Cel­e­brate Charles! Fall Fest packed with fall fun

The Bal­loon Nerd, cook­ing demos high­light the ac­tiv­i­ties

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIFFANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com

The fall fun is not over yet, as Charles County will present an op­por­tu­nity to com­bine many in­ter­est­ing South­ern Mary­land ac­tiv­i­ties into one day at the Cel­e­brate Charles! Fall-Fest.

From noon to 4 p.m. this Satur­day at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium, vis­i­tors will ex­pe­ri­ence how Charles County cel­e­brates the sea­son with games, live per­for­mances, lots of ven­dors and

sup­port from the com­mu­nity. The event is free.

Rachel Am­mer­man, pro­mo­tions spe­cial­ist at Charles County Depart­ment of Recre­ation Parks and Tourism, said this the fifth an­nual Cel­e­brate Charles! Fall-Fest and it is unique be­cause it is held at the sta­dium. She said five years ago the Charles County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers wanted to see Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium used as a multi-event fa­cil­ity.

“We take over the en­tire ball­park with artisan crafters and the kids can get candy from ven­dors who are from all over South­ern Mary­land,” Am­mer­man said. “Then we also have amuse­ment park rides on the field, which is free for ev­ery­body to en­joy. This year we have the Bal­loon Nerd per­form­ing and he’s so much fun. We’re also bring­ing in a global chef from A Taste of South­ern Mary­land.”

Brian Garner, the Bal­loon Nerd, said vis­i­tors had bet­ter be ready to laugh, dance and see some pretty rad magic and fun with bal­loons. He loves to pro­vide bal­loon twist­ing en­ter­tain­ment to chil­dren, both young and old, in South­ern Mary­land. His skill in­volves be­ing able to take a bal­loon and ma­nip­u­late it into a piece of art­work, which he de­scribes as an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“The best part about what I do is see­ing the smiles and ex­cite­ment as I bring their ideas to life,” Garner said. “I have a lot of au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion. Some vis­i­tors will be help­ing out with magic, oth­ers in­volved with a com­pe­ti­tion as well as mak­ing a gi­ant bal­loon snake dance. I have a 20foot bal­loon snake that comes out and sev­eral chil­dren are in­vited on stage to help make him dance. It’s hi­lar­i­ous!”

Ronda Gold­man, A Taste of South­ern Mary­land ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said the cook­ing show at the fall fes­ti­val will fea­ture La Plata chef Roc­quelle Devine, who was fea­tured on the tele­vi­sion show “Rachael Ray.” At the event, Devine will demon­strate how to make har­vest trail mix, minia­ture caramel ap­ples, pump­kin smooth­ies and fall pot­pourri, blend­ing in­gre­di­ents such as or­ange peels and cin­na­mon sticks to get that sea­sonal smell at home.

A Taste of South­ern Mary­land is a CSA (com­mu­nity sup­ported agri­cul­ture) that part­ners with lo­cal food pro­duc­ers to put to­gether har­vest boxes. It is a farm-to-ta­ble ex­pe­ri­ence that de­liv­ers home­grown good­ness to the doorsteps of res­i­dents.

“Peo­ple will get to see what they can cre­ate with foods from lo­cal farm­ers’ mar­kets and lo­cal pro­duc­ers,” Gold­man said. “This is our sec­ond year at the fall fes­ti­val and the event is a great time to cel­e­brate the har­vest sea­son. This is a big sea­son for our lo­cal farms, and South­ern Mary­land is home to some of the best farms in the coun­try. The re­gion is a penin­sula sur­rounded by water on three sides and our soils are very rich, so farm­ers are do­ing won­ders with grow­ing de­li­cious, nu­tri­ent-rich foods in the soils.”

Gold­man said last year’s food was more adult cen­tered, but this year’s recipes are geared to­wards the whole fam­ily, adults and chil­dren, with op­por­tu­ni­ties to taste test as well.

The Bal­loon Nerd will per­form at noon and the cook­ing demon­stra­tion will take place in the Leg­ends Club. Fun for the whole fam­ily on Satur­day also in­cludes live en­ter­tain­ment per­formed by Roc­kno­ceros at 1:30 p.m. and kids of all ages can play all day in the Fam­ily Fun Zone and wear a hal­loween cos­tume on the Trick-or-Treat Trail.

Am­mer­man said ap­prox­i­mately 5,000 peo­ple are ex­pected to at­tend the event.

Vis­i­tors will be able to pur­chase goods from lo­cal ar­ti­sans and crafters in the Cel­e­brate Charles Mar­ket­place fea­tur­ing Krafts by Kaye, Pop’s Jew­elry Shop, Turn­ings By Dar­rel, Deat­ley Fam­ily, Elf Sea Glass, Deb­bie Ba­con, Stephanie Dean, This N That, Janet’s Home­made Candy, Love Your Mother, In­ter­ga­lac­tic Space Bears, The Pel­i­can’s Pouch and other unique lo­cal ven­dors.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the fes­ti­val, call 1-800-766-3386.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Cel­e­brate Charles! Fal­lFest will fea­ture La Plata chef Roc­quelle Devine, who was fea­tured on the tele­vi­sion show “Rachael Ray.”

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