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Dunbar festival draws hundreds, despite rain

| Monday, Oct. 2, 2006

For the first time in five years, Dunbar Community Fest was threatened by heavy rains and cold weather Saturday.

Despite the inclement weather, several hundred people came out to show support for the town and to enjoy the events.

"This event has grown each year from the number of participants who set up stands to the number of people attending," event Chairwoman Cindy Moag said. "Despite the rain, we had about 100 people who participated in our race.

"But the number of participants in our car show is down because the owners don't like to take them out in the rain."

Other than some gravel and straw spread in the muddy spots, Moag said organizers didn't do anything different to prepare for the rain.

"The people have really come out and we had more organizations in the community participate this year than any other year," she said.

The committee allows community groups to set up food booths without having to worry about competition from outside vendors.

"All of our food is prepared and sold by the local churches or civic organizations," Moag said. "It's not that we don't want outsiders coming in, but we want to be able to support our local organizations."

One of the highlights of the event was having the Dunbar American Legion provide the color guard in the parade.

"The legion had sort of fallen by the wayside because the older members passed on and there wasn't a whole lot of interest, but now there are some newer members who have taken an active interest," Moag said.

The event boasted three trains, the Rainbow Train Express, caboose rides and the Fayette Central Railroad passenger train, which gave tourist rides.

"The passenger train has been a nice addition to our event, and in turn, it allows the train to get exposure," she said.

Moag said the festival is never without a great number of volunteers.

"The Eagle Scouts have made benches for the event that have been placed throughout the community," she said. "Everyone just works well together."

Sandy Rosensteel, of Connellsville, has been going to the event since it was started.

"I'm originally from Dunbar, and I come to show my support for the community and see all of my friends that I haven't seen for a while," she said. "It's really a community event that brings people together. It's a little town and everyone knows everyone."

This is the second year that Cheri Grubbs has attended the event.

"I just moved here and I run in the 5K," she said. "It's nice to see everyone come out and support the town."

Grubbs entered her golden retriever Maggie in the pet competition.

"I'm surprised by all that's offered here," she said. "I plan to continue coming back year after year."

Dunbar resident Carol Hall, who worked at the Dunbar Wesley Methodist Church bake sale, said the event brings people together.

"It also helps the churches raise funds for different needs," she said.

But she admitted she was surprised by the crowds.

"This is the coldest one yet," she said.

Moag said she was pleased with the day and looks forward to bigger crowds next year.

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