Williamsport Days in full swing

August 22, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

Lockhouse to tell canal's story at turn of 19th century

WILLIAMSPORT -- Despite overcast skies and occasional raindrops, Williamsport Days was in full swing Saturday at Byron Memorial Park, from the live music blasting from the band shell to students splashing into the SophistiCats' dunk tank.

Saturday was the first day of the annual craft show and festival held each year to celebrate Williamsport's heritage. The event continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Vendors said Saturday's mild temperatures were a welcome break from the heat they have had to battle in previous years.

"It's usually so very, very hot here," said Judy Dahlhamer, 66, of Hagerstown, who was selling yo-yo balloons at Williamsport Days for her 11th year.


At $1 each, the toys, made from rubber bands attached to sturdy balloons with a small amount of water inside, were a hit with the children who passed Dahlhamer's stand.

Attending the festival for the first time, Stacie Everhart, 36, of Williamsport, said the festival's craft booths had plenty to interest people of all ages. Everhart picked up a black metal plant hanger decorated with stars, a bag of kettle corn and some Christmas presents, while her daughter, McKenna, 5, got a brown paper "grab bag" of surprise treats.

McKenna said her favorite part of the festival was getting a colorful butterfly temporary tattoo painted on her cheek.

Zack Toth, 11, of Hagerstown, scaled a climbing wall and shared a shaved ice snow cone, but he said the highlight of his day was eating a savory Italian sausage.

While Zack and the rest of his family bought their snow cone, his father, Mike Toth, 42, held two black-eyed Susan plants the family had spotted for sale at a booth and decided to plant around their mailbox.

"We like to come out here for the food and just to see what kinds of arts and crafts folks have to sell," Mike Toth said.

Emerging from a canopy rigged with cooling water mist machines, 5-year-old Gracelyn Hope of Fairmont, W.Va., squealed with delight as she looked down at her soaked black-and-white sundress.

"It was fun," she said. "We got wet!"

Gracelyn also enjoyed going on a pony ride, said her father, Jimmy Kershner, 39, of Hagerstown.

The ponies were not the event's only equine attraction. The National Park Service brought two mules for an exhibit about the town's C&O Canal heritage.

The park service also has historical tours and children's activities at the trolley barn at the Cushwa Basin headquarters near the canal, park ranger Lisa Dittman said.

Free trolley rides are available to locations throughout Williamsport, she said.

There also will be a car show today from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Springfield Barn on Springfield Lane, event chairwoman Bobbi Cole said.

If you go

What: Williamsport Days

When: Today, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Byron Memorial Park, Williamsport

There also will be historical tours and activities for children at 205 W. Potomac St. and a classic car cruise-in starting at 1 p.m. at the Springfield Barn on Springfield Lane.

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