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Mercersburg Chamber hopes fest has visitors eyeing businesses, too

Mercersburg Chamber hopes fest has visitors eyeing businesses, too

September 30, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

MERCERSBURG, PA. - More than 1,000 people were expected to attend the 28th annual Mercersburg Townfest on Saturday, according to Mary-Anne Gordon, executive director of the Mercersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

Gordon said the goal of the festival was "to bring people to Mercersburg to see what we have to offer and to see businesses based here."

"It becomes a little bit like a reunion," said Betty Stenger, a member of the Mercersburg Beautification Committee and Historical Society. "You see people you haven't seen in a year or more."

Stenger said Mercersburg Townfest began as an apple festival.

"It just evolved into what it is today," Stenger said. "It was always big and (it) always lined the streets."

The event, sponsored by the Chamber, featured 100 local crafters and artisan vendors, entertainment from community and school bands, and a children's section.

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"It's the best turnout so far," Gordon said.

Although it was her first year of involvement with the planning of the festival, Gordon said it was an easy event to continue.

"But I couldn't have done it without the committee that has been with it for three years," said Gordon of the six-member committee of volunteers that help plan the event.

Liz Martin, chairwoman of the event, was in charge of the "Kid's Corner," which featured pumpkin decorating, pony rides and games.

"There's a great crowd," she said. "The kids love doing the stickers with the pumpkins and they get to play games."

Martin said the number of vendors increased from last year as well as the number of people in attendance.

"I think it brings people together to enjoy the time of year," Martin said. "It's just a chance for neighbors to come together."

Martha Swope was in charge of the entertainment at the festival. There were performances by Lucky Punk and the Chicken, Miss Dicey's School of Dance, the James Buchanan Middle School and High School bands, Mercersburg Community Band, Step-by-Step Dance Studio, Show Stoppers and Black Eclipse.

"This is nice because we've got the children from the community," Swope said.

Angel Myers and Darla Meckley were at the festival selling their handmade bracelets to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

"It seems like a lot of people have forgotten Katrina, but it's still in devastation," Myers said.

"We're a small town and it's nice to have something like this," Myers said.

Yvonne Bivens of Greencastle, Pa., attended the festival because theMercersburg Buchanan Lioness Club, of which she's a member, had a table at the event. Bivens said she also enjoyed looking at the various crafts.

"There's more people here today than I've seen in a long time," Bivens said. "The Chamber does a real good job handling this."

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