Har­leysville church set to host an­nual peach fes­ti­val

Souderton Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By Jen­nifer Con­nor

)oU WKH fiUVW WLPH Ln LWV PoUH WKDn 20 years of ex­is­tence, the Peaches & Stuff Fes­ti­val at BranchCreek Community Church boasts teth­ered hot air bal­loon rides.

Ev­ery year, the fes­ti­val is known for its peach pies that al­ways sell out. The very day of the fes­ti­val, nu­mer­ous vol­un­teers hand make 800 pies, as smells of warm peaches waft throughout the church and its grounds. The fes­ti­val is also known for its wDUP SHDFKHV oYHU wDIflHV wLWK ice cream, a crowd fa­vorite at the heav­ily at­tended an­nual fes­ti­val.

This year’s fes­ti­val will be held Satur­day, Sept. 8, from 11 a.m. un­til 5 p.m. at BranchCreek Community Church at 100 Main St., Har­leysville. Usu­ally the at­ten­dance hov­ers be­tween 5,000 and 7,000, but the church has the space to ac­com­pany the guests.

“We look at this event as our pay­back to the community,” said Suzanne Le­Van, BranchCreek’s di­rec­tor of events. “Ev­ery­thing is ac­ces­si­ble to the en­tire community be­cause we don’t charge very much.”

For $8, chil­dren get a wrist­band WKDW gLYHV WKHP DFFHVV Wo Ln­flDWDbles (in­clud­ing a moon bounce), a pet­ting zoo, pony rides and a kids craft tent. There also will be free hayrides, ac­cord­ing the event co­or­di­na­tors.

Inside the church, many lo­cal crafters will be sell­ing their hand­made crafts, turn­ing the church lobby into a craft bazaar for the day.

“It’s ac­tu­ally a tough year to get peaches be­cause of the early sea­son,” said Eu­gene Herold, co­or­di­na­tor of the fes­ti­val. The Peaches & Stuff Fes­ti­val team was still able to pull to­gether a heavy sup­ply of 1Hw -HUVHy SHDFKHV wLWK VoPH help of a church mem­ber who works for a pro­duce dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter in South Philadel­phia.

In ad­di­tion to peaches, many IooG YHnGoUV wLll EH on VLWH Wo fill hun­gry bel­lies. The food avail­able ranges from sal­ads and tacos to KDPEuUgHUV. &KLFN-fil-$ wLll HYHn EHHn SUHVHnW Wo fill Dny IDVW IooG crav­ings.

The New Dance Work­shop in Har­leysville will be per­form­ing at noon, 2 and 4 p.m., and a jazz trio that in­cludes a BranchCreek mem- ber will per­form at 3 p.m.

This is Herold’s third year act­ing as the co­or­di­na­tor of the peach fes­ti­val and he’s en­listed the ser­vice of around 200 vol­un­teers to pull the day off with­out a hitch.

“, fiUVW goW LnYolYHG Ln WKH IHVWL­val 10 years ago when I was a new mem­ber of the church,” Herold said.

Since then, he’s picked up more and more re­spon­si­bil­i­ties un­til he be­came the co­or­di­na­tor.

“It’s a nice community day and a way to see some of the busi­nesses in the area and the min­istries our church of­fers,” Herold said.

Sub­mit­ted pho­tos

A young girl has a lady bug painted on her face dur­ing a pre­vi­ous Peaches & Stuff Fes­ti­val at BranchCreek Community Church. Face paint­ing and other chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties will again be part of this year’s fes­ti­val, set for Satur­day, Sept. 8.

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