Mt. Pleasant counting down to festival time
In less than 24 hours, sections of Washington Street and Diamond Street will come alive as the borough welcomes its annual Mt. Pleasant Glass and Ethnic Festival.
The festival begins on Friday and continues through Sunday.
“We're getting there,” Glass and Ethnic festival committee member Marie Dawson said. “There are a lot of little, last-minute details that have to now be taken care of.”
All the colored banners are hung; the electricity is hooked up; and the area is cleaned, but there is still some attention needed to officially open the festival for its expected hundreds of visitors.
“We'll start to close off the upper section of Washington Street first to get the stage set up there and the striped tents,” volunteer Rich Kujawa said.
Kujawa said they also will begin putting up protective fencing to keep visitors out of residents' yards and off private property.
“We'll start running the fencing now and put up the signs,” Kujawa said. “That's so people won't go where they aren't supposed to.”
The committee and volunteers have been working on the festival setup for nearly two weeks, getting the grounds ready and the lights hung on the gazebo for the daily Sparkle Spectacular, which has become a highlight every evening of the festival.
“There is a lot of work that goes into the Sparkle Spectacular,” festival committee co-chairman Jeff Landy said of the event that was launched by late brother Dan Landy several years ago. “They spend a lot of time putting up the thousands of lights that are part of the show. This year we'll have different music, so it will be a different show for anyone who has seen it in the past.”
The festival will feature more than 100 vendors, who will be traveling from all over the area to participate. Many will arrive Thursday afternoon.
“The vendors with the big trucks will start coming in after 3 on Thursday,” Dawson said. “Then everyone else will start to come.”
There is always the hustle and bustle of the final days leading up to the festival, too.
“There is so much to do in the last final days,” Dawson said. “A lot of little things that need done. By themselves, they aren't much. But when you put them all together, it's a lot of last-minute things that we have to do.”
However, after 27 years, the committee has it down to a science and members are confident that when the festival opens at 11 a.m. on Friday, they'll be ready.
“We'll be all ready to go,” festival co-chairman Gerald Lucia said. “We have a lot of great volunteers and a lot of help. There is always so much to do at the last minute, but we'll do it. We'll be ready.”
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.