Peaches ‘n cream: New Street UMC to close dining room for Annual Peach Festival
SHEPHERDSTOWN — For over a dozen years, New Street United Methodist Church has held its Annual Peach Festival in its dining hall on the second Saturday of August.
With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival’s board was forced to rethink its usual set-up, as its dining hall and usual high festival attendance numbers would make social distancing impossible.
“We started questioning it back in the spring, if we were going to have any chance of holding it,” said festival board member Becky Lidgerding. “We did hold extra meetings to discuss how we were going to remain safe and organized, and follow all of these recommended guidelines.”
According to Lidgerding, the guidelines the festival will follow are from the Jefferson County Health Department and Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, of which the church is a member. After much thought on the matter, the board decided to close its dining hall for this year. Instead, it will sell its regular menu through take-out, which can be ordered this Wednesday through Aug. 5.
All of the peaches in this year’s festival, as in previous festivals, will be locally sourced. This year, the peaches will be from Twin Ridge Orchard in Shenandoah Junction. Those peaches will be featured in the festival’s peach crisps, homemade peach ice cream, two-serving peach pie and large peach pie, which will have all been made the day before the festival. Other menu items will include homemade vanilla ice cream, hotdogs, chili dogs, steamers, country ham sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, chips and canned soda.
“We’re going to try to make it as contact-free as possible,” Lidgerding said, mentioning that when people make their orders, they will be able to select a pickup time between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Aug. 8. The festival volunteers, who will be wearing face masks, will have the orders labeled and in bags, ready for pickup.
“It’s become a Shepherdstown thing, not just a church thing. I know people are going to miss the community experience of eating together in the church dining hall, but they can get our takeout and eat together outside or in the War Memorial Building, which is open on the weekends for socially distanced eating,” Lidgerding said. “Don’t miss out on this great Shepherdstown tradition, with a few changes for this year only!”
To make an order, call 304-396-5244, 304-261-2384 or 304-671-4590. Pickup and payment by cash or check will be in the church courtyard on New Street with face coverings and social distancing required. Pricing can be found at www.newstreetumc.com.