The streets of downtown Huntingdon will be filled with visitors eager to welcome spring and take part in the 15th annual Mayfest celebration Saturday, April 27.
The event is unique to the community for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Mayfest always takes place in April.
“We always say it’s because we’re quirky. Everything in Huntingdon County tends to be one day off. We celebrate July 4 on July 3, Oktoberfest is in September and Mayfest is in April,” said Mayfest chair Linda DeArmitt. “The real reason is that it was in May when it first started, but vendors were starting to get booked up after May 1. Everyone was looking for a spring event and that’s how we got started.”
The festival is also singular in that from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the length of Washington Street from William Smith Street to Eighth Street will be transformed with displays representing historical eras such as the Renaissance, Colonial era, Victorian era, the 1950s and Woodstock.
“We are the only event of its kind on the east coast, with five themes represented at one event,” DeArmitt said. “The fact that people can wear costumes is a big plus.”
DeArmitt said between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors are expected. Many of those visitors travel from outside the area to attend event that combines vendors, live music, games, displays, historical re-enactors and food — with costumes encouraged for everyone, visitors and vendors alike.
Entertainment will take place on each block, with the main stage at Desert Garden Day Spa and the “Backyard Stage” at Stone Town Gallery.
Musical performances include Derek Heidel from 9-11 a.m., Dylan Miller from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nick Miller from 1-3 p.m. and Vinyl Stripes from 3-5 p.m., all at Colonial Times; the Sharptones from 9 a.m. to noon and Dan & Galla from 1-4 p.m., both at Back to the Fifties; the 49th Infantry Band all day at the Victorian Era; Breakfast with Grace Fala from 9-10 a.m., Phil Sukenik from 10-11:30 a.m., Flipside with Grace and Rhonda from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Anita Roseborough from 1:30-2:30 p.m., all at Stone Town Gallery; the Backyard Rockers from 9-11 a.m., Reboot from 11 a.m. to noon and from 1-2 p.m., Hawestone from 2-4 p.m., Force of Habit from 4-6 p.m. and Backlash from 6-8 p.m., all at Desert Garden Day Spa; and Full Kilt from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30-3 p.m. at the Renaissance Faire.
Street performances will include Graham Curtis chalk drawing beginning at 9 a.m. and a demonstration by students from Huntingdon Dance Academy and Co. from noon to 1 p.m. at Fifth and Washington streets; Tir Na Nog Traditional Irish Dancing at 1:30 p.m. and belly dancing demonstrations throughout the day. A Tang So Do demonstration will take place from 11-11:30 a.m. at the corner of Fifth and Washington streets and chainsaw artist Richard Hamilton will create sculptures from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. in the Art Space parking lot.
The Huntingdon Conservation District will be offering projects for kids at Portstown Park as well.
“There will also be a chalk art quilt drawing for kids to participate in sponsored by the Salvation Army,” she said. “That will be near the Huntingdon Community Center, where the Redbud Quilt Guild is having their quilt show.”
A yard sale will also be held at the Huntingdon Presbyterian Church parking lot.
“We have well over 150 vendors set for this year, including food and crafts,” said DeArmitt. “There will also be a couple of bake sales.”
For the safety of all attending, Mayfest-goers are reminded that no dogs, bikes, skateboards or scooters are permitted at the event.
DeArmitt also shared a reminder that vendors who set up in the borough during Mayfest must be those who are approved to operate through the event as a vendor’s permit is required by the borough.
Sponsors for this year’s Mayfest celebration are Allensville Planing Mill, Moove In Self Storage, SPE Federal Credit Union, Frank P. Hommon American Legion Post 24, Mutual Benefit Group, Hollenbaugh Trash and Recycling, Standing Stone VFW Post 1754 and J.D. Byrider Car Dealership.
For more information or to learn about sponsorships or vendor spots, visit www.mayfestofhuntingdon.org or the Mayfest of Huntingdon Facebook page.