Georgia may be known for peaches, but visitors to Maryland could be surprised at the number of peach festivals that call the small state of Maryland home. Some of the festivals are older than others, but all play a vital part in their respective communities. The proceeds of these festivals go to benefit the communities in which they are held, but their influence stretches much further, from the benefit to the farmer to the ability of a festival to draw neighbors together and attract new faces. Given the peach growing season in Maryland, peach festivals are held in mid-August.
Berlin Peach Festival
In 2009, Berlin, Maryland, held its first peach festival. Since then, the festival has grown every year. It is always held on the lawn of the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum at 208 North Main Street, Berlin. The festival, which is sponsored by the Berlin Heritage Foundation, lasts for one day in the middle of August. It features different peach baked goods and preserves, as well as the Chesapeake Creamery's peach ice cream. Peach iced tea is also popular and there is a peach pie baking contest as well.The Berlin Lions Club serves standard picnic fare, and of course fresh peaches, courtesy of the local Bennett Orchards, abound.
Leitersburg Peach Festival
In the small town of Leitersburg, Maryland, population 523, the Leitersburg Ruritan Club has been staging an annual peach festival since 1979. The festival attracts up to 10,000 people per year to the town, raising almost $20,000 for the community, money used to pay for street lights and maintaining the landscaped areas and parks around town. The Leitersburg Peach Festival features a peach pie bake-off with a charity auction afterward, as well as fresh peaches and peach products like jam, salsa, cobbler, ice cream and drinks. Local peach orchards Barr Orchards and Ivy Hill Farm supply most of the peaches. The festival also features almost 100 craft vendors, a petting zoo and an antique tractor display.
Carroll County Peach Festival
The Carroll County Farmers Market hosts a peach festival every year at the Carroll County Agriculture Center off Smith Avenue in Westminster, Maryland. You can expect to find peach cakes, peach cobblers and peach ice cream among the wares sold from the approximately 50 local vendors there, as well as free samples. There are also competitive bike rides with lengths ranging from 12 miles to 100 miles; proceeds support the Brain Injury Association of Maryland.
Church Peach Festivals
In Carroll County, peaches are so popular that several local churches host their own peach festivals. Bixler's United Methodist Church holds a community peach festival at the church on 3372 Bixler Church Road in Westminster, with peaches, baked goods, ice cream and live music. Nearby Benjamin's (Krider's) Church (located at 208 Krider's Church Road, also in Westminster) holds a peach festival as well. In addition to homemade peach desserts and live music, the festival has an old-fashioned cake walk. Also in Westminster, St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church (827 Leister's Church Road) has a peach festival with lots of picnic-type food, such as barbeque, hamburgers and hot dogs, and lots of fresh peaches, ice cream and cobbler. Further down the road, Bethesda United Methodist Church hosts a peach festival at the church (328 N. Klee Mill Road in Sykesville, Maryland) with live music, peach-based foods and fried chicken plates for sale.
- Taylor House Museum: Berlin Peach Festival
- Ocean City Today; Berlin Prepares for Second Old-Fashioned Peach Festival; July 23, 2010
- Carroll County Times; Festival Features Plenty of Peach Treats; Chris Eckard; August 11, 2010
- Herald-Mail; Leitersburg Peach festival This Weekend; Tiffany Arnold; August 11, 2010
- Carroll County Times; Festival's a Peach at Ag Center; Carrie Ann Knauer; August 15, 2005
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images