MCTA: “Lore and Legends About the Hagerstown Almanack” by Bill O’Toole

Mountain City Traditional Arts Hosts “Lore and Legends About the Hagerstown Almanack”

“Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack” prognosticator Bill O’Toole will present “Lore and Legends About the Hagerstown Almanack” at Mountain City Traditional Arts, 25 E. Main St., Frostburg, on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. This event is part of a series of presentations hosted by Frostburg State University’s students enrolled in “Folklore in Appalachia” as part of their participation in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Appalachian Teaching Project.

The Almanack has been in publication for the past 216 years and is the oldest almanac that is still published today by heirs of its founder. The Almanack has been a mainstay in the Mid-Atlantic region for over two centuries, providing farmers with seasonal weather forecasts as well as astronomical information that is critical to agricultural success in the region. The Hagerstown Almanack is one of the most talked-about almanacs because it provides some of the most accurate weather predictions.

O’Toole, a Washington County native, has been the prognosticator for the Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack since 1969. He spent 41 years teaching mathematics and computer science at Mount St. Mary’s University and has a strong interest in astrophysics. To get such accurate predictions, the Almanack has relied on individuals who use traditional methods when calculating and conjecturing on the weather. O’Toole attributes his uncanny accuracy to a combination of elements that include using specialized software to precisely calculate phases of the moon, close analysis of sunspot activity and the tracking and noting of El Niño/La Niña cycles. His methods have produced impressive results year after year, outscoring Old Farmer’s Almanac and even the National Weather Service.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 301-687-8040 or email

Dedicated to the education, sales, documentation and perpetuation of traditional arts in the mountain region, MCTA is a program of FSU with support from the Allegany Arts Council, FrostburgFirst: A Main Street Community, the FSU Foundation and the Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council.

Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 2:00pm

Mountain City Traditional Arts
25 East Main Street, Frostburg, MD, Frostburg

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