- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 12, 2016

OAKLAND, Md. (AP) - Towns and businesses in far western Maryland are kicking off their biggest festival of the year.

The Autumn Glory Festival in Garrett County begins Wednesday and continues through Sunday.

Now in its 49th year, the event includes a daily farmers market in downtown Oakland, and a packed schedule of dinners, parades, tent sales and craft shows.

Highlights include the Maryland state banjo and mandolin championships Friday night. That event is followed Saturday by the fiddle championship and the Autumn Glory Parade.

One of the more unusual events is the Great Pumpkin Race Sunday at the Adventure Sports Center International. Contestants send carved pumpkins careening down a whitewater rafting course to support a local hospice service.

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