August is the twilight month of summer — the last hurrah before the kids go back to school, the days start getting shorter, and sweaters start gradually replacing shorts.
With that in mind, we compiled a list of some of the best events coming up in Frederick County. From a combined carnival/beer festival to a printing class at one of the newest arts nonprofits in town, it’s a chance to maximize your free time before the end of the summer.
The Frederick County Craft Beverage Festival and Summer Carnival
When: noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 10
Where: The Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department, 12027 South St., Libertytown
Cost: $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Family tickets — for two adults and children under the age of 16 — cost $65. The ticket price includes a $10 beverage credit and a festival pint glass.
For tickets or more information, visit www.frederickcountycraftbeveragefestival.org.
Local carnivals, while not exactly an endangered species, are getting a little less common in Frederick County. Woodsboro, New Market, and Brunswick all stopped running their annual events, said Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department president Chip Jewell. His own department started running into difficulties a couple years ago when they couldn’t secure a contract for traditional mechanical rides.
“When you talk to the vendors, they need some guaranteed funds, and it’s getting harder to promise,” Jewell said. “It takes a lot of manpower to run these carnivals, and a certain amount of expense, and that makes everything a little bit harder.”
When the department struggled to secure a contractor again this year, he and his colleagues were faced with a choice. Drop everything, or try to find an alternative to the traditional carnival format. Luckily for them, the five wineries and three breweries within the Libertytown fire district provided some inspiration. Most of the department’s fundraising this year will come from a craft beverage festival Saturday — a six-hour event with live music and at least 20 different vendors.
Those include next-door neighbors like Elk Run Winery and Milkhouse Brewery in Mt. Airy. Adults are free to imbibe, but the department is also providing family-friendly entertainment like a bounce house and children’s games. A mechanical bull and gambling are another nod to the traditional carnival format. On Thursday and Friday night, before the craft beverage festival, the department will also run a parade and sell platters from the Libertytown Fire Auxiliary.
“We wanted to maintain the integrity of the carnival for the community, but we’re focusing on the craft beverages to raise most of our revenue,” Jewell said. “It’s a way to support the fire department and enjoy that more traditional event.”
The food, including pit beef, hushpuppies and crab soup, will also be available at the festival. Ole’ 97, a Johnny Cash tribute band, will perform from noon to 3 p.m., and local country group The Knight Brothers will perform from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. In the interest of safety, Jewell said, the department will also provide sober rides and voluntary breathalyzer tests.
Extra, Extra! 19th Century Newspaper Production Class
When: Morning session from 9 a.m. to noon and afternoon session from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., Aug. 12 through Aug. 16
Where: The Frederick Book Arts Center, 217 W. Patrick St., Frederick
For more information, visit www.frederickbookarts.org.
Johnny Carrera grew up visiting his grandmother, Ethel Loeb, a longtime columnist for The Frederick News-Post. So, it’s fitting that the founder of the Frederick Book Arts Center is launching a summer class dedicated to the art of newsprint.
“It’s paying homage to my grandparents and to Frederick’s long newspaper tradition,” Carrera said. “It’s a chance to see how papers were produced in the days before digital printing.”
The week-long course offers both a morning and an afternoon session, both dedicated to producing a small newspaper that Carrera is calling “The Ephemeral.”
“Newspapers, from an artistic standpoint, are not things that last a very long time,” he explained. “They’re not printed on archival paper, they don’t use expensive materials. Hence the name.”
Despite their brief shelf lives, printing a newspaper used to take arduous work, especially in the 19th century. In the morning session, Carrera will teach his students to hand-set the fonts using old-fashioned type cases and composing sticks. They’ll also get the chance to fill the paper with articles, poems, news items and anything else they can envision at the start of class. Carrera said he’s printed newspapers filled with horoscopes, or obituaries for people he cared about. He’s also excited to use some vintage types covered in short blessings, an unusual find from an old family workshop.
“For Frederick, with the spires, I think it would be fitting to print some of them,” Carrera said. “They’re very sweet, and some of them use this fascinating typecast that I’ve never seen before.”
The afternoon session will employ more modern technology, using computers to design black-and-white polymer plates for the newspaper. The plates can include pictures, fonts, even advertisements, Carrera said, if a student wants to print them. Both sessions will have the opportunity to make their own wood engravings for the paper, printed on a Vandercook 219 letterpress from the 1940s.
He’ll also teach his students more about newspaper history in Frederick. Along with writing for The Frederick News-Post, Loeb and her husband, Leon, edited another small local newspaper called “The Frederick Times.” In the early 1900s, Frederick resident Edward Mitchell Johnson printed “The Frederick Hornet,” one of the few black newspapers in Maryland. Carrera also plans to demonstrate the center’s refurbished Iron Hand Press, a modernized version of the letterpress used to print a repudiation of the British Stamp Act.
“It’s very similar to the presses used throughout the 17th century,” Carrera said. “So, it’s a good way to really show people the evolution of printing.”
The Frederick Record Fair
When: noon to 6 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 11
Where: Olde Mother Brewing Co., 526 N. Market St., Frederick
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/events/432619794194203/.
When it comes to record fairs, Trevor Keen has a bit of a history. He’s organized events in Baltimore, Silver Spring, D.C. — even Arbutus, one of his most successful markets. But when he looked at Frederick, one of his favorite cities, he realized no one had ever organized a similar event.
“Frederick is kind of known for selling antique stuff, vintage stuff, so I was surprised no one had ever done it,” Keen said.
And as a long-time customer at Olde Mother Brewing Co., he noticed the back room at the new location on North Market Street and thought it would be perfect for vendors.
“I thought, ‘Well, let’s set one up and see how it works,’” Keen said.
Sunday, Olde Mother will host the first-ever Frederick Record Fair, an event Keen likes to a flea market for unique vinyls.
So far, the festival has 15 confirmed vendors from across the East Coast, selling genres from funk to disco to rock and roll. Keen himself, a long-time collector and vendor, will be hawking an eclectic mix of funk, jazz, rock and hip-hop. He also invited three local DJs to spin records for the festival, with permission to play anything but electronic or heavy house music. Olde Mother, of course, will be selling craft beer. For Keen, the set-up is a great way to discover new music or hunt for hard-to-find gems.
“It’s cool because people can have a glass of beer and look at their leisure,” he said. “It gives them the time to really stop and browse.”
Follow Kate Masters on Twitter @kamamasters.