Bubbler Festival 2018

Bubbler Foundation members Ken Stoltz, Justin Doty, Brett Sheaffer and Dallas Bailey watch the nearly 500 rubber ducks travel down the Yellow Breeches Creek for the regatta at the Bubbler Foundation Festival in 2018.

The event may be free to attend and vendors don’t have to pay for space to sell their wares and goods, but the Bubbler Foundation Festival this Labor Day weekend has yet to encounter any difficulties in coming together, and that’s mostly due to the community’s interest.

The festival is entirely paid for by 41 sponsors and donors, with major sponsors this year being UPMC Pinnacle, South Mountain American Legion and the White Circle Club. That effort is just a visible reason the festival has continued to be popular in South Middleton Township.

“The community really rallies around it,” said Justin Doty, vice president of the Bubbler Foundation’s board of directors. “The free snow cones don’t hurt.”

The festival and fireworks return Sunday, with festival activities taking place at South Middleton Township Park from 1 to 5 p.m., and with the fireworks at Boiling Springs High School’s football stadium.

The fourth annual festival will again feature plenty of activities for children and families, including face painting, bubble machines, misting tent, bounce houses and a balloon artist. The Steve Morrison Band will perform live music at the park, and Boiling Springs’ Sugar Shack has provided its snow-cone machine to provide free snow cones while supplies last.

The Rubber Ducky Regatta will take place at 3 p.m. and award those who pick the ducks that come in first, second, third and last place.

The regatta is a popular and important fixture of the foundation and the township’s Labor Day celebrations. Although the festival is free to attend, those who purchase rubber ducks make the regatta a big fundraiser for the Bubbler Foundation. About 100 rubber ducks were already sold at the Day at the Lake event in Boiling Springs, and organizers estimate about 500 to 600 are sold each year.

The rubber ducks will still be for sale before the start of the regatta, and can also be purchased through the foundation before Sunday’s event. Along with events like the annual dinner and its September golf outing, the regatta helps the Bubbler Foundation support some of its initiatives. That can include everything from helping the school district buy gym mats, cross country uniforms and French textbooks, to helping the community and other nonprofits, Doty said.

“We’re a unique foundation because we’re in one township, one school district,” he said.

It’s the foundation, though, that gets help every year to put the festival together without fail. One big part of that planning involves the annual fireworks display, which precedes the formation of the inaugural Bubbler Foundation Festival four years ago.

Perennial performer Carlisle Town Band will entertain the crowd at 6:45 p.m. at the high school stadium as guests wait for the fireworks, which are scheduled to take off at dusk. In the event of inclement weather, information will likely be posted on the Bubbler Foundation and South Middleton Township Facebook pages.

For more information about the event and for a map of where activities will take place, visit the Bubbler Foundation’s website at www.bubblerfoundation.org.

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Email Naomi Creason at ncreason@cumberlink.com or follow her on Twitter @SentinelCreason