Harleysville church set to host annual peach festival
)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.
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.