Penn Township’s Fall Festival Planning Committee aims to ‘bring the community together’

For Michael Ginsburg, the annual fall festival is the one time a year when all corners of Penn Township come together.

Ginsburg, a Level Green resident for 43 years, was a township commissioner when the idea for a fall festival was born in 2005.

Following the success of the township’s 150th anniversary celebration, Level Green resident Robert Kuster floated the idea of ​​having a fall festival. In 2007, this vision became reality.

Ginsburg said he and Kuster have been two of the festival‘s co-chairs since its launch.

“We are a dispersed community. We don’t have a central place. There are all these different areas – Claridge, Harrison City, Boxcartown, Paintertown, Level Green. There’s no glue that holds us all together,” Ginsburg said. “So the goal was to bring the community together.”

Over the past 15 years, Kuster said, the festival has become a multi-generational tradition.

“Kids who were in high school 10 years ago and remembered going to the festival…they now bring their 5, 6 and 7 year olds to the township to experience the festival,” Kuster said. .

After taking a year off in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fall festival returned better than ever in 2021. Ginsburg said he hopes that trend continues this year.

The festival, which takes place at Penn Township City Park in Harrison City, will begin at 5 p.m. on September 16 and end at the same time on September 18.

Along with the typical lineup of carnival rides, vendors, artisans, food trucks, shows and walkers, Ginsburg said the festival will feature its first chili this year. Those interested in participating should bring their chili in a small slow cooker to the kitchen stand by 1 p.m. on September 17.

Competitors returning to pie baking should note that the contest is limited to pumpkin pie entries, which must be submitted to the baking stand by 1:30 p.m. on September 17.

First place winners of the Chili and Pumpkin Pie Baking Contest will receive $125. Second and third place will receive $75 and $50 respectively.

Performances will follow a 1980s theme to contrast 2021’s country theme.

Ginsburg said the number of registered vendors was on par with the festival’s usual numbers, but the planning committee is still accepting applications. With two more planning meetings taking place before the festival weekend, Ginsburg said, the committee is in the process of selecting the grand marshal for the parade.

Ginsburg said he hoped for good attendance and pleasant weather at the festival.

“We measure our success on two things – when vendors say ‘It was a great festival’ and when our community says ‘It was a good festival’ because they were able to find whatever they were looking for,” said Ginsburg.

Kuster said the event’s volunteers and sponsors have played a huge role in keeping the festival and its traditions going.

“All the sponsors – big and small – are so appreciated by the committee and the township to allow us to put this on,” Kuster said. “That’s over $32,000 a year to put this on. Without sponsors and vendors, this does not happen.

Quincey Reese is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Quincey by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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