Wyalusing’s Fall Festival Draws Large Crowd.
By David Keeler
“It was a wonderful day.” That’s how Wendy Gaustad, executive director of the Greater Wyalusing Chamber of Commerce, described last Saturday’s Fall Festival.
The festival turned Wyalusing’s Main Street into an open-air bazaar with some 30 vendors lining the street, which was blocked off to traffic. There was music, food and, best of all, lots of sunshine and warm temperatures.
“This was our best crowd ever,” Gaustad said. There was concern that attendance might suffer because the North Branch Triathlon, which is usually held in conjunction with the festival and brings over a hundred athletes and their families to Wyalusing, was canceled due to flood damage along the course. But the wonderful weather apparently helped make up for the missing triathletes.
“We polled all the vendors along Main Street and most did better than last year,” Gaustad said.
The Wyalusing Swing Choir, the WVHS Senior Chorus, Whipple’s Dance Studio and others performed in the Tuscarora-Wayne Community Room inside the chamber building. Outside, a husband and wife duo called Cracked Walnuts strolled along Main Street and entertained the crowd. Jeff Ausfahl of Mt. Bethel played the banjo and sang, while his wife, Janet, accompanied him on the washboard.
Fran Warne of Lake Winola won a quilt valued at $1,200 that was created especially for Fall Festival by Pam Quentin and Val Hill. The squares were contributed by people from throughout the region.
The previous evening the festival officially kicked off at a well-attended reception at Grovedale Winery, where there was bluegrass music by Louie Setzer and the Appalachian Mountain Boys and pop music by Midnight Sun.
The Wyalusing Rainbow Club began cooking chicken for the event at 5:30 a.m. Saturday. They served barbecued chicken halves on Main Street and near the Route 6 barbecue pit. At the Main Street location, the club also offered homemade salads and soft drinks to complement the chicken, which is basted with a secret barbecue sauce the club has used for decades. Normally the club sells 600 chicken halves, but due to the missing triathletes, sales were limited to 400 halves, which were gone by early afternoon.
Gaustad said she couldn’t have been happier with the way this year’s festival turned out. “I think this was the best weather we ever had,” she said.