If there’s one thing the organizers of a Day at the Lake want for their annual event, it’s to make sure attendees get something new every year.
This year, organizers hope to start something that will last beyond the August event in the village of Boiling Springs.
Save the Lake members Jorie Hanson and Liz Knouse helped start Day at the Lake last year and are looking at this Saturday’s event, among other things, as a sneak peak at a farmer’s market they plan to bring back in the spring and summer to the village.
“We have a lot of agriculture around here, so why not have it here?” Knouse said.
Knouse said Save the Lake is looking for farmer’s market vendors for both Saturday’s event and for the spring and summer weekend plans — interested vendors can message the group on Facebook — but there are already area groups and businesses signed up. While not all of the vendors who plan on being at the market next year can make it to Saturday’s event, Knouse said some of the ones that will be featured this weekend include Boiling Springs Longhorn Cattle Co., Carwood Farm’s beef, Whistleberry Farm, Sarah’s Floral Design and Good Keeper Farm CSA out of Gardners.
“We want to showcase some of the things that are happening in our backyard,” Hanson said.
For Knouse and Hanson, the effort is all about showcasing what the village and the area has to offer and keeping it community-oriented.
“We don’t want it to be a huge festival,” Knouse said, adding that they hope the grassroots event will stay as the old-fashioned “day at the lake” they intended when they first started.
Keeping it old-fashioned means the event is not a money-making venture for Save the Lake, according to Knouse. The group does not charge for any of the events or activities it will provide, nor does it charge for vendor space. It does, however, give the community organizations and youth groups a chance to get the word out about who they are, and they can collect funds for themselves in one location.
“We thought it would help them be in one location instead of going door-to-door,” Knouse said.
Those groups include the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The Boiling Springs VFW will sell food, with the proceeds being used for scholarships and the military.
“It’s super grassroots,” Hanson said.
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Although Hanson and Knouse are interested in keeping the event a little more low-key, they said there are plenty of activities to enjoy this Saturday around Children’s Lake.
Day at the Lake will again start with the Kids Fishing Derby, organized by the Yellow Breeches Anglers and Conservation Association and the local Lions Club. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m., and the fishing derby at the lake will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Though the opening ceremony with local officials, including state Sen. Mike Regan and South Middleton Township Manager Cory Adams, won’t start until noon, more activities are starting earlier, with the farmer’s market along Front Street and live music starting at 10 a.m., and children’s storytelling and walk with author Tracey Jones at 11 a.m. at the Bubble.
Along the lines of introducing people to Boiling Springs and its history, another new feature this year will be a “petting zoo” at Hanson’s house on Front Street, which was the location of the zoo Boiling Springs used to have. Instead of lions and tigers, Saturday’s event will give animal rescue groups Furry Friends Network and Speranza Animal Rescue the chance to showcase their dogs for a puppy zoo. The Pennsylvania Game Commission will be on location with its traveling pet van.
In addition to other children’s games, face painting, plein air painting and even cider from Grand Illusion Hard Cider and Big Hill Ciderworks, attendees can also stop by the information booth for a token for free ice cream at the Sugar Shack. Knouse said Sugar Shack will have a vendor space with snow cones, as well as open its doors on West First Street to offer the free ice cream. Sugar Shack will get some help from Hershey’s, which is also providing free ice cream for the event.
One of the popular features of the event is its focus on history. This year, there will be an Underground Railroad walking tour starting at Bucher Mansion at 1 p.m., and after the other activities end at 4 p.m., Knouse will bring back the popular Ghost Tour at 8:30 p.m. starting at the Clock Tower.
The tour last year ground traffic to a halt with the number of attendees, and it happens to be one of Knouse’s favorite parts of preparing for the event.
“I love spending time and meeting with the people who have been here a long time,” said Knouse, who gleans tales for the ghost tour from residents of the village. “I like getting the history from the people themselves.”
For those who attended last year, Knouse said she wasn’t able to use all of the stories she received, and she’s only gotten more stories in the year since.
Last year’s event attracted about 700 people, but more than numbers, Knouse and Hanson just hope for good weather and for attendees to enjoy what Boiling Springs has to offer.
“Even if it’s just 200 people, as long as they’re thinking they had a great time and got to know our area, that’s great,” Hanson said.