Car­o­line cel­e­brates sum­mer

Times-Record - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

DENTON — Car­o­line County cel­e­brated sum­mer and achieve­ment at the 29th an­nual Car­o­line Sum­mer­fest in down­town Denton.

The street party was held on Mar­ket Street be­tween 1st and 3rd streets on Fri­day, Aug. 18, and Satur­day, Aug. 19, cul­mi­nat­ing with a large fire­works dis­play over down­town Satur­day night. The event fea­tured three per­for­mance stages,

non­profit food and craft ven­dors, KidzArt!, a car show and the an­nual Ri­vah Run.

Lt. Gov. Boyd Ruther­ford made his third trip to Car­o­line Sum­mer­fest dur­ing a visit to Denton Satur­day, Aug. 19. Ruther­ford joined lo­cal ath­letes at the main stage to present the ath­letes procla­ma­tions for their out­stand­ing achieve­ment in 2017.

He awarded procla­ma­tions to North Car­o­line High School’s state cham­pi­onship soft­ball team, state cham­pion wrestlers Alex Ea­ton and Tyler Bauer, the 9- and 10-year-old Car­o­line Lit­tle League Mary­land state cham­pi­onship team and lo­cal gold medal win­ners in the Mary­land Spe­cial Olympics.

“It is very spe­cial to be here at Car­o­line Sum­mer­fest and meet these out­stand­ing ath­letes,” Ruther­ford said. “We are proud to rec­og­nized their hard work and achieve­ments.”

State Del. Jeff Ghrist, R-36-Car­o­line, led the cer­e­mony, and he was joined by fel­low East­ern Shore Del­e­ga­tion mem­bers Sen. Ad­die Eckardt, R-37-MidShore; Del. Chris Adams, R-37B-Wi­comico; state Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Tal­bot; and Del. Jay Ja­cobs, R36-Kent.

Denton Mayor Abi­gail McNinch and the Denton Town Coun­cil pre­sented the ath­letes with procla­ma­tions, along with county com­mis­sion­ers Dan Franklin, Wil­bur Le­ven­good and Larry Porter.

The Spe­cial Olympians earn­ing gold medals in­cluded Abi­gail Al­ton, bas­ket­ball; E.J. Al­ton, bas­ket­ball; Ma­son Thomas, bas­ket­ball and swim­ming; Bradley Cow­ell, swim­ming; Abi­gail Gib­bons, bas­ket­ball and swim­ming; Kelsey Rowe, swim­ming; Todd Pul­leyn, bas­ket­ball, swim­ming and golf; Rebecca Gib­bons, swim­ming; Cait­lyn Mc­Cormick, swim­ming; and Ryan Free­man, bas­ket­ball and golf.

The North Car­o­line High soft­ball team in­cluded Ali Ward, Megan Rob­bins, Aza­lie Haro, Macken­zie Werner, Brea Bishop, Emily Ward, Ki­ley Macmil­lan, Sarah Kin­top, Kolby Downes, Alexan­dria Penn, Lau­ren Wil­liamson, Sarah Mast, Abi­gail Trice, Aubree Strange, Hay­den Smith and Ken­dall Dixon. The coaches were An­drea Ward, Jody Ward, Henry Ward, Brenda Mur­phy and Mike Penn.

The Car­o­line Lit­tle League in­cluded Abby Gun­ther, Ani­jah Ham­mond, Anna Hutchi­son, Au­tumn Hu­ber, Eileen John­son, Hat­teras Ghrist, Jay­lyn Jack­son, Kate­lyn Trib­bit, Made­lyn Porter, Natel­lie New­man, Rebbecca Wroten and Ty­onna Sin­gle­tary. They were coached by Bar­rett Spencer, Matt Ghrist and Lee Hutchi­son.

Af­ter the pre­sen­ta­tions to the ath­letes, Ruther­ford greeted fes­ti­val go­ers and met with or­ga­ni­za­tion mem­bers set up along Mar­ket Street. He also looked at the clas­sic cars parked along 1st Street.

“I al­ways en­joy look­ing at these cars,” Ruther­ford said. “The own­ers do a great job of restor­ing them. They re­ally do a great job show­cas­ing the cars.

“It is al­ways great to visit Car­o­line Sum­mer­fest,” he said. “It is great see­ing the com­mu­nity come out for the event. It sup­ports so many or­ga­ni­za­tions. I’m happy to be able to come and visit here.”

Fri­day fea­tured the open­ing cer­e­mony and per­for­mances by the Colonel Richard­son High School Spirit of the Rev­o­lu­tion Band and the North Car­o­line High School Band of Blue. The bands played the Na­tional An­them to­gether, and then the drum­lines per­formed.

The bands then moved to op­po­site ends of Mar­ket Street to per­form songs from their re­spec­tive field shows, how­ever, a threat of se­vere weather cut the per­for­mances short.

Car­o­line Sum­mer­fest had not seen rain in nearly a decade, but storms had been brew­ing all day Fri­day. Sum­mer­fest of­fi­cials and emer­gency per­son­nel kept the com­mu­nity aware of the weather threat.

Once the se­vere weather threat reached the East­ern Shore, of­fi­cials cleared down­town Denton, giv­ing the com­mu­nity nearly an hour to seek shel­ter and pre­pare ven­dor booths for the in­com­ing weather.

McNinch praised Sum­mer­fest of­fi­cials and emer­gency per­son­nel for giv­ing peo­ple plenty of time to seek shel­ter.

“Sue Sim­mons, her vol­un­teers and the emer­gency ser­vices did an out­stand­ing job pre­par­ing for the weather,” she said. “The com­mu­nity knew be­fore the event be­gan there was a chance for bad weather with of­fi­cials com­mu­ni­cat­ing on so­cial me­dia.

“Once the storms got to the East­ern Shore, they al­tered ev­ery­one to seek shel­ter,” she said. “We still had a lot of peo­ple come out on Fri­day. The buses trans­ported peo­ple to their cars. Ven­dors had plenty of time to hun­ker-down. There was never a rush be­cause the com­mu­nity re­ceived the warn­ings about an hour be­fore storms hit.”

Sum­mer­fest did con­tinue Fri­day, even with heavy rains and light­ning. The Car­o­line County Pub­lic Li­brary had a crowd gath­ered in­side to watch sev­eral per­for­mances.

“We had an­other great Car­o­line Sum­mer­fest,” McNinch said. “We did have rain but it did not stop the cel­e­bra­tion. This event is about our com­mu­nity and our lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions and all the great things they have to of­fer. The vol­un­teers put on an­other out­stand­ing show.”

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

The 29th an­nual Car­o­line Sum­mer­fest in down­town Denton cul­mi­nated Satur­day, Aug. 19, with a fire­works dis­play.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

Lt. Gov. Boyd Ruther­ford awards cer­tifi­cates to lo­cal gold medal win­ners in the Mary­land Spe­cial Olympics at Car­o­line Sum­mer­fest Satur­day, Aug. 19.

Ka’Nyha Raikes per­forms with the Colonel Richard­son High march­ing band at Car­o­line Sum­mer­fest in Denton Fri­day, Aug. 18.

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