Thousands Enjoy Bluemont Fair
September 23, 2011
by Gazette Staff
The 42nd Bluemont Country Fair was held throughout the village last weekend, September 17-18. The inclement weather on the first day of the weekend-long event did not keep the nearly 5,000 visitors from coming out to enjoy all of the events the fair had to offer.
One of the larger draws of the weekend was the guided tour of the Snickersville Academy that was built in 1825. This tiny log building was the first schoolhouse and church in the village. This was an opportunity for the community to tour the structure that is not normally accessible..
The weekend started with the 33rd Bluemont Road race, a 6.2 mile loop that started and ended at Great Country Farms. Karsten Brown of Front Royal, Virginia, was the winner in the Men’s division with a race time of 35:22. In the women’s division, Michelle VanHorn from Harper’s Ferry, was the winner with a time of 41:19.
The old schoolhouse grounds were busy both days where juried crafters displayed their wares, with many also holding demonstrations. Bluemont’s storied railroad history was on display at the old Post Office building. At the Old Stone Church, historic slideshows “When the Trains Came to Bluemont” and “Bluemont 1864” were shown.
“In general the crafters were wonderful and the music terrific,” said Deborah Snyder the Publicity Chair for the Bluemont Fair. Snyder was pleased with the weekend’s turnout and variety of activities and vendors. Sunday was better attended because the weather was perfect, according to Snyder.
At the E.E. Lake Store, in the center of the village, the Pickle-Making and Pie- Baking Contest took place at noon sharp. Contestants waited patiently for the judges to taste the record-breaking amount of pies and pickles entered into the contest this year. Four judges tasted a total of twenty-five fruit and non-fruit pies and fourteen pickle entries. Paul Smith, the coordinator for the contest, was pleased with the amount of entries. In the seven years of running the contest, this year broke the record for participation, he said. The judges were Janet and Tom Clark, Patrick Kaler, President & CEO of Visit Loudoun, and Kim Weber, editor of the Purcellville Gazette.
There were several traditional pies like apple, pumpkin, and pecan. Some of these traditional pies had a twist like pecan and sea salt pie and apple orange raisin pie. There were other non-traditional types entered like key lime pie with a macadamia nut crust and a Kentucky Derby pie. Three gluten-free pies were entered for the first time this year said Smith.
The first place winner for the fruit pie category was Estelle Gibson from Round Hill with her raspberry pie. Certainly no stranger to being in the fair’s pie-making winner’s circle, Gibson said she thought she would try something different this year than the pecan pie she usually enters. This is the first time Gibson entered a raspberry pie. She said her secret was using lots of real butter in the crust. Gibson has been entering her pies in the contest as far back as she can remember. This is the only contest she enters and says, “When I first stated entering the contest, it was really small. I enjoy baking and participate to benefit the Fair.” Other winners in the pie-making contest in the fruit category were Laura Jasiello for her apple pie and Jan Furlow for her Blueberry pie.
The first place winner for the non-fruit pie was Roberta Meredith of Potomac, Maryland for her cheese pie. This is the first time she entered to contest and says her secret was using key lime flavoring instead of lemon which the recipe listed. Other winners in the pie-making contest in the non-fruit category were Jan Furlow for her chocolate cream pie and Nicci Burnett for her pumpkin pie.
The blue ribbon winner in the pickle contest was Joan Harris of Bluemont for her zucchini relish. The recipe came from her best friend’s mother, Ann Alexander from Arkansas. Harris lost the recipe and recently found it. This is the first year Harris entered to contest. Other winners were in second place Diana Carmen for her bread and butter pickles and in third Mike Hutchison.