Food, Fun And Fellowship At Wells Tannery Homecoming
Spirit, love of community and a willingness to never give up may be what makes the residents of the small village of Wells Tannery so unique.
For Wells Tannery native Byron Helsel, keeping the village’s community park open and functioning remains an important issue on his priority list. Along with fellow members of the park’s board of directors, Helsel will see the organization’s countless months of work come to fruition this Saturday.
July 27 marks the much-anticipated 66th annual Wells Tannery Homecoming, which will bring current as well as former residents to the community park for food, music and a chance to reconnect with family, neighbors and friends.
The event will get under way with the 11 a.m. parade that will convene on the northwestern end of town. Advance registration for the late morning parade is not required to participate, and lineup is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. along Route 915. As in previous years, individuals will be stationed at both ends of the parade route that runs up and down West Tannery Road before turning off onto Cove Road and coming to an end at the park.
Fire equipment and trucks from area volunteer fire companies are expected to be on hand for the parade, and event organizers remain hopeful they will see their fair share of marching and twirling groups, bicyclists, horseback riders, church groups, fourwheelers and antique vehicles. Any participants operating all-terrain vehicles to and from the parade should have the four-wheeler decorated in advance in order to travel legally along the roadways.
The parade will be lead by Wells Valley resident Dick Johnson, who was hand-selected by the park’s board of directors to serve as grand marshal. Selection, according to Helsel, park president, is based on age as well as availability and willingness to participate.
Immediately following the parade, automobile enthusiasts are urged to report to the community park for the fourth annual car and truck show. Registration is $10 per vehicle, and all makes and models of vehicles are welcome.
Trophies will be awarded at 3:30 p.m. in several categories, including Best of Show, Director’s Choice and top-15 entries. Burnouts, racing, loud music and alcohol are strictly prohibited. Additional information concerning the car and truck show can be obtained by contacting Ken Keebaugh at 717-987-4217 or email@example.com.
In addition to the parade and car show, attendees shouldn’t miss out on the food and fellowship, which never seem to disappoint. Helsel said local residents will again be heading up the food sale this year, and, in following menus of years past, will offer barbecue chicken, barbecue and roast beef sandwiches, french fries, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, homemade pies and cakes and beverages.
Hand-dipped ice cream will be scooped up this year by the the parents and members of the Forbes Road Junior/Senior High Band overseen by director Ryan Wade. The band will be using the ice cream sale’s proceeds for the purchase of new uniforms.
Attendees shouldn’t forget to bring a lawn chair to sit back, relax and enjoy the live entertainment that is scheduled to run through 9 p.m. Bedford resident Dick McConnell will serenade the crouds with his old-time, back porch music through the lunch hour until 1 p.m. D.J. Tommy DeShong will spin some 60s and 70s music between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Also new to the stage this year are the Friends Creek Pickers, who will play between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by crowd favorites New Connection.
Vendors spots are always available for local residents interested in displaying their crafts and wares, said Helsel, who noted the night will come to an end at 9 p.m. with the annual raffle. The drawing includes a first-place prize of a Remington 870 12-gauge 3” magnum or $300 cash; second-place prize of a Ruger American .270 rifle with bolt and clip; third-place prize of $200 cash; fourth-place prize of a $100 Sheetz gift card; and fifth-place prize, a limited production print of the Wells Tannery grandstand by McConnellsburg resident Tom Duffey. Tickets are $2 each or three for $5.
Helsel indicated all proceeds from the day’s event are earmarked for the maintenance and upkeep of the community park. Any residents wishing to make a donation to the Wells Tannery Community Park may do so by mailing the organization at P.O. Box 1, Wells Tannery, PA 16691 or by contacting Donna Mendoza at 814-617-0840.