BY KEVIN MCCONLOGUE
After a one-year hiatus, one of Tunkhannock’s favorite events, Founders Day, will return in 2021.
The annual street fair that features art and regional food vendors and performers, will take place on Saturday, June 26, from 10a.m. to 4p.m., at the corner of East Tioga Street and Warren Street. Tunkhannock Business and Professional Association President Nancy Parlo said that the event is going to look as normal as it possibly can, but there will still be some restrictions.
“We are going to eliminate some things like the kids area and the bounce house that is usually set up,” Parlo said. “We are going to come up in the next couple weeks though with some kids activities to keep young children entertained.”
As for the vendors, Parlo said that they are going to be spaced out as much as possible. In a normal year, there are close to 150 vendors who set up stands at Founders Day. She said that there are already close to 100 who have signed up for this year’s event.
“We sent applications out earlier in the year, and they were returned quickly,” Parlo said. “When talking to some of them, they can’t wait to be able to see a lot of the customers again.”
Along with all of the vendors, there will also be a classic car show and a Model Ford car show for fans of classic automobiles. Parlo also said that the day will also be meant to spotlight the local businesses of downtown Tunkhannock, who may have lost revenue during the pandemic.
“We try to limit the amount of food vendors, because we want people to support all of the mom and pop restaurants here,” Parlo said. “We have really good ones that offer a lot of variety, and they need to be supported too.”
The Business and Professional Association isn’t the only group of people excited that Founders Day is making a return. Tunkhannock Mayor Stacy Huber is hoping that the festival will bring not only locals, but people from outside of the Tunkhannock area like it has in the past.
“I was ecstatic when I heard that the Business and Professional Association was moving forward with Founders Day,” Huber said. “It’s one of the days of the year that we see the most traffic in our downtown, and it was a big loss not being able to celebrate it last year.”
Even though the state is dropping all of the pandemic related restrictions at the end of this month, Parlo is still planning to keep the event as safe as possible.
“The footprint of the event will pretty much stay the same, with just a few changes,” Parlo said. “We don’t want anyone who may still be uncomfortable not to feel safe. The number one goal is to make Founders Day an enjoyable experience for everyone.”
But after a spring and summer of almost no events last year, Parlo expects this to be one of the most attended Founders Days in recent memory.
“I think people are going to find a new found appreciation for events like this,” Parlo said. “Sometimes you don’t appreciate something until it isn’t there anymore, and I think that people are really experiencing that now.”