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Record crowds at Waynesboro Market Day

October 03, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Market Day found its groove in Waynesboro on Saturday when the fifth-annual event welcomed record crowds to peruse more vendors than ever.

Sponsored by Mainstreet Waynesboro Inc., the event featured craft vendors, food, live music and entertainment, as well as activities for children and sidewalk sales by Main Street businesses.

"I think its our biggest and best Market Day so far," said Melissa Russ, event coordinator. "Everyone knows what to expect now and they know it is a great way to spend the day."

One thing Waynesboro has come to expect with Market Days: the signature scarecrows strapped to lampposts along Main Street.

Each year, the Mainstreet Waynesboro Inc. promotions committee hosts a scarecrow contest as a draw for the downtown, encouraging businesses, organizations and individuals to create an original scarecrow who will spend the month scaring up customers.

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With prizes ranging as high as $150 for first place, the quirky straw-stuffed figures continued to be an anchor for the event.

"There's a lot of good scarecrows, some better than others," said Mayor Richard Starliper, who has judged the contest every year.

If judging 26 scarecrows did not keep the four judges -- state Sen. Rich Alloway, R-Franklin/Adams; Waynesboro Borough Council President Craig Newcomer; Waynesboro Fire Chief Dave Martin; and Mayor Starliper -- busy, the men put their taste buds to work by also judging the events second annual chili contest, Mainstreet Waynesboro Inc. Board President Barb Persun said.

For the second year, the promotions committee hosted a chili contest at Market Day, she said.

The town is still warming to the contest, and while entries were fairly sparse, tasters were everywhere.

"It's one dollar for four tickets or four tastes," Persun explained. "The people's choice winner will be the one with the most tickets."

Tasters were encouraged to try each chili and cast their tickets for their favorites, she said.

Between vendor fees, chili ticket sales, contest entries and sponsors, Market Days is a major fundraiser for Mainstreet Waynesboro Inc., Persun said.

Also attempting to raise money from the 3,000-plus people downtown Saturday was St. Andrew's Catholic School.

For 19 years, the parish has thrown an Oktoberfest celebration on Main Street to help offset tuition costs for its students, volunteer Melissa Foreman said.

The two-part fundraiser includes the Saturday food and bake sale, as well as a dinner and an auction, she said.

"It's the community coming together to raise money for the school," she said. "We raise well over $16,000 on average from this."

Persun and Foreman said children were a major consideration in planning the two events.

Good thing for Olivia Arnold, 9, and Casey Ramsay, 8, two young friends who came downtown looking for some fun.

The most fun was getting puppets, named Blue Eyes and Lucky, Olivia said.

With all the games and activities, only a trampoline or a pool could have made the events any better, Casey said.

Market Day and St. Andrew's Oktoberfest are both hosted annually on the first Saturday in October.

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