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ChambersFest hailed as a success by organizers

July 29, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - ChambersFest activities officially ended Sunday, bringing the 16th annual celebration to a successful close, organizers said.

"It's exciting to look at the past and see how far the event has come. It started with a weekend and morphed into an 11-day festival," said Melissa Knepper, a Chambersburg Area Chamber of Commerce employee who helps organize ChambersFest.

The biggest one-day event of the festival was Celebrate! The Arts at Old Market Day, where attendance of between 10,000 and 15,000 was on par with other years, said Anne Finucane, program coordinator for the Chambersburg Area Council for the Arts.

"The one thing I noticed was better attendance at the indoor site of Allfirst Bank, where there were quieter performances, one-act plays and an art show," she said.

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The bulk of the daylong crafts fair and entertainment festival occurred in a two-block radius of Memorial Square.

Finucane said African storyteller Kala Jojo received high marks from the crowd, and she hopes to have him come back for next year's event.

"People would walk by, and he had a way of making them stop and listen," she said.

Finucane said she and the other organizers of the event are already thinking ahead to next year's Celebrate! The Arts and Old Market Day, which will be July 19.

"It was definitely a success. We got lots of good feedback from people," she said.

Knepper said this year's ChambersFest included activities similar to other years, with a few minor adjustments.

Moving the annual pet parade to the park outside United Towers improved attendance and enabled residents - and their pets - to roam in the shade and sit in the grass, she said.

At the Almost Anything Goes Games, eliminating alternates in favor of having every team member participate didn't have the effect Knepper was expecting.

"One team had two injuries and had to go with just six players. I think we will have an alternate next year for injuries," she said.

ChambersFest events ended Sunday with the close of the three-day Civil War seminar "Antietam."

Nearly 130 people from across the country registered for the seminar, Knepper said.

As with other years, a committee will critique this year's ChambersFest next week and begin planning for next year's event.

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