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On Friday and Saturday, August 3 and 4, the 2007 Blueberry Festival was held on the Village Green in Montrose. The weather cooperated – no rain, plenty of sun – and huge crowds turned out to enjoy the blueberry festivities. "The festival is held the first Friday and Saturday in August, rain or shine," said Susan Stone, Administrator/Librarian of the Susquehanna County Historical Society & Free Library Association. "We were once again lucky with the weather, but as always, we're luckiest of all with our wonderful community support!"
The festival continues to get bigger and better every year, thanks to the participation of community-minded helpers, both organizations and individuals. Hundreds of volunteers not only staff the many booths and provide entertainment, but also put in literally thousands of hours ahead of time sorting books, picking berries, baking, and dozens of other tasks. Local businesses donate essentials from baskets and ice cream to advertising.
The Montrose Women's Club muffin table, which is stocked by donations of hundreds of home-baked muffins, held the ever-popular Blueberry Muffin Contest. Judges Jerry Safko (priest at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church), Deborah Rose (United Methodist pastor), and Chuck Link (First Presbyterian pastor) tasted a wide range of muffins. First prize went to muffins baked by Lorraine Chidester, second to Debra Strong, and third to Jean Torrey. The winning muffins went at a higher price and quickly sold out!
Festival visitors admired the quilt (made by the Crazy Country Quilters), in a lovely design of blue embroidery work surrounded by blue squares. Every year a different quilt is made to be raffled off at the festival. K. Brundage won this year's quilt and its accompanying pillow. More than 40 winners at the basket raffle went home with lovely, original baskets. Congratulations to all!
The silent auction featured many unique items donated by members of the community, from works by local artists to goods and services from county businesses. Excitement ran high in the last few minutes before the auction closed, as eager bidders competed to raise the prices.
While parents bought Blueberry Festival pottery and clothing, admired the handcrafts, and browsed for books at the used book sale, children played games on the Green, lined up to bounce in the Price Chopper Bounce Castle, and had their faces painted. Race-against-time games were popular, including basketball, jump-rope, and cookie stacking. On Saturday, activities for older kids and teens included pie-eating, bubble-gum blowing, and water balloon contests, as well as a "Fear Factor Challenge" with foods like Chef Boyardee with chocolate sauce and peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches.
Food and beverages were available all day, from blueberry pizza to blueberry shortcake. Cotton candy and slushees were served up by the Knights of Columbus. Volunteers picked hundreds of pounds of fresh blueberries, which were snapped up by berry lovers. Festival mascot Newberry the Blueberry made many appearances, shaking hands and posing for pictures, and character entertainer Manny Tikitz roamed the Green. Saturday's white elephant sale filled the top section of the green, with people finding treasures that others no longer wanted.
On Friday, Joe Welden and his band played jazz standards at 10 a.m., followed by Black Sage's medley of Celtic and bluegrass music. Patrick Bayer played a solo set at 1 p.m. Noelani's Hula School filled the green in front of the Post Office with the colors and sounds of the Pacific on Saturday morning, followed by East Bay View. The afternoon's entertainment peaked with the 13th annual Massed Band Concert, with classic American favorites played by dozens of musicians of all ages, conducted by Bob Orner and Suzanne Bennici. Civil War re-enactor Brian Swartz (Poor Boys/Living History Guild) camped in front of the monument overnight. He talked to visitors and demonstrated his authentic equipment. All entertainment is volunteer and deeply appreciated!
The chairpersons for this year's festival – Cookie Capotosto, Jean Dunn, and Flo Whittaker – were delighted with the festival. The gross receipts were once again the highest ever! All figures are not yet in, but Mrs. Stone estimates that the totals should pass $50,000. All the funds go to the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association and are used to help operate the county library system and the county's local history museum and genealogical center. "We count on the festival proceeds to reach our annual budget," she said. "It's the effort and time selflessly donated by so many community people and businesses that make the festival successful. From the service clubs, to the banks, to the hospital, from the smallest to largest businesses, the probation officers and inmates who tirelessly set up and took down, and the hundreds of individuals who helped – it would take pages to list them all! We are enormously grateful."
