Arts Council. Its proceeds benefit the many programs of the local arts community.

More than 60 quality art and craft vendors will be present on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13 and 14, at the Harvey Winters Road locations. This established event is always a popular part of the festival. Artists from six states will be located in the cafeteria and gymnasiums of both schools.

A wide variety of products will be available for purchase, including pottery, photography, paintings, baskets, floral designs, up-cycled art, furniture, quilts, wood working, knives, jewelry, fiber arts, quilling, children’s books and soaps.

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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.

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New Listing! 1832 Dry Run Rd

Your DREAM horse farm, backing to Savage River state forest & a few miles from Savage River reservoir! 68+/- acres, renovated farm house, detached garage, massive heated & insulated barn, covered porch, decking, mountain views, 12+/- acres of pasture land, stream (Black Hawk Run) running through the property and a garden that puts most to shame! Home has been lovingly remodeled. Must see!

 

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.

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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

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