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Organizers pleased with support for WaynesboroFest

July 24, 2003|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The success of WaynesboroFest, the week-long event held earlier this month celebrating Waynesboro, ensures that the triennial festival is guaranteed a future, its organizers said.

Kim Shockey, activities coordinator, said all of the events were well attended. "We are pleased with the community support," she said.

One factor leading to the success of the 2003 WaynesboroFest (the first one was held in 2000), was moving it from September to the week of July 4. It was joined with Summer Jubilee, Waynesboro's annual Fourth of July celebration.

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A goal of WaynesboroFest is to make it a homecoming event for folks who have moved out of Waynesboro, much like the century-plus old triennial Old Home Week in Greencastle, Pa. That celebration brings back former residents every three years.

"It's difficult for some people to come back in September because school has started," said Carol Henicle, executive director of the Greater Waynesboro Area Chamber of Commerce and WaynesboroFest organizer.

Shockey said one of the most popular events was the dramalogue - a play about 15 days in 1865 when Confederate troops occupied the borough while they were on their way to the Battle of Gettysburg. Rebel Gen. Jubal Early put the town under martial law. The play tells how the locals and the Rebel soldiers handled the ordeal.

It was written by H. Clayton Moyer, 77, a retired pastor and founder of the Trinity Players, a local theater repertory group. Trinity Players provided the actors for the dramalogue.

The 14-act play ran for four nights.

"It was sold out every night. We even had to turn some people away," Shockey said.

Another well-attended event was the bus tour through local cemeteries. The bus was so full that some patrons followed it in cars, Shockey said.

Festival organizers also had to turn away about 30 children who showed up for a free movie at the Waynesboro Theatre, Henicle said.

A moneymaker for the festival was the gift shop, which sold commemorative items - shirts, hats, flags, mugs, plates and pins.

Most of the items sold out but there were about 50 sweatshirts, 50 mugs and a couple of dozen flags still on the shelves when the week ended. "We'll put them in area restaurants to sell," Henicle said.

It cost about $35,000 to put on the week-long festival, organizers said. The Franklin County Commissioners donated $10,000 in hotel/motel tax money, the state provided a $5,000 grant and the rest came from donations and the sale of commemorative items.

The board of directors will hold an accounting session soon to determine the festival's financial health.

Shockey and Henicle expressed confidence that there will be enough money left over to put in the bank for the 2006 edition of WaynesboroFest.

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