Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008

Clarksburg Chamber turns 1

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The Clarksburg Chamber of Commerce will celebrate its first anniversary with a party 2-7 p.m. Saturday at UpCounty Fine Wine & Beer, 23229 Stringtown Road, in the Clarksburg Highlands shopping center.

More than 20 Clarksburg area businesses will attend, as will local nonprofit organizations.

The party will include a free wine, beer and pizza tasting, featuring pizza from Clarksburg's Pizza 500.

Disc jockeys Andrew Robinson and Stephan Zimmerman will be providing the music.

Novelist Donna Andrews will sign her books as part of the Novel Places table.

Chamber membership has grown to 45-50, said Pat Darby, chamber president. The vast majority of members run home-based businesses, he said.

"It's been a fun challenge," Darby said. "There were so many things that needed to be done, all for the sake of the community."

Clarksburg businesses are struggling while they wait for the community to be fully developed, he said. The chamber has helped businesses make the case to the county for economic development grants.

It has also worked with the county to improve the parking lot in Clarksburg Highlands, the area's only shopping center, and persuaded the county to remove the median that is blocking entry to the shopping center for westbound traffic. The median will be removed as soon as developers add the top layer of asphalt to the road, which Darby expects will be in the next year.

For information call Darby at 301-530-6446.

Damascus Theatre Company holding auditions

The Damascus Theater Company will hold auditions for its holiday musical comedy next weekend.

Auditions for "Heaven Calls" will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 6 in the Damascus Library and Senior Center auditorium, 9701 Main St. All age groups from very young to mature are encouraged to audition. There are singing (solo and chorus) and non-singing roles available and no experience is necessary.

For a singing role, be prepared to sing 16 bars of any song. Younger children will likely be asked to sing a familiar song in a group setting. You may sing a capella or bring sheet music for the accompanist. If recorded music is used, bring your own CD or tape player.

The show will be presented Nov. 21-23 at Damascus United Methodist Church. To sign up for an audition, call Kathleen Wiacek at 301-675-1359 or send an e-mail to

Lip-smacking good

The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair may have ended, but some of us are still thinking about those grilled cheese sandwiches made and sold every year by Blanche and Ed Hogan of Damascus, longtime members of the Montgomery County Agricultural Center, which hosts the fair.

Nine people made 11, 635 grilled cheese sandwiches in 130 hours, Ed Hogan said.

Get ready for the Damascus Community Fair

The Damascus Community Fair is coming Sept. 5-7.

The fair board is gearing up for another fun-filled weekend of celebrating the agricultural heritage of the community.

Get ready to enter you fruits and vegetables, field crops, flowers and plants, fine arts, handcrafts, woodworking, photography, baked goods and candies, sewing, needlework, computer technology, livestock, fowl, rabbits and guinea pigs, electricity and small engines, and educational crafts.

Entries will be accepted 4-8 p.m. Sept.4 at the Damascus Volunteer Fire Department Activity Center, 10211 Lewis Drive.

The first night of the fair will feature ice cream-making and karaoke contests. The next night will be filled with monster truck rides, pet show (no cats) free hayrides, sheep dog demonstration, and a demonstration of scales and tails. That evening, the annual livestock and cake auction will be held. On the third day, fairgoers can participate in a bicycle-decorating contest, a pet show (no dogs) and a children's craft.

For more information, visit or stop by any Damascus businesses to pick up a fair catalog.

Items appropriate for People and Places must be received by 9 a.m. Friday for consideration. They can be mailed to The Damascus-Clarksburg Gazette, 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877; sent by fax to 301-670-7183; or e-mailed to