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Rouzerfest provides summer fun before school starts

Event raises money to upgrade Red Run Park facilities

August 21, 2010|By DANA BROWN
  • Logan Klipp, left, and Matthew Klipp mine for gem stones at the 6th annual Rouzerfest held Saturday at Red Run Park.
Dana Brown, Staff Writer

ROUZERVILLE, Pa. -- The Rouzerville Business Association hosted its sixth annual Rouzerfest at Red Run Park on Saturday.

Nestled along the creek running through the 22-acre park, about 50 craft, food and business vendors pitched their wares and provided free services to festival-goers.

"All these trees, it's just a wonderful location," said Ann Backer, an association member.

The event draws thousands and highlights the park's many attractions, Backer said.

"Our whole purpose is to do things to enhance the park," she said. "It's like a diamond in the rough."

Proceeds from the daylong event go toward upkeep and maintenance of the park.

The business association, in cooperation with Washington Township and the Rouzerville Lions Club, hopes to raise close to $60,000 to upgrade the park's restroom facilities, Backer said.

Rouzerfest also showcases local businesses, Backer said.

She said the event has been held in mid-August because "just about always the weather is beautiful." Rouzerfest is one last opportunity for families to enjoy some summer fun before the start of the school year.

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"Our goal is to have things for children and families," Backer said.

The park's playground equipment, free games, face painting, balloons and rides on the Red Run Express train kept children of all ages entertained.

Jim Way of Chambersburg, Pa., sat alongside his 65-year-old brother, Harry, as they took their turn on the miniature steam engine train.

"It was a really neat ride," Harry Way said as he exited the train station.

"Loved it," said Jim Way, 63. "We're the oldest kids on the train,"

Buck Wagaman, who volunteers to operate the train during Rouzerfest and on other occasions, said about 14,000 kids ride the train each year.

The Cruise-In car show also attracted countless car enthusiasts to the park.

Ryan Bryan of Sounds So Good Car Audio, who sponsored the event, said about 100 cars registered for the participant-judged event. Bryan said the Best of Show winner takes home a coveted custom-made trophy designed from real car parts.

Proceeds from the car show also go toward the park's upkeep, Bryan said.

Festival-goers tried their hand at nickel bingo, got their blood pressure checked or enjoyed a little stress relief with a massage.

Margie Schaeffer of Synergy Massage and Wellness of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., gingerly worked out a few kinks on Glen Gorman of Smithsburg, who said he was stiff from parachuting the day before.

Schaeffer said Rouzerfest is one of her favorite festivals to participate at "because of the trees."

She used to bring her children to Red Run Park, she said.

"Lots of good memories here," she said.

Ashley Socks of Hagerstown stepped away from her booth to enjoy some of the day's free entertainment with her 3-year-old daughter, Aubriana.

"There's a lot going on, stuff you don't normally see," Socks said. "There's a little bit of everything."

Aubriana, seemingly mesmerized by the Rainbow All Starz Cheerleading Team as they performed routines of cheers, jumps, tumbling and stunts, said she wasn't interested in getting her face painted.

"Face painting is itchy," she said. But she added she would like a scoop of her favorite black raspberry ice cream.

Sandy McKee of Waynesboro, Pa., with her six children in tow, said they enjoyed Rouzerfest last year and wanted to return this year because of the "fun kids activities."

McKee, who home-schools her children, said it was one of their last summer activities before the school year starts in earnest.

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