SunFest fills town to overflowing
— SunFest 2016 started with a parade and ended with a vintage baseball game.
This was the 27th year for the popular street festival, which originated with the idea of attracting shoppers to downtown businesses.
Officials with the Rising Sun Chamber of Commerce considered this year’s SunFest to be a huge success. At least 112 vendors set up for the event in Center Square, extending into the Howard Bank parking lot off Pearl Street.
The chamber added two new entertainment events this year: a tug of war, pitting the chamber against town officials, and a pie eating contest.
Rising Sun resident John Kornak said he came prepared to devour a pie in record time.
“It was years and years of watching professional hot dog eating contests,” Kornak said of his winning style.
He was one of five adults competing. After a winner was declared, the cleanup of faces began. Kristen Nguyen dabbed at her face with a tissue.
“I got pie up my nose,” the Lincoln University, Pa. woman explained.
The chamber defeated town officials in a best of three competition for the tug of war.
In the first heat, Rising Sun Police officers Stephen McKinney and Daniel Stickney jumped on the chamber’s side at the last minute and pulled them to victory. As they walked away from the scene, Commissioner Allen Authenreath called them out. His pronouncement to each officer that “you’re fired” was followed with good-natured laughter.
By the third pull, both officers and Police Chief Chip Peterson helped the mayor and commissioners get a win.
As the vendors closed up shop for the day, SunFest moved to the baseball field behind Rising Sun Middle School. There, a vintage baseball game between the Base Ball Club of Rising Sun against The Chesapeake Nine played out.
The Rising Sun Chamber of Commerce gets a sudden boost in the Tug of War when Rising Sun Police Officers Stephen McKinney and Daniel Stickney join their team.
Pilisa Mackey performs “Let It Go” as part of the SunFest entertainment.