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2017 edition

Cool Green Fest  

success without sun

By Barbara Wetzel

BOONSBORO, MD (May 15, 2017) - When it came right down to it, organizers of the 9th annual Boonsboro Green Fest were only hoping for a rain-less stretch of time from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. You see, it had rained off and on (mostly on) during the preceding two days.


They got their wish, as nary a drop fell from the 10 o'clock hour, as the opening ceremony was concluding, for the rest of the day Saturday, much to the pleasure of more than 200 vendors and a couple thousand visitors who put on an extra sweater and some waterproof footwear and enjoyed the many features for which the Green Fest is known.


The vendors selling solar systems were none too pleased with the weather, but they still maintained their sunny dispositions, despite only a  flicker of light in mid-afternoon by the shiny ball of energy that is their reason for being.


And of course, an hour after the festival closed, the sun came out while the clean-up crew was getting the park back in order.


All-in-all, though, the Boonsboro Green Fest Committee, the hundred-plus volunteers, the vendors and the 70 sponsors were gratified to see the visitors enjoying the events of the day, including:


Opening ceremony

Lou Scally presided over the opening ceremony which was held shortly before the official start of the festival. Attendees included the members of the Green Fest Committee, elected officials including Julianna Albowicz, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Holland's representative and Mark Galinsky, Congressman John Delaney's field representative, who presented a resolution; Maryland Delegate Bill Wivell (Dist. 2-B), County Commissioner Jeff Cline, county treasurer Todd Hershey and register of wills Jason Malott; Boonsboro Mayor Howard Long and immediate past mayor, Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman, Jr., assistant mayor Cynthia Kauffman, town council members, Brigitte Schmidt and Janeen Solberg; Boonsboro police chief Chuck Stanford; former Frederick County commissioner, Kai Hagen; major sponsors, Bruce Wilder of Turn the Page Bookstore, Shannon Murphy of BodySense PT, Ellis Burress of Bellwether Printing, and Denise Russell of MOM's Organic Market; Tom Ruhf, coordinator of the first annual Green Fest Photo Contest; and members of the Green Fest Committee: Laura Schnackenberg, Amy Jones, Rosemary James, Janeen Solberg, Barbara Wetzel, Susan Simonson, Kathy Vesely, Dan Murphy, Renee Elias, Kim Payne, Sean Haardt and Tony Drury. Members unable to attend the ceremony were Greg Solberg and Leslie Haardt.


John Krowka (left) displays his winning photo in the inaugural Boonsboro Green Fest Photo Contest, with Tom Ruhf, the coordinator of the contest.

Inaugural Photo Contest winners

The winners of the first annual Green Fest Photo Contest were announced at the opening ceremony by honorary guest master of ceremony, Lou Scally, local broadcaster and weatherman. The winning entries were: first place, John Krowka's close-up photo of a large white owl; second place, Terri Packard's farm scene framed by a flowing tree; and third place, Alexis Miller's towering sunflower.


The contest was coordinated by Tom Ruhf, a Rohrersville resident and an excellent amateur photographer himself. Judges for the contest were Monika Wertman, Mary Pat Kelley and Dale Swope, all professional photographers.


The winning digital photos were printed and then professionally framed by Howard's Art & Frames of Hagerstown, who donated the framing. The framed photos were then presented to the winning photographers after being displayed during the festival.


The Green Fest is produced by the all-volunteer Boonsboro Green Fest Committee and is an official event of the Town of Boonsboro. Also find us on Facebook.

Shaping up for 9th annual

Green Fest committee

readies for May 13 event

BOONSBORO, Md. (April 2017) - The countdown begins for the ninth annual Boonsboro Green Fest, set for Saturday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the town's Shafer Park.

All aspects of the festival are taking shape. The Green Fest Committee is checking off final preparations as the Saturday before Mother's Day fast approaches:

