The annual Autumn Glory Festival is a five-day celebration of autumn that celebrates the beauty of the local fall foliage. The 53rd annual Autumn Glory Festival, sponsored by Patriot Automotive CHRYSLER DODGE JEEP RAM: King of the 4WD, will be held as scheduled from Wednesday, October 7 – Sunday, October 11, 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Autumn Glory Festival will look a little different this year.
The weekend’s activities include an Autumn Glory Float Contest, virtual kick-off event along with the annual Autumn Glory Craft & Gift Sale. The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area, a program of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, will once again offer their annual Turkey Trail, sponsored by the Garrett County Republican, which celebrates the event’s roots by promoting area turkey dinners served in our region. The Heritage Area will also have two new Fall Foliage Driving Tours, highlighting some of the area’s most scenic spots to view our stunning Autumn leaves.
Comedian Robert Mac to Headline Virtual Autumn Glory Kick-Off Event
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a virtual Autumn Glory Kick-Off Event on Wednesday, October 7 at 5:30 pm via Zoom.
Headlining this year’s kick-off event is Robert Mac, an award-winning comedian, motivational humorist, and Master of Ceremonies. He was the Grand Prize winner of Comedy Central’s “Laugh Riots” national stand-up competition, and has also appeared on “Last Comic Standing,” NBC’s “Late Friday,” and The Learning Channel. He was a finalist in the San Francisco International Comedy Competition and the Boston Comedy Festival, and was co-winner of the Jerry Lewis Telethon Talent Search. Entertainment Business Journal ranked Mac 67 out of the top 100 stand-up comedians in the U.S. Robert is a fellow Marylander calling Silver Spring home.
Along with the performance by Robert Mac, the virtual event will also include the announcement of the 2020 Honorary Golden Ambassador, coronation of the Autumn Glory King and Queen and recognition of the festival sponsors. This year, the event will also include the announcement of the Photo Canvas Auction Winner.
“Even though things are a little different this year, we’re still celebrating Garrett County’s most colorful season and that means we still need a kick-off event for the five-day festival,” said Nicole Christian, President of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “We are excited to be hosting a different kind of kick-off event and think that everyone will enjoy what we have planned.”
The cost to attend is $10 for Chamber members and $15 for non-members. Register online at visitdeepcreek.com or call 301.387.6171. The link to access the event will be sent upon successful registration. Each registered attendee of the Kick-Off Event receives a commemorative postcard, magnet, and a collectible Autumn Glory pin which may be picked up at the Visitors Center.
Autumn Glory Float Contest
An Autumn Glory Float Contest will be held from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 10, 2020. In lieu of the Autumn Glory Festival Grand Feature parade, which was canceled due to COVID, the Garrett County Chamber asked local businesses and organizations to create floats that would be placed throughout the county to be viewed by those attending the Festival. Attendees can view Autumn-themed floats and vote on their favorites.
Ten floats will be on display at eight locations in Garrett County from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.:
• The Garrett Regional Medical Center Float, the Mountain Laurel Medical Center Float and the Southern Garrett Marching Band Float will all be located at The Farmers Market, home of Candyland, located at 12679 Garrett Highway (Rt. 219), Oakland.
• Artists & Dreamers Float will be located at 104 East Oak St., Oakland.
• The MoonShadow Float will be at MoonShadow, located at 145 Bumble Bee Rd, McHenry.
• The Deep Creek Lake Lions Float will be at the Deep Creek Lake Lions Dog Park, located at 1249 Bumble Bee Rd, McHenry.
• The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille Float will be at The Greene Turtle, located at 75 Visitors Center Drive McHenry.
• Branch Bender Cidery Float will be located at 1202 Harmon Road, Accident.
• Patriot Automotive Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram: King of the 4WD will be at Patriot Automotive, located at 2499 Maryland Highway, Oakland.
• Mosser Meadow Float will be located at Mosser Meadow at 1721 Mosser Rd, McHenry.
The floats will be available for viewing at various locations from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and you can vote for your favorite at visitdeepcreek.com/53rd-annual-autumn-glory-festival. The top three vote-getters will win cash prizes!
