The 24th annual Fountain Festival kicked off Friday in Newville. The festival was founded in 1996, on the 100th anniversary of the William McKinley-era fountain at the center of town.

People in the area look forward to the festival all year. “It’s a hometown thing,” said Dori Lezzer, as she cut the first slice out of a pecan pie, which she was selling alongside other volunteers for the Big Spring Senior Center. “You see people that you only get to see once a year.”

“It’s like one big family seeing each other,” Beverly Ickes said. She had just finished a slice of pecan pie, which she called “delicious.”

On a typical day, there are only a few restaurants in Newville. But this weekend, food vendors filled Parsonage Street, serving a colorful variety of cuisine. There were Thai spring rolls, barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, Italian pasta in a cup, and “walking tacos” made in Doritos bags.

An annual book sale in front of the John Graham Library drew a crowd. Hardcovers were $1, paperbacks 50 cents. Amy Orner bought nine books. Last year she bought 17. Orner doesn’t live in Newville anymore but she came back for the book sale.

“One of the big goals is to promote literacy,” said Becky Whigham, vice president of the Friends of the John Graham Library. “We want to make the price low so that everybody can afford books.”

At 5:30 the Shippensburg Swing Band kicked off their set with a rendition of Earth Wind and Fire’s “Celebration.” The group played a set of standards from the 1940s to the ‘70s.

People were digging the tunes. Gary Hoover thought the band’s rendition of Glen Miller was phenomenal. “This is what I came for,” Hoover said. “And the food.”

At 7 p.m., the crowd sat down in lawn chairs aside Big Spring Avenue, eagerly anticipating the start of the parade.

The color guard led the way, followed by the Newville mayor, the Cumberland Country dairy queen and a procession of antique cars, hot rods, trucks and motorcycles.

A baking contest and talent contest are scheduled for Saturday morning. At noon the rubber duck derby kicks off, and the winners of the car show will be announced at 2:30 p.m.

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