Williamsport Days celebrates end of summer daze

August 28, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER
  • Art Shanholtz, left, a blacksmith from Martinsburg, W.Va., was hammering hot rolled iron Saturday at Williamsport Days in Byron Memorial Park. Looking on at right is Doug Bitinger of Cumberland, Md., with his two daughters, Lena, 5, and Belle, 8.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer,

WILLIAMSPORT -- Joan Crown of Smithsburg was not planning a visit to Williamsport Days on Saturday, but after driving past a brimming Byron Memorial Park, she said she had to see what the event was all about.

"I'm glad I came," she said, glancing around at the numerous vendors lining the park. "I think it's great."

Williamsport Days is a four-day event that celebrates the town at the end of summer, said Bobbi Cole, an organizer with the Williamsport Days Committee.

"In Washington County, no festival can hold a (candle) to Williamsport Days," she said.

The festival continued Saturday with a craft sale, music, cruise-in and dance, said Jimmy Black, another committee member.

About 127 vendors packed Byron Memorial Park with food, crafts and art for sale, Cole said.

"I like the craft show," she said. "I've developed a lot of good relationships with a lot of the vendors over the years."


Many of the vendors were local nonprofit organizations that come to the festival to raise money, committee member Chris Grimes said.

The nonprofits raised $40,000 last year to benefit their causes, she said.

Williamsport Days also supports local causes by donating its proceeds, Black said.

Last year, the committee donated money to help pay the insurance deductible for repairs in Riverview Cemetery, which was vandalized, he said.

As far as festivals go, Williamsport Days is a good festival, said Kevin Myers of Marlowe, W.Va., whose wife was there Saturday selling Vantel Pearls.

Being in the park also gave youths more to do, he said.

After more than 30 years putting on the event, Black said each person has their own reason for coming to Williamsport Days.

"The people are one of the biggest things I like about it," he said. "I also look forward to the street dance for kids on Friday night. It's just a nice family night."

Committee member Gary Grimes said he likes how everything seems to fall into place for the event, which Cole said takes about eight months to organize.

"All in all, it's fun," he said.

While the craft sale wrapped up about 6 p.m., Black said the cruise-in went from 6 to 7 p.m. followed by a 1950s-themed dance at Springfield Farm Barn.

Williamsport Days continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Byron Memorial Park.

If you go

What: Williamsport Days

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

Where: Byron Memorial Park, Williamsport

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