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The Boats, Sponsors and Charities

Saturday, November 17, nine boats began their voyage with the Sailing Through the Winter Solstice 2018 event.An energetic group of volunteers, sponsors and launch teams cooperated to make relatively quick work of the fleet launch. A tenth boat was added on Sunday, December 1.

Heavens to Betsy joined us virtually, from her rooftop roost atop Brewer’s Alley. And our last boat, Puff, will make its appearance in the Kris Kringle procession and then take its perch overlooking the creek and North Market Street in front of La Paz.

Please come to the Creek to see the boats with your family and friends and consider supporting your favorite boat using our Vote for your Boat secure link. For $1 a vote, you can support your favorite boats and their designated charities. 100% of your donation(s)/vote(s) go to support local registered 501(c)3 charities. Mark your calendars!

Here’s the list of boats.

Tourism Council of Frederick County
Color on the Creek

Capital Women’s Care
Heartly House

Hope Floats
Colonial Jewelers
FMH/Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund


BB&T Bank
Frederick Rescue Mission


Starry Night
Frederick Primary Care Associates
Heartly House and FMH Cancer Patient Assistance Fund


Spirit of Maryland
Property Management People
The Religious Coalition


Rickmers Too
Stulz Air Technology
SHIP (Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership)


Carroll Creek Clipper
Rotary Club of Carroll Creek
Color on the Creek


Ed and Vicki Poole; Thom and Teresa Beckley
Glade Valley Community Services


Snake Dog
Flying Dog
Color on the Creek

Heavens to Betsy (Rooftop of Brewer’s Alley)
The Berkheimer Group at Morgan Stanley
Color on the Creek


Puff (Creekside near La Paz following Kris Kringle parade)
Kevin and Jeannie Hessler – LSWG
The Sheila Thompson Family
Celebrate Frederick



Sailing Through The Winter Solstice.

As we celebrate STTWS 2018, we decided to share the reasons our shipbuilders and designers had in mind for each boat, including construction and materials used. Enjoy.   

The Snallygaster. It started last year when Ed happened to see a Viking themed sailboat with a carved head and a big red sail.  This big red sail was perpendicular to the boat and it really caught Ed’s attention!  From then on, he only wanted to do a Viking ship. (Note: he over-ruled another, more whimsical Seuss-ish ideas that kids of all ages would like. And even though Ed LOVES the Dr. Seuss books, he only wanted to make a Viking longship).  When Ed purchased another boat to use for COTC, the owner said it had been modeled after Norwegian fishing boats, so that Norwegian link sealed the deal on the Viking ship.  We couldn’t come up with how to include people Vikings into the design, so Ed thought the ship could be overtaken by a sea serpent which threw the Viking men overboard.  That’s how the sea serpent came into the picture. We also thought that kids would love the dragon breathing fire!

About the same time, a neighbor, Thom Beckley (former owner of Endless Summer RVs) made a fish and crab baiting table base to replace a wooden one Ed had been using.  It was this table base that made us aware of Thom’s creativity and detailed metal cut work. We started to discuss our ideas for the boat with Thom and suggested that he get involved. We brainstormed ideas, names, design, details, etc. and the project came to life!  Thom said he “knew people” and could come up with the sea serpent design and fabricate it.  He said he can make the sail out of bent aluminum. And for the mast, we used an RV awning roll tube. It’s aluminum and its size was sturdy enough to hold the sail.

A friend suggested the name “Snallygaster,” saying that it was a Frederick folklore dragon – which was verified by a quick review on Wikipedia!

Construction. As far as materials, we applied at least 5 different sealing materials to the inside and outside to help stop / prevent leaks.  Then we used liquid wood and then wood epoxy in all the suspect areas.  We also applied fiberglass to the inside. We also coated the outside.

With help from a friend with CAD skills (Heather Smith), Thom created the design for the sea serpent to fit his machine and the scale of the Snallygaster came to life.  Heather also scaled and prepared the CAD program to create the Scottish dragon emblem for the sail and small pennant flag.

It was Thom’s creative genius that suggested making the sea serpent 3-paneled so that the inside white profile would reflect the green lighting on both sides and provide a 3-D effect.   The green panels of the sea serpent bodies are just painted plywood.  Thom made aluminum ring rims for each of the shields to allow us to mount the lighting inside the circumference. Thom also hand-hammered and antiqued each of the “bosses” (the hand protector piece of curved metal inside the shields). Each of these required over 200 mallet strikes to get the shape correct!  There are 10 bosses!

