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Summer Jubilee certainly full of fun

July 04, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Of two things, Summer Jubilee President Brian Stum was certain.

He could not control the weather, and if it rained, there would be no fireworks.

So when he realized the clear skies and mild temperatures were not going anywhere Saturday, Stum paused for a sigh of relief.

"I am thanking God we have great weather today," he said. "I knew everything else would take care of itself once we had it set up, but the things you can't control, that's what you worry about."

After years of either rain or sweltering heat, the breeze Saturday welcomed record crowds to the 13th annual Summer Jubilee that celebrates American independence, Waynesboro-style.

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In the past, if 8,000 people came to Summer Jubilee it was a good turnout, said Carlene Wilhide, executive director of the Greater Waynesboro Area Chamber of Commerce.

"This today, this just exploded with people," she said.

"I'd guess about 12,000 people will be here today, maybe more," Stum said.

Stum credited a mix of new vendors, more games, great weather and fresh perspectives for the day's record success.

Even with new faces running the show, not much has changed in the jubilee's 13 years.

Food vendors still sell piping-hot plates of funnel cakes, french fries and hot dogs.

Runners still lace up their shoes for the Firecracker 5K.

And kids still consider it to be pure and simple fun.

The inflatable bounces, face painting and free games are a welcome change from typical summer activities, 14-year-old Carrie Mowen said.

"It's something other than the usual summer day," she said. "It's not the pool, the computer or the beach. Plus, it only comes around once a year."

The only word 12-year-old Taylor Stevens could use to describe Summer Jubilee was "fun."

"Its fun because it's fun," she said with a laugh.

Summer Jubilee has come to define Waynesboro as a community, Stum said.

"It's amazing, with our economy where it is, the number of people who have come out wanting to help out with this and support this," he said. "It's wonderful. It's just a good-ol' hometown feeling here."

The daylong event hit the ground running at 8 a.m. with a children's run and continued past dark with an $8,000 fireworks display.

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