FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Marbles offer a little something for everyone. Anyone, regardless of age, can build their own extensive collection of the small circular gems or get involved in the competitive game of marbles, according to Middletown resident Art Staus.
“It’s a one-on-one play game, and anyone can do it,” said Staus, facilitator of the Frederick County Knucklers, the county-wide youth marble club based out of the Middletown Recreation Council. “You don’t have to be a football player, for example — although we do have football players who play.”
Staus and the Knucklers group, made up of about 20 kids who actively participate on a weekly basis and four coaches, hosted the first annual Frederick County Marble Collector Show and Festival last week.
The Frederick collector show and festival is modeled after a similar show that used to be held by a Baltimore marble club, said Staus, who has been the Knucklers’ facilitator for about three years. Staus’ son, now in his 30s and a Knucklers coach, started playing marbles when he was about 7 years old, he said.
The Frederick County Knucklers sold its own signature marble. The marble comes in three different colors, and has a design and the year on it, Staus said. The marbles will be sold for $3 apiece or $8 for one of each color. Staus and the group hopes to make the festival an annual event and sell a new signature marble each year so in the future, they might become collectibles, he said.
The purpose of the event was two-fold, Staus explained: First, to raise money for the club’s activities and to send up to eight club members to the marble shooting national championship in Wildwood, N.J., in June. Second, the club hopes to spark interest in marble collecting and shooting in both kids and adults.
“We want to put marbles in front of more people,” Staus said. “The more kids that we can show what they (marbles) are all about, the better. In all the demos I do every year, I’ve never had one kid that said, `This is no fun.”‘
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