Heritage Day returns to Washington Boro

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WASHINGTON BORO, Pa. (WHTM) — “We’re coming back, and I think people are ready to celebrate a little bit of normalcy, this is going to be a day to do so.”

Like many other gatherings and fairs, the Washington Boro Heritage Day Festival had to skip last year.

“Well, it was just the uncertainty of Covid, and trying to put something together,” Charlie Douts said. He is the President of the Blue Rock Heritage Center, the organizers of the event. “Not knowing the rules and regulations and precautions with the covid.”

But on Saturday, Oct. 16, the Festival will once again welcome people to Washington Boro Park.

“We will have Jesse the Reptile Guy, we’ll have a demonstration, of reptiles of Pennsylvania and the eastern area as well as some exotic reptiles,” Douts said. “Raven Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary and rescue will also be present, they’ll have some of the birds that they’re in the process of rehabilitating. The Circle Legacy, which is a Native American group, primarily trying to show what the culture of eastern Native Americans is like, so they’ll be there with activities. The local churches will be there, activities for children, we’ll have hayrides all day, we’ll have food, we’ll have a barrel train, we’ll have craft people selling some of their crafts and wares.”

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The first festival happened in 2001 when the Blue Rock Heritage Center was just getting started. They converted an old mill into a museum, and are currently residing and reflooring a bank barn for additional display and activity space.

“There was a group of us that just felt that the Washington Boro area is a very special place, along the river with the Native American heritage, and the farming heritage that we have,” Douts said.

They also linked up with another local tradition.

“The Heritage Day celebration is coupled with a local school, Penn Manor High School, who sponsors a tractor pull,” Douts said.

“The tractor pull was something that had started, so we kind of spoke with the high school, FFA group, and we coupled our activities together.”

Douts expects a good turnout.

“A lot depends on the weather,” he said. “But normally it’s beautiful this time of year in October, that’s why we selected October. The leaves are beginning to turn right along the river. The turnout varies with the weather, might have 500-600 people or so, which we feel is a good turnout.’

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