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Annual festival may end

Published December 21. 2013 09:00AM

By this time of the year, planning is usually underway for the annual Stay-at-Home Festival, held each Memorial Day weekend in Summit Hill.

Bands and the midway provider are generally known by November or December.

Not this year.

The festival was run jointly by the Summit Hill Recreation Commission and the Summit Hill Fire Department. It appears it won't be held in 2014.

Jodi McAndrew, a member of the Recreation Commission, told the borough council that the fire department has withdrawn as a co-sponsor and the Recreation Commission doesn't have enough volunteers.

She also said the commission has re-organized and will make its priorities the playgrounds instead of community activities.

Besides the annual Stay-at-Home Weekend, the Recreation Commission sponsors numerous other events during the year including Christmas on the Hill and Easter on the Hill.

Christmas on the Hill was held on Dec. 14 and despite a snowstorm, was deemed a success. The highlight was breakfast with Santa Claus for borough youngsters.

"We probably will not have the festival this year," she told the council.

She said last year the committee sent 1,300 mailings to borough residents seeking volunteers for the festival. "We got three responses to help," she said.

Borough Council President Mike Kokinda remarked, "I'm sorry to see the festival gone. A lot of people had a lot of fun."

The festival always featured rides, eating stands, live bands, a beer garden, and fireworks, and attracted thousands of people.

McAndrew said that to hold the festival, the committee would need a minimum of 18 people to volunteer for two-hour shifts. This doesn't include the people needed to set up the festival and then tear it down.

She said the fire company always operated the beer garden because they had adequate volunteers as well as the license for it.

"We've been trying," McAndrew said to the council. "We've really been pushing and trying."

"Don't give up," urged Kokinda.

McAndrew said last years was the worst yet for getting volunteer help.

On a related matter, Michelle Midas was appointed by the council to serve on the Recreation Commission.

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