First Rouzerfest set for Saturday

August 18, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

ROUZERVILLE, Pa. - A small group of Rouzerville business owners hopes a one-day summer festival this weekend will put their small unincorporated slice of Washington Township on the map.

Their problem: They don't know where Rouzerville begins and ends.

The best guess of where Rouzerville's boundaries lie rests with Bob and Ann Backer, longtime community boosters and business partners in Blondie's, a bar and restaurant at 11737 Old Route 16.

"We feel it runs east from Hooverville Elementary School (on Pa. 16) to the end of Red Run Park," Bob Backer said. "The north and south are not so easily defined. Its northern border is probably Wal-Mart (in the new Rouzerville Commons shopping center being built off Pa. 16), then it runs south to Midvale Road."


During the Civil War, the area was called Pikesville, Bob Backer said. Confederate and Union forces grappled in what he calls "The Battle of Rouzerville." It took place during the Rebels' retreat to Virginia following the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, he said.

Rouzerville was founded by Peter Rouzer "sometime in the mid-1700s," Backer said. He didn't know how or when its name changed from Pikesville to Rouzerville.

The organizers of Rouzerfest are shooting for a two-pronged success from the event, which will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Red Run Park.

"It's not just to make money," Bob Backer said. "It will be a mechanism by the association to put Rouzerville on the map. The theme of the festival is to broadcast where Rouzerville is, much like Leitersburg has its Peach Festival."

"Rouzerville has its own post office so it has some identity already ... 17250," he said.

Backer said the idea for Rouzerfest came to him at the Leitersburg Peach Festival.

"We have Red Run Park, the perfect place for a festival," he said. "The park has pavilions, a pond, stream and its own miniature railroad the kids can ride on. It's a perfect festival grounds for all ages."

The 15-member Rouzerville Business Association was founded in July 2004 because business owners in Rouzerville knew that Rouzerville Commons was coming.

"We wanted to piggyback with them," Backer said.

"We don't want people to say that Wal-Mart is at the end of Waynesboro," he said. "We want them to say it's in Rouzerville because that's where it is. It's not called Waynesboro Commons or Washington Township Commons. It's called Rouzerville Commons."

According to Ann Backer, the festival will have about 60 craft vendors, live music, balloon rides, karaoke, bingo, children's games, a Civil War encampment, train rides and performances by the Waynesboro Children's Theatre group.

If you go

What: Rouzerfest

When: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Red Run Park

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