Friendsville Days has been a community staple for decades and returns this year (after being cancelled in 2020) on Friday & Saturday, August 13 & 14.
According to Friendsville Mayor Spencer Schlosnagle, Friendsville Days has a long history in our community. It was begun as a Homecoming weekend originally hosted by the Friendsville Ladies Auxiliary and began in 1980. Although it has had different organizers throughout the years, it has remained a charming, home-town festival with activities for every member of the family.
To celebrate the 40th Anniversary, the theme is “River Wild” to honor the beautiful Youghiogheny River that plays such a prominent role in the community of Friendsville. According to organizers, this year they are highlighting all things local, which includes community members and local talent.
All events (other than Saturday’s parade) take place at Friendsville Community Park which lies along the Youghiogheny River and offers 23 acres of space including a pavilion, picnic area, basketball court, baseball fields and much more. Having undergone many recent upgrades, the park is the crown-jewel of the town.
The festival kicks off Friday, August 13th at 5:30 PM at the Friendsville Community Park with a community dinner followed by live music from 6 – 9 PM with the Buffalo Run Band. A local favorite, Buffalo Run plays a mix of bluegrass and Appalachian folk music with both original songs and covers. There will be food and craft vendors set up Friday evening, although attendees are welcome to bring their own food. There will also be a cornhole tournament that evening.
The 2021 Friendsville Days Basketball Tournament will be held at 10 AM at the basketball court at the Friendsville Community Park. This will be a 3 on 3 tournament and each team can have a total of four players so there is one substitute. Team registration begins at 9 AM, prior to the start of the tournament. There is a $5 registration fee per person. For information or questions, please contact Austin at 301-501-7776.
On Saturday, August 14, Friendsville Days will kick off the official day-long celebration with a parade through downtown Friendsville, led by Grand Marshall Ina Hicks. A Friendsville resident, Ina is a local historian and treasure to the community.
After the parade, head over to the Park where activities will begin at 1 PM. There will be food trucks and vendors, craft vendors, a silent auction and plenty of activities for the kids including inflatables, pony rides and more.
Car enthusiasts will enjoy the Cruise-In, sponsored by the Split Shifters Classic Car Club. Held from 10 AM to 6 PM in the park, visitors are welcome to come and view classic cars from around the area.
Other activities include a bike obstacle course for kids, set up from 2 – 5 PM. Bikes and helmets will be provided. Kevin Dodge from Natural Resources and Wildlife Technology will be providing wildlife and river education for interested participants.
The day will also showcase area talent. A local Friendsville band, Beyond Primitive will take the stage at 1:30 on Saturday afternoon. Beyond Primitive is an ever expanding and contracting group of musicians jamming with Kim and Dan of Heartwood Farm in Friendsville. With warm harmonies, the group plays a blend of originals and oldies (and some newbies!) and encourages the audience to sing along.
The community is invited to participate in the Friendsville Days Open Mic showcase. If you can juggle, weave intricate baskets, tell a story and / or sing, come share your talents from 3 to 5 PM at the Friendsville Park Community Pavilion.
Afterwards, don’t miss the popular wing eating contest for adults and kids watermelon eating contest.
Another local band, Kamp-N-Kompany will close out the performances for the festival from 7 to 9:30 PM with a mix of country and rock tunes that everyone can dance to. The original Kamp-N-Kompany toured throughout the USA in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Now they are back together and you won’t want to miss this fun show.
At 9:30 PM, the festival winds down with a special performance by fire dancers which will lead off to the fireworks finale, which begins at 10 PM.
In early 2021, the Friendsville Days planning committee announced the theme of “River Wild” and invited local elementary school students to submit a poster. Fourth grader Ava Cosner won the contest and her poster, along with other student submissions will be on display in the park for the duration of the festival. There will also be t-shirts featuring the artwork for sale at the festival and also for preorder on the Festival Facebook page. Proceeds from sales benefits the Friendsville Days committee.
On Sunday, August 15 at 11 AM, a community church service will conclude the Annual Friendsville Days Festival. Also held at the Community Park, this service will feature pastors and members from Friendsville area churches. There will be praise and worship services, pastoral messages, with food and fellowship afterwards. Everyone is invited to this outdoor event and dress is casual.
This is a free community event and all are welcome. For updated schedule, visit their Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Friendsville, Garrett County’s oldest settlement, visit www.friendsville.org.