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Maugansville Pride Day an end-of-summer tradition for 30 years

September 04, 2010|By MARIE GILBERT
  • Carol Garling dances with husband Ronald Saturday at the 30th Annual Maugansville Pride Day celebration.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

MAUGANSVILLE -- It felt more like a block party than a festival.

Neighborhood friendships were renewed, food sizzled on grills and conversations turned to football and the weather.

It was the kind of atmosphere organizers had hoped to create 30 years ago.

Glancing around Maugansville Ruritan Community Park on Saturday, Bob Walton was pretty sure they had succeeded.

For the past three decades, the celebration known as Maugansville Pride Day has become an end-of-summer tradition.

The event is hosted by the Maugansville Ruritan Club.

"It's a way for the community to come together as a family," said Walton, co-chairman of this year's event. "It's a way to celebrate small-town living."

Walton said Pride Day has grown from the first year, when several hundred people gathered at the park to enjoy a picnic.

Organizers were expecting more than 3,000 people to visit the park on Saturday.

And, instead of a picnic, the event has become a festival, with more than 50 craft vendors, live music, games and food.

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In addition to being a community reunion, Walton said Pride Day is a major fundraiser for the Maugansville Ruritan Club.

The organization was hoping to raise about $5,000 from this year's event.

"Every penny goes back into the community," Walton said.

The money will be used for various Ruritan projects, including park maintenance, scholarships, fuel assistance and a children's fund that helps pay hospital bills.

Walton said there are 54 members in the Maugansville Ruritan Club and at least 40 members were helping with this year's event.

Among the people attending Pride Day was Karl Pile, who has been a Maugansville resident since 1955.

"The area has grown," he said. "But it's amazing how some things have stayed pretty much the same."

A member of the Maugansville Ruritan Club, Pile, 78, said he remembers when the land that now is the community park was filled with briars.

The Ruritans purchased the land, cleaned it up and turned it into a park.

Pile said he enjoys attending Maugansville Pride Day, and this year brought along his 1950 Plymouth, which he has owned for 32 years.

"It's been attracting a lot of interest," he said.

Pile said he likes the idea of the community coming together every year.

"A day like today, you get to walk around and catch up on the latest news," he said. "I've made many, many friends in Maugansville over the years. We're all basically a family."

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