Parade kicks off third day of LeRaysville Labor Day Celebration
Despite the threat of rain, people gathered Monday morning along LeRaysville's parade route. Some toted lawn chairs, and others - mostly children - held plastic bags to carry the collection of candy they would amass during the half-hour event.
Still others brought umbrellas, in case the sprinkles that arrived in the area around 10 a.m. turned into a full-blown rain. But just as members of the Northeast Bradford Memorial VFW Post 6824, carrying flags, took the parade's leading steps, the rain stopped as if on cue, and the parade went forward without a drop in sight.
The Northeast Bradford High School marching band and the Wyalusing Adult Band worked up the crowd with performances. Several local and regional fire departments, including a fleet from the LeRaysville-Pike Volunteer Fire Company, host of the annual three-day Labor Day Celebration, honked their sirens and tossed Tootsie Rolls to the children's delight.
Others who appeared in the parade included several churches and local businesses, an ambulance from H.O.P.S. EMS, Boy Scout Troop 89 of LeRaysville, NEBALL, county commissioner Doug McLinko and state Rep. Tina Pickett. Participants rode in classic cars, on antique tractors, and on horseback.
Attendees made their way to the fire company's grounds, a short walk up Route 467, where the midway and Chinese auction opened immediately following the parade. Still others lined up at the town's social hall for a ham dinner, where the line remained out the hall's door throughout the morning.
For a third day, spectators cheered on teams playing in the Joe Donovan Memorial Softball Tournament, with games starting in the morning and the championship match scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
The fire company's hall buzzed with people buying tickets for the 502-item Chinese auction, where prizes included a bicycle, a grill, games and toys, decorations, a skateboard, gift certificates and baskets. One of the more popular items, a 37-inch flat-screen television, already had three milk jugs full of tickets Monday morning, said Jeff Flanagan, who joined other volunteers in preparing additional tickets to be sold Monday.
The department had sold over 6,000 tickets, at five for $1, by Monday morning, Flanagan said. By the end of ticket sales at 4:30 p.m., he expected sales to top 7,000 tickets.
"We're probably going to break a record this year," Flanagan said.
The fire department also held a traditional auction of a pair of tickets to the American Idol concert Sept. 8 in Reading. The tickets were donated by Phil and Sandy Jewett, Flanagan said.
At the midway, popular amusements included a cake wheel, games of chance, children's games and a performance by the band Heart and Soul.
A game called the "dime pitch" pulls in about $1,000 every year on its own, said volunteer Bonnie Keeney. Participants toss dimes into teacups, shot glasses, and other glassware, winning the dishes in which their dimes land.
In recent years, the department has made shot glasses each year to commemorate the festival that participants can win at the dime pitch. This year, 72 of the collectible glasses were made, Keeney said. "I hear they're the popular item at parties in LeRaysville," she said.
The children enjoy the game the most and "leave with boxes of the stuff," much of which is donated back to the game, Keeney said. A children's dime pitch with plastic glasses was recently added, she said.
Dwight Lent of Herrickville racked up several glasses Monday with the assistance of his daughters, Jennifer and Catherine. One shot glass he won had the year 1955 inscribed on it. Two years ago, he said he won beer glasses from Germany.
"We come to this every year," Lent said. "Sometimes you can pick up antiques."
Money raised from the annual event benefits the LeRaysville-Pike Volunteer Fire Company.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.