  • 200-plus vendors have been chosen and their locations have been placed on the master map.
  • 69 sponsoring partners have generously extended support through monetary and in-kind donations.
  • 103 vendors and businesses have donated items for the popular Silent Auction, with values listed from $5 to $1,500.
  • Two great local bands -- the Plank Stompers and The Plate Scrapers -- are booked for a continuous concert, with the bands alternating stage time and then coming together for a grand finale.
  • T-shirts have been purchased, thanks to three community-minded businesses, for an expected 150 volunteers who will help with sundry tasks throughout the day. The deadline for applying to become a volunteer is April 30.
  • Families are gathering up their unwanted garments and sports gear in anticipation of swapping them for "new" items at the Clothing & Sports Equipment Swap & Sale. Close to 10,000 items were handled last year.
  • A flier listing all of the recyclables that will be collected in the drive-thru, drop-off Recycling Zone has been distributed to all of the households in the towns of Boonsboro and Keedysville; the same flier will be handed out at the local supermarket a couple weeks before the event. Check out the list here.
  • Posters and bookmarks are being distributed throughout the area.
  • Five new banners have been added, bringing to 68 the number of green banners that have been purchased over the years by sponsors. They will be mounted on all the lampposts along Main Street and in the park prior to the festival.
  • Arrangements have been made for tent rentals and installation, and for a composting company to staff the Resource Recovery Stations, which will handle all the recyclables, compostable materials and trash. All of the food vendors may only offer compostable containers and utensils to their customers.
  • A full day of activities has been scheduled for the Kids Zone, where youngsters will be able to participate in arts and crafts, make a Pledge to the Earth, learn about Geo-caching, plant some flower seeds and see completed exhibits, while listening to their own live entertainment by Tony M. Music, a family-friendly singer-songwriter.
  • Local wineries and brewers will have their products ready to pour in the Wine & Beer Garden. Proceeds go to the Friends of Shafer Park. More than $3,000 has been donated over the last three years.
  • For the second year in a row, exhibitors have been lined up for the Eco-Transportation Zone, where festival-goers will be able to see fuel efficient vehicles up close and personal.
  • For the first time, the Green Fest is sponsoring a photo contest for amateur photographers works that depict Washington County's natural environment. (See separate story below.)
  • Plans for the opening ceremony at 9:45 a.m. are taking shape. Popular local radio and television personality Lou Scally will be the Honorary Guest Master of Ceremonies and singer-song writer Tony M. Music, who has performed at the festival almost every year, will lead the singing of "This Land is Your Land", the unofficial theme song of the Green Fest. Local, state and federal officials, along with individuals who have contributed to the success of the Green Fest have been invited to attend.
  • The official program brochure has been written and laid out. The 16-page printed piece will be handed out during the festival. It contains names of all the vendors and their locations in the park, a list of the sponsoring partners, a welcome page, a history of the festival and information about all the activities.
  • The First Hose Company of Boonsboro has again this year allowed the festival to park vehicles in its lot near the corner of North Main and Stouffer. 

The ninth annual festival is produced by the all-volunteer Boonsboro Green Fest Committee and is an official event of the Town of Boonsboro.

                South County landscape

                                                                                                   Photo by Tom Ruhf

Green Fest inaugurates

photography competition


Have you ever taken a picture and said to yourself, "Wow, that's a prize winner"? It just might be if you enter it into the inaugural photo contest sponsored by the Boonsboro Green Fest.


The Green Fest is seeking photographs that highlight the beauty of Washington County's natural environment, such as landscapes, plant life and animal life.

The top three winning submissions will be displayed at the 9th annual  Boonsboro Green Fest on Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Boonsboro's Shafer Park.


Judging the contest will be three Hagerstown professional photographers: Dale Swope, the founding owner of Photography by Dale, and the company's current owner, Mary Pat Kelly, along with Monika Wertman of Wertman Photography.


Photos will be judged on subject matter, focus, lighting, composition, creativity and photographic impact.


Photos must be digital and be taken within Washington County, Maryland, by amateur photographers who earn less than half of their income from photography.

Each photo must be accompanied by an entry form and photo release which may be obtained by emailing [email protected]


Only one entry per person will be permitted. All entries must be digitally emailed by May 3, 2017, to: [email protected] No photo may contain images of recognizable people.


The top three printed and framed photos will be displayed throughout the day at the Green Fest and then be presented to the winning photographers.


The contest originator and coordinator is volunteer Tom Ruhf of Rohrersville.



In Boonsboro's Shafer Park

   Vendor sign-up

   underway for

   9th Green Fest

BOONSBORO, Md. (January 2017) - Vendor applications are being accepted for the 9th annual Boonsboro Green Fest to be held on Saturday, May 13 in Boonsboro's Shafer Park.


Applications may be submitted up until the March 15 deadline, however, prospective vendors who apply by March 1 will pay only $25 for a space; the fee doubles for applications received from March 2 to 15.


The spring festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Saturday before Mother's Day. An opening ceremony will begin at 9:45 a.m. at the bandstand.


Organizers expect the park to be filled to capacity with 200 vendors for the third year in a row, so vendors are urged to apply as soon as possible before all the spaces are taken. The first Green Fest in 2009 drew 84 vendors. 


The festival will also feature live music all day long, recycling drop-off center, kids zone, food pavilion, and a wine and beer garden. Proceeds from the garden go directly to the Friends of Shafer Park and are dedicated to the future swimming pool project.

Vendors are chosen based on adherence to the Green Fest mission "to promote conservation, recycling and sustainable living within our community."

Based on the themes or products of the vendors, they will be listed on the website and in the program brochure in various categories, such as Eco-Home, Eco-Lifestyle, Sustainable Agriculture & Gardening, Conservation & Recycling, Eco-Kids, Clean Energy Options, Health & Wellness, Go Local, and Food & Refreshments.


The vendor application, as well as forms to volunteer and to become a sponsor, can be found on this website.  Forms are also available at Boonsboro Town Hall, 21 N. Main St., or by sending a request for a form to: Boonsboro Green Fest, PO Box 64, Boonsboro, MD 21713.


The Green Fest Committee is the general sponsor of the annual festival, which is planned and produced by volunteers and is financed by vendor fees and the generosity of dozens of sponsoring partners. It is also an official event of the Town of Boonsboro.