The vertical ribs of the sail were hand-rolled. Then we painted and antiqued the shields and attached the lighting to Snallygaster and the flag.  Ed did the rest of the lighting.  Marty Winpigler of Trim Excellence helped build and attach the decking and inner supports of the boat.  Thom also made metal brackets that would support each oar at a specific height and position to keep them from being repositioned by wind or the weight of snow/ice.  The cables used for the mast and concrete bucket weights were supplied by Gary Bloomfield of The Door Man Garage Doors.

Our charity. This was a pretty easy decision…. the five services provided by the Glade Valley Community Services (GVCS) programs. They include: a Food Bank, a Thrift Shop, an Emergency Relief Fund, the Holiday Toy Shoppe and a Back to School Supply distribution for parents and children. GVCS also administers the Peg and Orley Bourland Trade Scholarship annually and awards $1000 each May to a deserving student entering a trade or vocational field.



Spring Clean Up and Tropical Planting

Perennial and Spring Clean Up. Here we go again! A call to arms. . .ask not what Frederick can do for you. . . but what you can do for Color On The Creek!

Its time for spring clean up…. the warmer weather has forced us to move the schedule around a bit. The perennial planting and spring clean up is now scheduled for Saturday April 8th from 9 to noon. As always this is rain, shine or snow.. .we will need lots of creek rats and land crew to support them. The water level will be lowered again to facilitate removal of the muskrat caps and fertilization of the pots.

We have lots of waders but those with their own are encouraged to bring them along. Dress warm and in layers as April is a difficult month to judge. Please let us know if you can help and if you’re a likely “creek rat” or land volunteer.

Tropical Planting. The Tropical planting will be held on Saturday May 6th from 9 to noon rain or shine. We will plant over 230 tropical lilies, bog and lotus plants. We will need lots of creek rats as well as land crew to support them. Please let us know if you can help and if you’re a likely “creek rat” or land volunteer. As always we will meet at the suspension bridge in front of the wine kitchen.

The garden will be spectacular this year ….be a part of it!

Schedule Of Events

  • Saturday, April 8. 9 a.m – Noon; Perennial and spring clean up
  • Saturday, May 6. 9 a.m – Noon; Tropical planting
  • Saturday, August 12. 6 pm – 11 pm; Festival at Carroll Creek amphitheater.
  • Nov 18th through Fire and Ice (Feb 10th); Sailing Through the Winter Solstice will run


C.C.Y.C. – Carroll Creek Yacht Club Limited Edition Sweatshirts Available Now!

Ahoy and welcome to the auspicious “Carroll Creek Yacht Club!” Following the successful build and maiden voyage of the “Stargazer”, we are looking to expand the fleet this year and your support is greatly appreciated.

C.C.Y.C sweatshirts are available for a limited time, in a limited quantity, so order soon. The sweatshirt types are not identical – The Navy blue sweatshirts are more light weight, while the Grey sweatshirts are a heavier weight.

Links are provided below to the three versions of our hooded sweatshirt.

A Navy Blue sweatshirt with white graphics and lettering, as shown above, available in sizes Small to 2XL.

A Grey sweatshirt with black graphics and lettering, as shown above, available in sizes Youth Extra Small to 5XL.


And finally, the Christmas spirit shines through on our Navy sweatshirt, white lettering with Christmas Lights design! (as shown to the left). This one is also available in sizes Small to 2XL. Note: This sweatshirt will only be created if we get 20 orders.



Pricing varies and is listed on the pages included in the links above.


This initial group order will be placed on January 25th and it takes about 14 days to create and ship. They will ship in one bulk order. We will distribute the sweatshirts individually to yacht club members. Items can be collected or will be delivered by either Pete Kremers or Kyle Thomas.  Thank you for supporting Color on the Creek and welcome to the Carroll Creek Yacht Club!!

All proceeds from sweatshirt sales will help fund Color on the Creek and “Sailing Through the Winter Solstice.” For now, we are starting with one group order.  Additional orders can be arranged in the future based on group interest or by contacting Kyle directly at

Based on popularity, we may be expanding merchandise sales to t-shirts, hats, and other items.

C.C.Y.C design, logo and concept, created by Kyle Thomas.

Launching Stargazer!

After a teaser appearance in the Kris Kringle procession, the inaugural launch of “Stargazer” was held on Wednesday December 14th for our “Sailing Through the Winter Solstice” celebration. The event was greeted with suitable fanfare – and we even earned a beautiful picture on the front page of the Frederick News Post the following morning!

And then came the storm. Unfortunately, our successful launch was followed a day later by an image we really didn’t want to see! It showed, somewhat disrespectfully I might add, the BOTTOM of “Stargazer” after she was rolled over in a vicious wind storm. With recorded gusts of 40 mph, coming straight from the underworld I might add, the wind was simply too much for her. However, unlike the Vasa, (a famous 17th century Swedish warship that languished on the bottom for over 300 years after foundering on her maiden voyage), Stargazer was rescued in less than 12 hours.

