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Wind and rain hold off for Williamsport Days

August 27, 2011|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI | alnotarianni@aol.com
  • Food and craft vendors bring their goods to Byron Memorial Park for Williamsport Days on Saturday.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

WILLIAMSPORT, Md. — Bobbi Cole was sweating the fate of a 38-year tradition.

As rain and high winds were forecast for Saturday, Cole, president of Williamsport Days, needed to meet with fellow organizers and make a decision.

Thursday night, the group decided to move ahead with the event.

"We said we needed to let Mother Nature take its course, and if it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen," Cole said. "All we could do was hope and pray for nothing bad as far as weather."

Midafternoon Saturday, as the event was in full swing at Byron Memorial Park, Cole was pleased with the decision.

"We had a little rain. It lasted all of about seven minutes. It was nothing that drove anyone away, and we had plenty of tents for shelter," she said. "People were still buying stuff and everything was still good."

Tammy Sigler, 38, of Williamsport, attended the event with her husband, Jason, and their daughters Kierstin, 12, and Brianna, 11. Sigler said had wondered if the event would be rained out.

"It's just really humid, but with the breeze, it's actually pretty decent," Tammy Sigler said. "We came today because tomorrow will probably be a washout."

Sigler said she likes that the event is "social."

"We see people we haven't seen in a while," she said. "And we like looking at the different stands. It just gives you something to do."

Danny Bender, 36, of Williamsport, and his son Travis, 10, sat on a curb eating funnel cakes with Bender's fiancee, Candy Davis, 36, and her daughter Katie, 15.

"I saw (Candy) eyeballing the Longaberger purses over there. She just cleaned out a bunch of them and now she's looking at more," Bender said.

But Davis wasn't the only one doing some shopping. Bender, who previously served in the Marines, said he already had purchased a pocketknife bearing the Marine Corps symbol.

"Anything with the symbol on there, I like to pick up," he said.

Ashley Gossard, 30, of Williamsport, said she was browsing fall decorations and some jewelry with her mother, Laurie Herr, 54, also of Williamsport. Meanwhile, Gossard's son Micah, 10 weeks, lounged in his stroller, and Landon, 3, discovered a treat called sandy candy.

"It's makes my tummy feel better," Landon told his mother.

Debbie Myers, 59, of Williamsport, sat on a park bench swaying and clapping her hands as LifeHouse Church choir and worship team played and sang.

"I think it's wonderful that they are out here lifting God up at a time when so many people need to know he's there for them," Myers said.

Cole said given the threat of rain and high winds, she was pleased with attendance at the festival. She said the annual event usually draws between 1,500 and 2,000 people. She estimated that more than 500 already had been out patronizing the 115 vendors by Saturday afternoon.

"It's a small community. A lot of citizens come out to show pride for Williamsport," she said.

Cole said organizers would patrol the park throughout the night Saturday to ensure the safety of tents and merchandise there. She hoped that the weather would continue to be "gracious" as the event continued into Sunday.

"The reality is that there probably will be high winds. Maybe no rain, but winds are a fear that we need to be concerned about," she said. "Hopefully, people won't let it run them off, and they'll still come out and enjoy."

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If you go

What: Williamsport Days

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

Where: Byron Memorial Park, Williamsport

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