Participants in the first planning meeting for Tunkhannock River Day, held at the Wyoming County Cultural Center on March 28, included (above, front, from left) Rich Fitzsimmons, Katy Stockdale, Diane Turrell, Margie Young, Jessica Shaffer, Erica Rogler, Tina Champluvier, (back) Art Coolbaugh, Debbie Dowling, Lynelle Welch, John Williams, David Buck, Dana Rockwell and (not pictured) Rick Hiduk.
Organizers and supporters of the 13th annual River Day at Tunkhannock met at the Wyoming County Cultural Center (WCCC) on March 28 to discuss entertainment, exhibitor and vendor options, potential presentations, and expanded opportunities for people to get out on the Susquehanna River. The possibilities brought to the table were exciting, and meeting participants have been tasked with reaching out to and getting confirmations for both returning and new activities and performers.
River Day, which draws 1,000 or more people to Riverside Park in Tunkhannock each year, will be held on Saturday, July 22. John Williams, an active member of the Tunkhannock Riverside Park Commission, will return as emcee for the event, and the Ziegers (below) are confirmed as entertainers. The family act will also conduct a music workshop.
Rebecca Lesko from the Endless Mountains Nature Center will bring a number of woodland creatures for an educational presentation, and river outfitters David Buck and Art Coolbaugh committed to organizing paddling trips of various lengths from upriver points to Tunkhannock. Buck will also give a presentation on the Susquehanna River’s past, present, and future. The Kitson Arts Alliance is slated to display river- and nature-related creations by local artisans.
While it is assumed that several popular food vendors and exhibitors from previous years will return, additional ideas for displays, presentations and the sale of nature-based products were discussed. Suggestions included archaeological artifacts, butterflies, snakes, Native American history, and water gardens. More local produce was proposed and, with last year’s record heat in mind, increased access to bottled water was deemed a must.
A number of local musicians’ names were brought to the table, as well as the possibility of involving a high school ensemble or poetry group. The cost for entertainment is covered by the Overlook Estate Foundation.
The prospect of expanding the event brought to light the need for additional volunteers. Erica Rogler and Margie Young of the WCCC acknowledged that volunteers have always been an integral part of River Day, from set-up through break-down, including parking directors. Buck noted that it would also be helpful to have volunteers along the river bank who could assist those arriving in canoes and kayaks for the event.
Readers interested in volunteering on July 22 should contact Margie Young at 570-996-1500.