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Creepy-crawlies rule at Renfrew festival

May 30, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- Things got a little buggy Sunday at Renfrew Park.

Critters such as moths, tarantulas and ladybugs were studied and painted at Renfrew Institute's 21st Youth Festival. Organizers chose "It's a Bug's World!" as the 2010 theme.

Institute staff member Tracy Holliday said bugs seemed to be an appropriate learning concept because they're plentiful and all around us.

"We looked at all sorts of bugs, and we could touch them," said Jonas DeHaven, 11.

Jonas and his 9-year-old brother, Eddie, enjoyed the scorpions provided by "Bug Man" Ryan Bridge. The York, Pa., resident showed off his collection of insects, including the scorpions, butterflies and hissing cockroaches.

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Children -- and the occasional adult -- allowed some of Bridge's creatures to crawl on their hands and arms.

The youth festival also featured perennial favorites like kayaking, art workshops and the Frantz family's "gentle giants" draft horses. Jay Smar of Schuylkill County, Pa., returned to Renfrew for a second time to play his fiddle and lead clogging on the lawn.

The events and fair weather brought out 300 to 400 people for the free afternoon festival, which was underwritten by a grant from Susquehanna Bank.

"I think it's the swirling energy of all these things on one day in one place," Holliday said of the festival's success.

"It's really cool, and you can do all sorts of stuff," Jonas said.

Eddie was literally cooled after he fell out of a kayak into the stream.

"It was cold," he said, shivering and dripping near the park's entrance.

Haden Kint and Evan Weller, both 10, waded into the water to catch crayfish and tadpoles.

"It's actually pretty awesome," Evan said of the youth festival.

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