Real friends come through! Five hardy souls, in the water and on land, worked through a bone chilling 3 degree wind chill to right her, pump her out and then secure her safely. Her salvage was completed several days later when, after a few prayers, she was “re-electrified.” It was a little tense but, similar to the ill-fated Apollo 13, she fired-up without so much as a hiccup. “Stargazer/USS Hamster” has been continuously illuminated ever since.

Special thanks. We thank all those who helped and cheered us on launch day including the always dependable members of the Carroll Creek Rotary. We also offer very special thanks to David Collins, Kyle Thomas, Bill Stover and Larry Hill who rescued her the following evening so that she might  gaze upon the stars once more.

What happened? Why did she go down you might snarkily ponder? Well. . .she can’t swing free with the wind as she is anchored in the bow. Additionally, she is also tethered to shore power in the stern. The naval architect who designed and assisted in building her (a reputed genius, I might add) placed lateral stabilizers or “birds” over the gunwales to deal with heeling. However, this same “genius” failed to have weighted them properly for the “act-of-God” winds that were to visit her.

The outcome? Despite the upcoming holiday season and his rather pathetic pleadings, he was summarily fired. However, after a little thought, was just as quickly rehired as he was now deemed a leading “expert “ in the field of Keel-less Imitation Old World Creek- sailing Vessels. The definition of an expert is after all “someone who has made every conceivable mistake possible in a narrow field of interest.” We feel very confident he won’t make that mistake again.

Next up? So Stargazer awaits your visit and hopefully she will be joined by others in the years to come. We have at least five sponsors interested for next year if the city agrees to expand the fleet. If you liked Stargazer, next year will be fantastic. If you want to see the event grow, please call the mayor and your favorite alderman to voice your support.

Current plans are for Stargazer to remain in place at least through Saturday Jan 14th.


Something beautiful is about to happen!

Something beautiful is about to happen! Color On The Creek is going four seasons with Sailing through the Winter Solstice by Color on the Creek.

Beginning this December, after an inaugural appearance in the Kris Kringle Parade on December 9th, Color on the Creek will introduce an initial “test boat” to be moored in Carroll Creek just west of the suspension bridge… hopefully in years to come she will be joined by many others as our flotilla is formed. The plan is to have small flat bottomed 5 to 12 foot Jon boats transformed into beautiful old world sailboats. Imagine eventually having 15 or 20 boats stretching from Court Street to the Iron bridge, including gaff-rigged ketches, yawls, three-masted schooners and pirate ships, moored with their sail outlines, rigging and decks lit up from dusk till dawn. If you can’t imagine it make sure to come by and take a look at year one. . . and then imagine what it will look like in years to come as the flotilla grows!

All proceeds raised will flow to Color On The Creek and other participating Frederick County based charities. The event will run from the second week of December through the New Year’s Eve celebration.

Fall Maintenance for Color on the Creek

It has been a great season for the Water Garden but the final golden rays of fall are fading ……it is time to put it to bed.

We will perform fall maintenance on the Color On The Creek water-garden section between Court Street and Carroll Street on Saturday Nov 5th from 9 AM to Noon.

We will again remove surface vegetation to improve the appearance of the creek over the coming winter months but also to improve water quality long term. The improved water clarity we saw this summer is mostly attributable to lessening algal concentrations resulting from the cooler water and sunlight deprivation the shading plants produced but diminished nutrients available to the algae may have contributed as well. Removing the dying vegetation during the summer and each fall will prevent that vegetation from contributing to the algal food supply.

The City of Frederick will lower the water level in the creek several feet to expose the top of all our pots which will greatly facilitate harvesting of the plant material. With the lower water levels both hip and chest waders will suffice for in-creek workers “a.k.a. water rats.”

As we have over the past several years, we will also place temporary metal grids on of top all the lotus pots to protect the protein rich lotus tubers from marauding muskrats.

What to bring and how to dress.

  • We will do our work rain, snow or shine so dress in layers for all possibilities.
  • We have lots of long- sleeve waterproof gloves for all in-creek and land volunteers.
  • We have many sets of waders, all of which provide great protection however some may not be entirely waterproof (cell phones should be left on shore)
  • If you have brooms, rakes and cutting instruments (machetes, hand pruning saws and gas powered trimmers are most helpful) please bring them.
  • If you have or know someone with a large float, Jon boat (sans motor) that would be great as well.

Thanks to the City of Frederick staff and all of you for your