Rain hampers Mount Carmel festival
MOUNT CARMEL - Despite rainy weather that significantly reduced the crowd, Saturday's 16th annual Oak Street Festival sponsored by Mount Carmel Lions Club raised approximately $1,200.
Sixty-four vendors including various food, craft, game and informational booths promoting businesses set up shop on Oak Street between Third and Fifth streets at 9 a.m. Vendors started attracting many customers until a steady rain fell into the early afternoon hours, which dampened attendance.
Most of the vendors continued to sell their wares and refreshments until 3 p.m.
Musical entertainment also was provided during the festival.
Although he was disheartened by the inclement weather, festival chairman Deno Langis was grateful to the vendors and patrons who supported the event.
"We raised about $1,200," Langis said. "We would have done a lot better if the rain didn't ruin things, but you can't control Mother Nature. Putting this together is a major project. It took a lot of time and effort and we had to turn eight to 10 vendors back this year because we had such a great response. We might expand the area for the festival next year."
He added, "The festival was created as a way to give back to the community and make money. We accomplished both these goals."
In addition to the popular food and craft vendors, Langis said booths featuring home improvements and energy conservation also were available. "We had a good mixture of vendors," he said.
New this year were three inflatable attractions for children provided by Fast Break Inflatables, Williamsport. Unfortunately, when the rains came, Langis said the attractions had to be taken down for fear of kids slipping and falling.
The festival, one of the organization's most important fundraisers, helps support the club's most notable project, the holiday Meals on Wheels program, in which an average of 160 meals are prepared and delivered to needy residents on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day and Easter.
Other projects sponsored by the Lions Club include spaghetti dinners in the spring and fall, free eye exams and glasses, hospital beds, ambulatory equipment, the annual Santa parade, the Christmas tree raising at Charlie McAndrew's car lot at Seventh and Oak streets, a teener league baseball team, award dinners for the high school track team and the Mike Terry Awards. The club also makes numerous donations to charitable organizations.