Cascade celebrates heritage with music, games, re-enactors

June 22, 2011|By MAEGAN CLEARWOOD |
  • Ashlyn Jewell, left, and McKenzie Raidt make sand art at the 2010 Mountaintop Heritage Days festival at Fort Ritchie in Cascade.
File photo

CASCADE — The Mountaintop Heritage Day celebration began as a small, Saturday afternoon festival with only 30 vendors.

Six years later, it is the One Mountain Foundation’s biggest event of the year, attracting thousands of people to Cascade each summer.

According to OMF Chairman Bill Carter, more than 60 vendors will be at the event this year. Activities include live music, children’s games and activities, helicopter rides, pony rides, boating, steam engine displays and fireworks.

“The purpose is to try to get people together and celebrate our heritage, but the main thing is for people to have fun,” Carter said.

According to Carter, one of the weekend’s main goals is to raise money for nonprofit community organizations. Nonprofit groups are not charged for vendor space and keep all the money they earn from food sales. This year, Carter said, six churches, two fire departments and the Sons of the American Legion will sell food.

Most of the activities will take place at the former Fort Ritchie Army Base in Cascade. Carter said the property’s open space has allowed the event to grow over the past few years.

Carter said that the event draws an impressive turn-out. Two years ago, there were 5,000 to 7,000 people during the day, and more than 15,000 people at night.

Carter said the Saturday night fireworks show draws a particularly large crowd. This year, there will be a patriotic program at 8 p.m., which will include performances by the Williamsport Community Band.

Another main event is the annual parade, which will start at 9 a.m. Saturday at Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. Carter said the parade will feature firetrucks, antique cars and community floats.

In celebration of local heritage, historical memorabilia will be on display over the weekend and there will be a Civil War living-history encampment and skirmish.

Returning for a second year, Carter said there will be a Sunday morning worship service. Six pastors will lead the service, and all proceeds will benefit community charity organizations.

Carter said that about 100 volunteers help with the event, directing traffic, collecting money and helping with clean-up.
About 15 people organize the festival each year, Carter said.

“The planning is pretty hectic. We’re going to start planning for next year in September,” he said. “We’re getting to be pretty big.”

If you go...
WHAT: Sixth annual Mountaintop Heritage Days
WHEN: Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26. Saturday: Parade in Blue Ridge Summit at 9 a.m.; patriotic performance and fireworks at 8 p.m.; Sunday, worship service at 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Fort Ritchie, Lake Royer Drive, Cascade. Parade at Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.
COST: Free to attend; $5 for parking, some activities have small fees
CONTACT: Bill Carter at 301-241-4501 or
MORE: Shuttle available from parking lot to event.

The Herald-Mail Articles