Waynesboro celebrates bicentennial

September 21, 1997


Staff Writer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - An elaborate parade lasting several hours and including more than 150 units wound through Waynesboro Saturday, capping a four-month celebration of the town's 200th birthday and giving the village a "shot in the arm," officials said.

Every period of life from Revolutionary times, the Industrial Age to modern life was represented in the parade. Women representing the National Organization for Women marched alongside antique cars, mountain men, beauty queens and extravagant floats featuring giant replicas of animals and merry-go-rounds.

Even Elvis came, walking back and forth on a float in front of a large jukebox.

The afternoon parade was just one example of the amount of hard work that went into the event. The bicentennial started in May with Victorian teas, and continued through the summer with photo exhibits, an air show, ice cream social, Civil War encampment, beard contests and concerts.


Organizers also put together a documentary of the town's history and made copies of it to sell to townspeople.

"They've done a great job involving the whole community," said Betty Knupp as she watched the parade with her husband and mother.

Betty and John Knupp live in Annapolis, but returned to Waynesboro for the bicentennial and John's 34th reunion at the Waynesboro Area High School. Reunions celebrating the school's classes of 1962-1967 were held during the bicentennial, which John Knupp said was unique because it allowed him to see friends he had in other classes.

Town residents said the bicentennial was the biggest celebration they had seen in town. Before the event, things had been pretty slow, said Helen Overington.

"(Residents) just felt the town was dead, and it suddenly came to life," said Overington.

Waynesboro's history began in 1749 when settler John Wallace purchased over 600 acres near the east branch of Antietam Creek. Through the years it has developed into an agricultural and industrial town.

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