Homecoming Delights Crowd
Always a draw for northern Fulton County residents and natives, the Wells Tannery Homecoming continued to delight visitors Saturday when organizers pulled off a successful 65th annual event.
The July 28 homecoming headed by the Wells Tannery Community Park Board of Directors got under way at 11 a.m. with a 30-minute parade led by parade marshals Hope Wright and Helen Foreman. Riding in style in a red convertible, the women smiled and waved to the crowd while an array of fire truck and equipment from Hustontown, Six Mile Run and R.W.B.T. followed close behind.
Possibly one of the more memorable aspects of the parade, aside from “Trooper” Toby Wright and the Valley Forge, Pa. Pioneers, was the appearance of the Forbes Road Junior/Senior High Band. Conspicuously missing from the parade for at least 15 years, local residents tapped their toes to the musical selection entitled “Down” that was chosen by band director Ryan Wade.
On the heels of the parade, several antique and older model vehicles made their way to the park for the third annual car show overseen by organizer Ken Keebaugh of Hustontown. Keebaugh told the “News” 20 vehicles registered for the event.
Tom Van Fossen of Johnstown, Pa., took home the Best of Show trophy for his 2002 PT Cruiser “Woody.” Meanwhile, Wells Tannery’s own Jerry Wright showed off his 1932 Ford coupe, which was awarded the Director’s Choice trophy. A total of 17 trophies were awarded.
Byron Helsel confirmed that the homecoming was an “overall, successful day.” The ice cream scooped up by local residents was a big hit as were the tasty roast beef sandwiches served up with cakes, pies and sides in the modernized community park kitchen.
Helsel estimated the profit for the day at several thousand dollars even though the homecoming was competing with several other events that evening such as the Historical Society dinner auction and the Hustontown Area Volunteer Fire Co. open mic night.
Entertainment was also well received, as Dick McConnell took center stage for several hours and over the lunch rush. According to Helsel, McConnell performs at various nursing and retirement homes in Bedford County, armed only with his voice and keyboard.
“He does a nice job for us and at no charge,” Helsel noted.
As the community park is a nonprofit organization, Helsel stated the plan is to continue raising money through food sales, including during this fall’s presidential election. He added the county has been lending the park its financial support with ongoing Community Development Block Grant funding for various renovations. On slate for the near future is a handicapped accessibility upgrade to the restrooms.
“We certainly appreciate the help the commissioners have given us,” said Helsel, who pointed out Commissioner Irvin Dasher was on hand at Saturday’s homecoming to meet with local residents.