The PA Agricultural Land Preservation Easement Purchase Program of Susquehanna County, which is administered by the Susquehanna County Conservation District, has purchased the development rights on the Louis, Natalie, Benjamin and Michelle Hawley farm located in Bridgewater Township. A perpetual easement placed on this property helps preserve the rural nature of the township and contributes to maintaining a critical agriculture mass in the area. The Hawley farm is the 23rd farm purchased in Susquehanna County, bringing the total acres preserved to 5,050.
Pictured (l-r) at the closing, finalizing entry of the Hawley farm into the Ag Easement Program are: back row – John Benscoter – Vice Chairman Susquehanna Co. Ag Preservation Board, MaryAnn Warren – County Commissioner representative to the Ag Preservation Board, Eleanor Kurosky – member Ag Preservation Board, Raymond Davis – Susquehanna Co. Solicitor; seated – Louis Hawley, Natalie Hawley.
The Hawley’s entered their home farm in the preservation program in December of 2000. This second parcel to enter the program adjoins their home farm and is used for hay and pasture. Their farming operation is in a final transition to certified organic producer. The dairy is a predominately grass-based seasonal dairy of 100 milking animals, 100 replacement heifers and calves, and 100 beef animals of all ages. This father and son operation has a PA preferred seal for direct marketing.
An agricultural conservation easement is a legal restriction on land development that limits the use of land to agricultural purposes. The application period runs from November 15 through January 15 each year. Applications are ranked according to soil quality, development potential, farmland potential and clustering potential. The highest ranking farm is considered for purchase first. The farm is then appraised to determine the easement value.
For more information contact: Marlene Bailey at (570) 278-1011 Ext: 101.
Dave and Gail Hankey are proud to announce the birth of their granddaughter, Kyla Jade Seidel, born on August 31, 2007. Kyla was born at Wilson Hospital, and weighed seven pounds, twelve ounces and was 21 inches long at birth.
The proud parents are Martin and Melanie (Stark) Seidel of Susquehanna. Kyla was welcomed home by her big brother, Tyler.
The Lanesboro Cemetery Association held a meeting on September 10 to discuss our progress with our “Beautiful Cemetery Project.” As many of you know, we received a grant last year and the main roadways were paved. We are now in the process of having the cemetery surveyed and once completed, chain link fence and new gates will be installed. The financing came from a grant that we received this year. An application has been submitted for next year for removal of some trees and cleanup, to be replaced with flowers and shrubs along the lines.
We are asking, please do not plant trees or shrubs on the graves! Flowers may be planted along the headstones if you’d like to do so. We also ask that you keep the area around the stone neat, as mowing does not include trimming around the stones. Once again, we are reminding everyone, if you place items on a loved one’s grave, please remember to remove them after a reasonable time, as we have no way to dispose of them. We appreciate your cooperation in helping to keep the cemetery beautiful.
Lots are available. If you are interested in purchasing a single, double, full or cremation lot, call Bill at 853–4524. Prices remain intact for the remainder of the year, but like everything else on the rise, our prices will change the beginning of 2008.
Our equipment shed badly needs a new roof and a paint job. If anyone is interested in helping us get this done, please call Bill at 853-4524. We’d appreciate any help with labor, donations or monetary donations (can be mailed to: Lanesboro Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 124, Lanesboro, PA 18827). There is lots to be done to help us achieve our goal.
The round and square dance and chicken barbecue to be held Saturday, September 29, 6:30 p.m. at the Clifford Township Fire Hall will be co-sponsored by the Mt. View Garden Club and Clifford Township Volunteer Fire Company. Music by Terry Rockwell. All tickets sold in advance and available at Clifford Supply, Endless Mountain Pharmacy and Gerber Real Estate. Also by calling Betsy at 222-9553, Joyce at 222-4706 or Dawn at 679-2276. Deadline for ticket sales, September 24.
In other Mt View Garden Club News, the September meeting was held at the home of member, Cyndi McCawley on Wednesday evening, the 12. Bob Richards gave an informative presentation of growing and caring for dahlias. A brief meeting followed and refreshments were served.
The annual meeting of the club will be held on Wednesday, October 10, 7 p.m. at the Clifford Township Fire Hall. The speaker will be Lee Nelson, who served for many years as the head of the Master Gardener program at Cornell Cooperative Community College and is a consultant on horticulture for civic beautification in the Binghamton area. All are welcome to join and hear Ms. Nelson's interesting and educational presentation.
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