The annual Stay at Home Festival is set for Saturday, July 7 at Memorial Park in Jim Thorpe.
Hosted by the Jim Thorpe American Legion Post 304, the event features a multitude of activities, live entertainment, food and drink and a fireworks display to close out the night.
However, putting on this festival is no easy feat.
As a nonprofit, the legion works tirelessly throughout the year hosting fundraising events and collecting donations from sponsors and many local businesses and organizations.
Some of those events included featuring live music on Saturday nights at the legion, collecting donations at the door, and local patrons donating food to have dinner nights on Tuesdays at the Post.
The Women’s American Legion Auxiliary Post 304 hosted a spaghetti dinner one evening, and the Sons of the American Legion recently hosted a fundraising breakfast.
Mauch Chunk Trust Co. and Jim Thorpe National Bank also play a big part in making this event possible, as well as other local dignitaries and fire companies.
“We are very blessed to have two wonderful institutions and people like these in our community,” said Keith McQuait, commander of Post 304 and driving force behind organizing the festival.
“I can’t praise them enough,” he said.
The Jim Thorpe Borough Council generously waived the fee to rent Memorial Park to host the event, and they’ve also donated $200 to the Penn Forest Township Fire Police who help control traffic after the fireworks.
“They [borough council] put a lot of time and effort into what they do for the town,” McQuait said.
The Women’s Auxiliary and Legion Sons volunteer their time and work hard the day of the festival. The groups do all of the cooking, work the beer gardens and soda stands and assist festival attendees with anything they need.
Patrons are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets as to be comfortable during the fireworks display.
On the grounds there are also clean, lighted restrooms as well as outside accessible hand wash facilities.
The event is free and open to all ages and runs from 3-10 p.m. It is a rain or shine event.
The day’s schedule is as followed:
Noon: 3-on-3 basketball tournaments (starts prior to the festival).
3 p.m. Welcoming ceremonies.
3:30 p.m. Free kids games including blueberry pie eating contest, watermelon seed contest, potato sack races, balloon toss, water relay, peanut scramble and more. Lots of great prizes including two new bicycles.
6:30-10 p.m. Bust the Clown featured balloon art/animals.
3-11 p.m. Amusement rides by A&B Amusements.
3-5 p.m. The Pennsylvania Villagers (polka music).
5:30-7:30 p.m. The Bees Knees (rock music).
8-10 p.m. Nightwind (rock music).
10 p.m. Fireworks by Bixler Pyrotechnics.
If you or your company are interested in sponsoring or donating to the fireworks or the event for 2019, send an email to email@example.com or call 570-778-8867.
Donations can also be mailed to:
The American Legion Post 304
Attn: Festival Committee
20 W. Sixth St.
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
Story by Christopher Holland • The Current Contributing Writer