Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day epitomizes the town’s spirit and aims to bring the community together for a day of fun and celebration. Entering its thirty-seventh year this past June, it continues to encourage community involvement and to energize neighborly pride.
On June 30, 2018, the schedule for Community Day was set, with many activities and choices of friendly competitions, ranging from games and contests to running races to riding bikes. The day started with breakfast at the Vigilant Hose Company, which was followed by a 6K run. Games and contests followed, with the greased pig chase, tug-o-war, sack races, and watermelon and pie eating contests.
Cliff Sweeney, representing the Emmitsburg Lions Club said, “The Community Swimming Pool was free to the public for swimming all day. The concession stand at the pool was open for the first time in twenty years, thanks to the efforts of members of the Emmitsburg Lions Club and the Boy Scouts.”
The biking events, coordinated by Emmitsburg commissioner and avid mountain-biker Tim O’Donnell, served to engage the public with a sport that perfectly fits the topographic mold of the Catoctin Mountain area. The biking events included a thirty-mile, ten-mile, five-mile, one-mile, and a children’s bike rodeo. O’Donnell has deep-rooted ties to the mountain biking innerworkings of the Emmitsburg area, developing the mountain bike trails at Rainbow Lake. He also organized sessions to teach the public about the “expectations of coaching,” with spokespeople from the Maryland League of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. Coaches train mountain bikers to compete in races, a fundamental step in the success of competitive mountain bikers.
O’ Donnell’s daughter, Tara, took attendance for the incoming bikers and assisted in some bike rides, including the children’s bike rodeo. Tara described the bike programs and Heritage Day as “community-oriented” and “fun,” bringing people together to celebrate what shapes the community. The efforts of the O’ Donnells in promoting mountain biking throughout the Emmitsburg area continue to have positive impact on the community, combining athletics and interaction with the unique landscape and environment our region has to offer.
The day continued with other activities, including Bingo, an art exhibit, wagon rides, musical performances by the likes of Home Comfort Bluegrass Band and Ray Owens, as well as assorted contests. A beer garden was held at the baseball field. An art contest exhibit was held at the Emmitsburg Branch Library for Emmitsburg-area students in first through eighth grades under the theme “Freedom is…”; Civil War wagon tours ran for two hours and showcased the rich history of the town. The Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day Parade featured local firefighters, baton throwers, scouts, and politicians, many of whom threw candy along the street to spectators. To finish off the night, an expansive and beautiful firework show was displayed across the night sky.
Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day continues to unite the community and bring people together for a day of summer fun.
Winners of the contests this year are the following: for the greased pig chase—Caeli Miravelle (ages 1-6), Austin Welch (ages 7-11), CJ Upchurch (ages 12-16), and John Mark Miravelle (ages 17 and up); for the singles sack race—Noah Leibensperger, 1st place, Keane Burns, 2nd place (ages 1-4), Addison Welch, 1st place, Savannah Phebus, 2nd place (ages 5-8), Joshua Hahn, 1st place, Madison Ball, 2nd place (ages 9-12), Michael DiJulio, 1st place, Matthias Buchheister, 2nd place (ages 13-16), TJ Burns, 1st place, and Jack McCarthy, 2nd place (ages 17 and up);
for the doubles sack race—Noah Leibensperger and Keane Burns, 1st place (ages 1-4), Addison Welch and Savannah Phebus, 1st place, Tierney Burns and Bridgett Ball, 2nd place (ages 5-8), Tessa McKenzie and Samantha Orndorff, 1st place, Joshua and Wesley Hahn, 2nd place (ages 9-12), Meara and Caeley McVearry, 1st place, Matthew and Joseph Horil, 2nd place (ages 13-16), Danial and Jack McCarthy, 1st place, and Abby McCarthy and Will Hibbert, 2nd place (ages 17 and up);
For the egg toss—Deandre and Adrianne Phebus, 1st place, and Denise and Bob Maddox, 2nd place.
For the water balloon toss—Kim and Dale Shields, 1st place, and Abby McCarthy and Will Hibbert, 2nd place.
For the pie eating contest—Jameson Ebaugh, 1st place, Emmaus Vera, 2nd place (ages 4 and under), Cecilia Love, 1st place, Grady Abruzzese, 2nd place (ages 5-8), Thomas Love, 1st place, Meara McVearry, 2nd place (ages 9-12), John Lane, 1st place, Jean Pembroke and CJ Upchurch, 2nd place (ages 13-16), Jack McCarthy, 1st place, and Theresa Buccheit, 2nd place (ages 17 and up).
For the watermelon eating contest—Keane Burns, 1st place, Landon Dodson, 2nd place (ages 4 and under), Sophia Legare, 1st place, Cecilia Love, 2nd place (ages 5-8), Meara McVearry, 1st place (ages 9-12), Jacob Ebaugh, 1st place (ages 13-16), Dennis Ebaugh, 1st place, and Jack McCarthy and Will Hibbert, 2nd place (ages 17 and up).
(left) Caeli Miravelle (ages 1-6 group) wins first place in the greased pig chase.
(right) Men ride horseback down the streets of Emmitsburg during the parade.
Austin and Addison Welch proudly show their awards won at Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day.