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People show support for Palmerton festival in spite of poor weather

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    Knockerball is a hit at the Palmerton Community Festival. KELLEY ANDRADE/TIMES NEWS

Published September 10. 2018 01:34PM

At times, it was a wet, soggy mess.

Yet through it all, the 29th annual Palmerton Community Festival came out of it rather well, all things considered.

The festival wrapped up its three-day event in the borough park on Sunday, albeit a few hours earlier due to the rainy weather conditions.

Susie Arner, event chairwoman, said that while the rain was here to stay, fortunately, it wasn’t quite enough to keep the people away.

“Friday and Saturday went as well as could be expected, if not even better, because of the great response from the Palmerton community and surrounding areas even as the weather was less than perfect,” Arner said. “We were pleasantly surprised at the number of people in lines at the food stands, entertainment and rides.”

Unfortunately, Arner said things didn’t go quite as smoothly on Sunday as the festival was open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — rather than the scheduled noon to 9 p.m. time frame — on account of the weather.

“We opened early because there was a little less rain in the morning,” she said. “We canceled the entertainment and rides for everyone’s safety.”

Despite the shortened hours, Arner said people came out and purchased large quantities of their favorite foods to go, such as filling, sausage, meatball sandwiches, and roast beef sandwiches.

“The stands offered them great specials to thank them for their support,” she said. “They served them with a smile on their faces with the success we were able to have considering the wet weather.”

Arner said had the weather forecast been different, there definitely would have been consideration to extend the festival through today.

“Sadly, we did not plan for today because the weather was no better, almost to the point of being worse than yesterday,” she said. “There was no decision to be made. Mother Nature made that decision for us.”

Arner said the people were pleased that the festival was able to have the Mahoney Brothers play this year, though the country music fans were sad because they didn’t get to see the Dolly Parton impersonator.

“We will consider to have the entertainment that was scheduled for yesterday somewhere on the schedule for 2019,” she said. “If people have any suggestions of things they would like to see in the next festival moving forward, we would love to hear from them.”

Arner said they can visit the festival’s Facebook page, or reach out to a member of the committee.

“We try to take everyone’s suggestion into consideration,” she said.

Arner said patrons came out not only for the food, but also to catch up with people they haven’t seen for many years.

“A big, giant thank you to everyone who did come out and support us when the weather was less than perfect; these groups count on that,” she said. “As Mayor (Chris) Olivia often says, Palmerton is a nice place to live, and the people are extremely supportive of each other and all the organizations of any event that’s being held.”

As for the cleanup, Arner said people can expect it will take longer than usual “in an attempt to protect the integrity of the park.”

“It could have been worse,” she said. “We’re thankful for what we had.”

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