Community Day will return to Meshoppen on Saturday, June 30. Proceeds will be used to renovate the playground (above) which has little to offer local children.
Story by Rick Hiduk/Photos by Cindy Cona
(Also published in the Rocket-Courier)
Meshoppen’s annual Community Day is planned for Saturday, June 30 in Community Park, between Canal Street and Meshoppen Creek. The family-friendly event will run from 11 am to 5 pm and feature live music, a chicken barbecue, a variety of vendors, basket raffles, a salute to veterans, kiddie tractor pull, and a drop-in classic car and antique tractor show. Proceeds will be used toward the purchase of playground equipment, which will begin in July.
“The Kitson Arts Alliance is proud to be presenting the line-up for Meshoppen’s Community Day,” said organization co-founder Dan Tompkins. The majority of the acts are in the country genre, including Farm Dog Duo, who will warm up as vendors put the finishing touches on their displays and the first guests arrive. They will play a full set from 4:30 to 5.
Gary Carl & Joseph Michael will perform from 11 am to noon. JT Maxwell will play from 1 to 2 pm, followed by Greater Revival from 2 to 2:45 pm and Logan Route from 3:45 to 4:30 pm. Greater Revival is the sole rock band on the bill and features four students from Elk Lake High School.
Additional entertainment includes the T-Town Twirlers, who will perform from 12:30 to 1 pm, wrapping up an hour of patriotic tributes to Meshoppen area veterans passed and present that will be conducted by Black Walnut American Legion Post 510.
In addition to slow-roasting the chicken for the barbecue, the Meshoppen Fire Company will have several pieces of apparatus on hand for children to see. Several local farmers have committed to bringing some antique tractors into town, and owners of antique vehicles, street rods and muscle cars are invited to stop by the event and park their classics in a special area where they can be properly admired. Ribbons will be awarded to the winners of the kiddie tractor pull, which is scheduled for 3 pm.
Additional food will be available, including hot pretzels. popcorn and smoked cheese. Nearly two-dozen vendors offering direct sales of a variety of products will also be on site.
For a third year, Cindy Cona has spearheaded the efforts, joined by a small but dedicated team of like-minded individuals. Attendance the first two years was brisk, with participants seemingly eager to make the event grow. While support has been strong in some ways this year. Cona is finding that a lack of volunteers could prevent the team from providing all of the activities originally planned.
“I thought that, each year, it would just come together more quickly,” said Cona, who noted that Bounce Party Rentals will be bring a Hydro-Blaster, a bounce castle or two, a bungee run, a dunk tank and a fish bowl game. Cona still needs additional people to staff these activities.
Cona is aware that there is growing competition for the date, as more events in the area are added to the calendar. She notes that Meshoppen’s Community Day is more kid-friendly than some other options on June 30. But, more than that, the enthusiasm for the event that she shows on social media might have given some the impression that “someone else will do it.” It’s also understandable that people want to enjoy the event with their families and not be tied down by it. “Even one- or two-hour volunteer shifts can make a big difference,” Cona remarked.
To also encourage more donations of raffle baskets, Cona has procured a fifty dollar steak house gift car that will be awarded to one of the basket donors.
To help Meshoppen’s Community Day reach its fullest potential, interested readers are encouraged to contact Cona at 570-240-5160 to let her know how or when you can support the event. To date, Cona and her helpers have raised about nine thousand dollars toward the purchase of playground equipment, with a goal of $10,000 to get things started.
Avery Cona (above) of Meshoppen has a seat in a fire truck at last year’s Community Day. There will be fire apparatus on display again this year.