Complete with commemorative mugs, a stand decorating contest and scavenger hunt, the Palmerton Community Festival is about to celebrate its silver anniversary in style.
Held in the borough park, the 25th annual event gets underway later this afternoon. Festival hours are 5-11 p.m. today, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, rain or shine.
Along with its predecessor, the Palmerton Hospital Festival, the event has continued in the borough for half a century, a fact that hasn't been lost on event chairwoman Susie Arner.
"The community of Palmerton and surrounding areas should be very proud that they have supported such a great event," Arner said. "The committee of the festival is honored to say that we hope to be able to continue it for another many years."
An opening ceremony will be held at 4:45 p.m. on the main stage, at which time Arner said a special presentation will be made to the family of David Dailey Sr. for the many years of dedicated service he has given to the festival and the community.
While Dailey's health will not allow him to be on hand for the ceremony, Arner said a plaque will be presented to his family as a token of the festival's appreciation.
"What an honor to have worked side by side with Dave for many years on the festival committee," she said. "He was such a behind-the-scenes guy that you could always count on; not often seen by many people, but always working hard and keeping us all smiling with his fabulous sense of humor."
The festival will kick into full gear when Remember When performs from 5-8 p.m. on the main stage. Other entertainment Friday will include The Hawks in the bandstand from 8-9 p.m., and T.G. Sheppard on the main stage from 9-10:15 p.m. There will also be a ride special from 6-9 p.m. at a cost of $15.
Saturday's entertainment will be: Lenny & the Loafers from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the bandstand; the Palmerton Community Band from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in the bandstand; Jeremiah James from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on the main stage; Ivory Blu from 6:30-8 p.m. in the bandstand; and The Mahoney Brothers from 8-10:30 p.m. on the main stage. There will also be a ride special from 2-5 p.m. at a cost of $15.
On Sunday, the PA Villagers will perform from noon to 2 p.m. in the bandstand; Crazy Hearts from 2:30-4:30 p.m. on the main stage; and Twitty Fever from 6-9 p.m. on the main stage.
There will also be a ride special from noon to 4 p.m. at a cost of $20, The annual duck race will then be held at 5 p.m., with the proceeds to be split between the festival and the Palmerton Halloween Parade.
Various food vendors, rides, handmade crafts, demonstrations, games and a Chinese auction all round out the festival.
New this year is a vendor row (located across from the police station near Boy Scout Troop 20's pulled pork stand); the Towamensing Soccer Club (located near the Chinese auction across from the bandstand), which will sell grilled chicken sandwiches; and Pretzel Revolution (located across from the craft tent), which will sell stuffed soft pretzels.
Arner urged visitors to join in the "25 Years of Fun at the Festival" activities, which will include 25-cent birch beer (located across from the Palmerton Wrestling stand near Fourth and Delaware) from 7-9 p.m. Friday, 1-3 and 6-8 p.m. Saturday, and 1-3 and 6-8 p.m. Sunday.
A scavenger hunt will be held Saturday afternoon, complete with prizes.
A stand decorating contest based on the theme of 25 Years of Fun at the Palmerton Community Festival will also be held.
Commemorative mugs will be available for purchase throughout the entire weekend, she said.
Admission and parking are free. Handicapped parking is available.
No pets, bikes, skateboards or roller skates are permitted in the park the entire weekend.
Arner said the festival is always in need of more volunteers. Anyone who would like to volunteer may call 484-866-2041.
For more information on the festival, visit www.palmertonfestival.com