2020 Autumn Glory Fall Foliage Tours
Travel along some of Garrett County’s most scenic routes. Enjoy spectacular fall foliage, panoramic vistas, heritage sites and stunning natural features. This year, the Chamber is offering two new Fall Foliage tour routes. The Fall Foliage Heritage Driving Tour Highlights include: Scenic Route 42, Meshack Browning’s Grave, Accident Overlook and the Ohio Star Barn Quilt. The Extended Fall Foliage Driving Tour Highlights include: Garrett County Barn Quilt, Sang Run State Park, the Friends Store, the Scenic & Wild Youghiogheny River, Cranesville Swamp Preserve, Historic Downtown Oakland, and more.
“Every year, thousands descend upon Garrett County to view our beautiful fall foliage,” said Nicole Christian, Chamber president & CEO. “By creating these driving tours, we are able to provide people easy and accessible leaf peeping opportunities and the chance to completely immerse themselves in the glory of Autumn.”
Both tours are available online at garrettheritage.com/fall-foliage-driving-tours, via download on the Garrett Heritage app in the Google Play Store or iTunes or stop into the Garrett County Visitors Center from 9 am – 5 pm daily at 15 Visitors Center Drive in McHenry to pick up a copy of the Fall Foliage Driving tour(s). Garrett County’s fall foliage begins in late September and peaks in mid-October.
Heritage Area Announces Annual Autumn Glory Turkey Trail
The Turkey Trail features a local map along with a listing of local turkey dinners served in our region. Information includes food items served, pricing, location and hours of operation. The map and turkey dinner listings may be found in online by October 2 at garrettheritage.com/turkey-trail—local-dinners or at the Garrett County Visitors Center. To be included in the listing, restaurants and organizations are requested to submit a form by September 30. The form can be found online at garrettheritage.com/turkey-trail—local-dinners.
“We are excited to promote the Turkey Trail tool for our visitors and residents to easily locate the local turkey dinners that are part of Autumn Glory and celebrate our heritage with a tasty tradition. People can attend multiple turkey dinners over the course of the five-day celebration,” said Kim Folk, Heritage Area & Groups Director for the Garrett County Chamber.
More than a decade before the Autumn Glory Festival became an annual event a group of local turkey growers organized and promoted community turkey dinners to promote their livelihood. The idea of a large festival was later developed to attract visitors to the area which led to the creation of the Autumn Glory Festival. Today, the festival welcomes approximately 80,000 attendees during the festival weekend. Activities include parades, band competitions, craft shows and so much more.
“The turkey dinners are as big a tradition as the fall foliage,” said Nicole Christian, president & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “They have been occurring for more than six decades and we are pleased that we are able to officially incorporate them into the festival through our heritage area program.” Questions about the Turkey Trail may be directed to Kim Folk at 301.387.5238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autumn Glory Craft & Gift Sale
As part of the 53rd Annual Autumn Glory Festival, the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Autumn Glory Craft & Gift Sale on Saturday, October 10 from 10 am – 6 pm and Sunday, October 11 from 10 am – 4 pm at the Ag Heritage Hall at the Garrett County Fairgrounds.
The show will feature a wide variety of contemporary crafts and gifts including woodworking, candles, painted décor, jewelry, specialty foods and much more. Admission is free.
Due to COVID-19, no food samples will be distributed. Face masks and social distancing are required. Capacity limitations will be in effect. There will be no concessions for sale.
The annual Autumn Glory Festival has been selected by Travel & Leisure which listed Oakland, MD as the number 2 Best Town for Fall Colors in America and TripAdvisor selected Oakland, MD as one of 20 Best Fall Vacations in America for Seeing Autumn Foliage. Oakland, Maryland was selected by U.S. News and World Report as one of 50 Small Towns Across America with Gorgeous Fall Foliage and Readers Digest listed Garrett County as one of the 11 Road Trips That Showcase Stunning Fall Foliage You Need to Take This Autumn.
For more details or to download a free brochure (left) about the annual Autumn Glory Festival, please log onto visitdeepcreek.com/53rd-annual-autumn-glory-festival or call 888.387.5237. All Photos Courtesy the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce