Annual community show is a blue ribbon affair, and a dying tradition


courtesy of Shane Rossman

The honorary ribbons, new this year, are ready for awards.

The smell of freshly baked cakes and pies mingles with chatter and a community coming together.

The names of department chairpersons are familiar–they represent families and farms who have resided in the New Market Linganore area for a long time–Rossman, Rhoderick, Mullineaux, Thompson, Schroyer, Rippley

The auxiliary gym is filled with desserts and flowers, works of art, sewing and woodworking projects, and plenty of crafts and agricultural displays.  These are the products of Frederick County citizens entering their work in the 46th Annual Community Show.

At least three generations of alumi are the organizers behind the event,  longer than current students have been alive. A show like this doesn’t come together easily; many volunteers are required to help with the process of running it all.

Sunday, October 6 these volunteers worked from  4 p.m. to 8 p.m., accepting entries and setting up tables and displays. This set up process of the show is one of the most crucial parts to make everything run smoothly.

The volunteers deserve more credit than they get. Susan and Shane Rossman, Co-President and Chairmember of the Community Show, have been helping for 13. 

“We meet lots of students,” said Shane. “It’s nice to see them come back year after year.”

Susan chimed in. “[The best part is] seeing people that you haven’t seen in a long time- like the Cenculas (annual entries). I haven’t seen them in forever, but we know we see them every year here.”

Joe and Hope Cencula are annual participants, going back 6 years, to the beginning of their daughter Jordan’s freshman year. She graduated in 2018. Their daughters primarily enter in the sewing department. Gardening is another area they love. The girls have won well over 50 blue ribbons in the span of their participation. Even though Joe and Hope’s daughters have graduated, the couple still enters in the works that their children create. 

Joe said, “We bring our animals here, [and] we enjoy the fact that other schools come here to get an education, to see what it’s like to have animals.” 

Many elementary schools in the area take field trips during the day to visit the Community Show.  The children have the opportunity to see all the different parts of our vastly connected community. 

“Just to see the little kids coming up to the animals; all they want to do is play with them, and that’s always fun,” said Joe.

The Community Show has always been about bringing together those who share the commonality of living in Frederick County and bounty that it produces.

Samantha Rhoderick, a show chairperson, works to guarantee children are learning about the agricultural tradition. 

Rhoderick was in charge of setting up and displaying coloring pages entered by first graders around Frederick County. The children will participate in activities and receive first and second place ribbons. 

“When we sent the coloring pages, we sent a sheet home [with the kids] saying, ‘Hey guys, come back to the community show’ because a lot of parents don’t know about it,” said Rhoderick.

Unfortunately she’s right. 

The Community Show is vastly understaffed this year. With many of the volunteers of previous years retiring, it’s in need of volunteer power now more than ever.

Co-President Susan Rossman said, “We need new volunteers or else we won’t be able to carry on.”

Natalie Rebetsky
Nicole Myers won the John and Betty Thompson photography award.

The committee created new black and red ribbons to honor long-time participants and organizers.  For example, John and Betty Thompson, who retired in 2017, have a photography ribbon in their name.

Sign up to volunteer in 2020 and like the Community Show Facebook Page, and to follow for more updates.