Don’t Miss This Year’s Barnstormers Tour

You don’t have to be a barn aficionado to enjoy the annual Barnstormers Tour.  I attended my first event last summer.  It covered the eastern portion of the county.

The sun was shining and the farmers were literally busy making hay in the fields.  But that did not keep hundreds of city slickers from roaming around their barnyards and poking our heads into outbuildings and sheds, while chickens cackled and cows bellowed in the background.

The tour covered a gamut of barns.  There were true working barns with grease spots and hay strewn floors.  Others contained livestock.  However, one had actually been converted to a private party barn, complete with dining table, curtains, couches, wood stove, pool table and a full sound system!

I witnessed a variety of architectural features, carpentry techniques, and old machinery.  If you are not into the barns themselves, you may be interested in antique tools, vintage tractors, etc.  Volunteer docents are present to help you interpret what you see and answer any questions.

If you are a shutterbug, you may get access to rustic locations that are otherwise off-limits to most of us.  I noticed dozens of photographers with all types of equipment.  One man was trying to snap photos of barn swallows who were swooping in tight circles around a very picturesque stable door.  After he finished and started to take down his tripod I remarked casually, “Aren’t they fascinating?”  He responded “I don’t know yet.  I took hundreds of shots at 32 frames per second.  I’ll have to see if anything shows up.”  So much for stopping to smell the roses!

Perhaps more interestingly, you can observe the many plein air artists who work at a much slower pace.  They create fresh paintings on their easels right in front of your eyes.  I was particularly struck by the unique scenes some of them chose to paint.  It made me see the various tableaux from a different perspective.  In one case a woman was painting an old orange tractor in a corner stall which was half in sunlight and half in shadow.  I would have walked right past if I hadn’t noticed her.  All the artworks are for sale at the end of the afternoon.

The tour is self-guided, and you will be surprised at just how much of each farm is open to inspection.  This year the program consisted of eight farms located around the rolling countryside.

Most folks travel by car, but it would be possible to do the tour on bicycles, although some of the roads could be winding and narrow.

The farms featured each June change as the event shifts around to different parts of our county here in central Maryland.   The experience is organized by the Frederick County Landmarks Foundation.  Tickets cost $15 and may be purchased in advance, or on the day of the event (at the host barn).

The 2018 tour will take place on June 9.  You will be able to explore the Wolfsville region of Frederick County.

If you choose to stay with us at the Frederick Inn Bed and Breakfast the night before, feel free to notify us in advance and we can pack you a scrumptious picnic lunch to take along.  Otherwise, there will be a concession stand with tasty grub at one of the stops.

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