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Mercersburg celebrates food, fun and fall

September 27, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

MERCERSBURG, Pa. -- Saturday morning showers might have thinned the early crowd at the 29th annual Mercersburg Townfest, but by noon, the streets were so crowded that some people wished it would rain again.

A collaborative effort between the Mercersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the local branch of M&T Bank, the event is a six-hour celebration of food, fun and fall in the small Pennsylvania town.

The early rain had Chamber Executive Director Mary-Anne Gordon skeptical about whether or not the crowds would come.

Gordon estimated that in 2007, the event drew about 5,000 people. Her goal for Saturday was for at least that many to come this year.

As people pushed past the event's information booth around noon, Gordon said she was pleased with the turnout.

"I could not be happier," she said. "Our marketing efforts were to bring in people from Washington County and Franklin County, and I think we have done exactly that."

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Those who came to shop and savor the festival had nothing but praise for the event.

Dave Rinehart of Greencastle, Pa., said not only was the event great, the buffalo burger he enjoyed was worth the trip.

Event Chairwoman Liz Martin hoped people would walk the length of the event to take it all in.

From 110 craft and food vendors to an art show by the Mercersburg Council for the Arts to live music and pony rides, Martin said she and her team worked hard to provide something for everyone.

Martin, who is the manager of the local branch of M&T Bank, said she could not have pulled off such a jam-packed event without the generosity of the many sponsors.

"I am so happy and thankful to everyone who helped put this on," she said.

The festivities continued through 3 p.m. with live music, children's activities, fresh food and more.

But as the humidity peaked again, Rinehart said some more rain would be nice.

"It's hard to get around, there are that many people," he said, adding with a smile, "maybe some rain would help with that problem."

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