The 24th edition of Newville’s Fountain Festival -- a tradition which began in 1996 on the 100th birthday of the fountain's construction -- is set for this weekend and will offer a fun time for both local residents and out-of-towners.
The two-day event surrounding the borough’s ornate fountain is set to kick off once more on Friday, June 14, with a theme of “Music and Dance Come To Newville.”
Big Spring Avenue, Parsonage Street, West Street and Chestnut Street will close around noon Friday afternoon and be closed for the duration of the weekend’s festival until 5:30 p.m. Saturday, according to borough staff.
The weekend will bring a new flavor to the traditional event in the form of a Youth Talent Contest for ages 5-10 and 11-18, as well as bring back old favorites like the annual car show and a cake baking contest.
Of course, there will also be plenty of music to complement the theme, including the likes of the Shippensburg Swing Band, Frances Drost, Klinger McFry Band and the Community Chorus. A DJ will also offer tunes all-day Saturday at the fountain.
Come hungry because there will be enough food to please any palate, including crab cakes, burgers, chicken, sausage, ham sandwiches, pies and cakes at the food court, which will open at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
All festival proceeds go toward local projects and organizations, and these recipients will be announced after the festival comes to a close.
A dozen volunteers, led by longtime organizer Carolyn Kough, will come together to help kick the festival off without a hitch. The group began planning in January and is expecting a show for not just area residents, but anyone who grew up here, and has an itch to return to where their roots are.
“It's a celebration of small town life, and I think we have a lot to offer for people,” Kough said. “I think it's nice to be able to spend time with people you may see, but don't have time to always acknowledge.”
Last year brought people from as far as West Virginia, and one visitor -- who grew up in Newville and now lives in the New England area -- has only missed two or three of previous festivals, Kough said.
The Youth Talent Show will begin 10 a.m. Saturday, and will be divided into two age brackets, 5-10 and 11-18. Registration has closed.
“I'm anxious about this. I'm hoping we get a number of contestants,” Kough said. “I think it should be very interesting.
The Shippen Squares square dancing club will also perform some square dancing during the talent show.
The Antique and Classic Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show will run all day Saturday along West Big Spring Avenue. Registration is scheduled between 7 and 10 a.m. There were 102 registrants last year, and Kough believes there will be even more this year.
Trophies will be awarded by Newville EMS for the top 25 cars/trucks, top two motorcycles, Best of Show, Mayor's Choice Award, Fire Chief's Choice Award and Police Chief's Choice Award. The awards presentation is slated for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the fountain.
The annual parade will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday. “Anyone and everyone” is welcome to walk in the parade. Show up along Broad Street at 6:30 p.m. to register.
Cash prizes will be awarded to parade participants in the following categories: individuals/couples walking, groups walking, floats, antique and classic cars, horse and rider, horse and buggy/wagon, antique farm equipment and antique fire apparatus. The Zembo Shriners will return again this year to perform road tricks in their mini cars along the route.
The Big Spring PAW Packs Program will take over the Cake Baking Contest and lead the popular competition, after last year’s didn’t yield as much participation as in the past. Adults and children are welcome to participate in their respective divisions. All proceeds will benefit the PAW Packs Program. Registration is scheduled between 8 and 8:45 a.m. Saturday, and will be judged at 9 a.m. The baked goods will once again be auctioned off afterward. The Shippensburg Swing Band will bring its familiar tunes to the fountain at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and Kough says “you can't beat them.”
Local artist Frances Drost, a regular to the festival who is known for her gospel music, will perform at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The Klinger McFry Band will return Saturday, and entertain from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., covering a variety of genres, including gospel and folk.
Historians Bob Over and Joan Brehm will host “This N That about Newville” at the former ACNB Bank at 8:30 p.m. Friday following the parade. The pair will begin with a presentation, “Do you remember such and such about Newville,” and then they will open up the floor for questions about Newville’s history from the audience.
Businesses have donated a total of 10-12 goods, like automotive products and hardware items, which will be raffled off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
About 90 booths will be set up near the fountain, including 30 food vendors, 30 craft vendors and 30 nonprofit organizations. The food court will open up at 4:30 p.m. Friday, while the crafters and nonprofits will begin setup Saturday morning.
“We have excellent food vendors. A lot of familiar ones,” Kough said.
Volunteers are still looking for some participants for the annual Porch Decorating Contest, which will be judged at 4 p.m. Friday. The awards will be given out at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Kough added the weather will dictate attendance, but “as long as people show up and have a good time,” that is the greatest reward for the many hours of planning the volunteers put in.
There will be two areas of handicapped-accessible parking near the fountain, per requests from last year, as well as open indoor facilities and portable toilets for restrooms.
For more information, or to learn how to volunteer, contact the borough office, located at 4 West St., at: (717) 776-7633.
5K run starting at 6 p.m. Friday, at the intersection of Liberty and Big Spring avenues. Trophies will be presented at 7:15 p.m. at the fountain.
Street dance at 8:30 p.m. Friday, hosted by Scott Donato, at the fountain
Breakfast at the fountain from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, sponsored by Friendship Hose Co. Music will also be offered by the Community Chorus.
Rubber Duck Derby at noon Saturday, at the Laughlin Mill
Book sale on the lawn of the John Graham Library, all-day Saturday
Model Train Layout at Green Ridge Village, at 210 Big Spring Road, with a shuttle bus being offered between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, at the corner of Liberty and Big Spring avenues
Displays at the Historical Society at 69 S. High St., all-day Saturday
Kids’ Alley with a petting zoo, pony rides and Mr. Mike’s Dinosaurs near the Fountain, all-day Saturday.