Despite a few weather hiccups, thousands again descended on this year’s Middletown Grange Fair on Penns Park Road in Wrightstown, making it one of the best events yet.
NEWTOWN BOROUGH >> From time to time, I enjoy taking a walk through town and exploring the sights and sounds of small town life. It not only clears my head, it's a great way to get some exercise. Here's a short photographic essay of some of the scenes I found gracing my path. Maybe they have graced your's as well.
It wasn't record-breaking heat, but it was on the hot side as the Mercury played a game of cat and mouse with the 90s. So as firefighters Joe Martindell and Scott Ratcke arrived at the Newtown Elementary School, eager youngsters from Camp Newtown ready for this year's "wet down" rushed to greet the fiery red engine, which glistened in the late June sun. As the Newtown firefighters unscrewed a fire hydrant and hooked up a hose line, the kids watched every movement with unbridled enthusiasm, almost in a hypnotic stare. Suddenly, a loud horn split the hazy afternoon air sending the 160 campers scrambling into the school's parking lot as they braced themselves for the soaking of their young lives.
NEWTOWN >> As the temperature hung in the mid-90s at Walt Snyder Stadium, the Class of 2017 kept its cool using mini-fans and lining up for frequent cups of water at coolers strategically positioned on the field. As the Class sat together for its final time before departing in all directions, their classmates offered a few parting words, some sage advice on achieving success and even a cautionary note about motion sickness.
The youngest - cutely dressed in spring colors and Easter outfits - were the first to scramper onto the field with their parents in tow. They were followed by a string of age groups up to and including teens, grandparents and adults. It took hours for volunteers to fill the more than 7,000 plastic eggs with prizes. But it took just a matter of minutes for the kids, adults and grandparents to scoop them up from the grassy fields. In what seemed like the blink of an eye the plastic eggs, donated by the First National Bank of Newtown, disappeared from the fields in the pre-Easter dash of enthusiasm. Probably the craziest moments of the morning - and something unique to the Newtown egg hunt - came when the adults were invited to join the hunt. No sooner had Petrucci shouted the word “go,” every egg on the field had been scopped up by the adults in a frenzied race across the grass. “It was like they had vaccums on their arms just sucking them up,” said Newtown Township Supervisor Gerry Couch, who knew enough to jump to the sidelines before the adults hit the field. “It was amazing. They went across the field as a group and everything behind them was clean.”
The retelling of the birth of Christ - one of the most sacred events on the Christian calendar - unfolded for its 15th year inside the school’s all purpose room with students sharing the story of the virgin birth, which according to scripture, took place inside a lowly stable in the city of Bethlehem. As they portrayed the true meaning of Christmas, the eighth graders, directed by teachers Jessica Wagner and Gen Thiers, portrayed the Blessed Mother Mary, Saint Joseph, the Angel Gabriel, the three kings, the shepherds and the inn keepers. They also performed as part of an Angel Choir.
Billed as the biggest Holiday Parade in Bucks County, the march stepped off with Newtown Borough Police Chief Anthony Wojciechowski and motorcycle officers from Newtown Township leading the way followed by a color guard from American Legion Post 440 and the 1st Crossing Volunteers, an 18th century re-enactment group from Crossing Community Church who paused occasionally along the route to fire salutes. Newtown Borough Mayor Charles Swartz tipped his top hat to the people lining the streets as he rode by with State Representative-elect Perry Warren and borough councilor Tara Grude-McLaughlin. The Newtown Democrats and the Newtown Republicans also joined the march, including District Attorney Matthew Weintraub, Bucks County Controller Mike Gallagher and Newtown Township Supervisors Ryan Gallagher and Kyle Davis. Five string bands, including Ferko, Uptown, Quaker City, Aqua and Greater Kensington had people dancing in the streets - and on the sidewalks - to the unique Philadelphia “show of shows” sound.
Led by the award-winning Council Rock High School North Marching Band, several hundred costumed children and parents took part in this year's walk, stepping off from the Stocking Works on South State Street and concluding at the Newtown Fire Association where the Council Rock North Band performed for the gathering and Mayor Charles "Corky" Swartz announced the winners of the costume contest. Joining this year’s march were Danielle Craven, dressed as Father Time; members of the Ghostbusters; Doc Brown and Einstein from the movie “Back to the Future,” Minnie Mouse, the Super Mario Brothers, characters from the movie, “Star Wars,” lots of Princesses, the Flash, Wonder Woman, Super Girl, Captain America, among many others. Even The Pope made an appearance. Well, it was actually Molly and Irene Willis costumed as the Holy Father and a num. The march also featured the Rickards family of Newtown, who came dressed in an “Under the Sea and On Land” theme with Rick and Barb as giant blue and pink jelly fish; Jen as an Angler fish; Grason as a clown fish; Branson as a pelican; and Hudson as Humpty-Dumpty. Tossing the pigskin around were Joseph and Michael Hoffman of Newtown, dressed in green and white Philadelphia Eagles game shirts. Their mom, Diane, came dressed as a referee.
Newtown >> The ghosts, pumpkins, black cats and spooky spiders are back and they’re decorating windows up and down State and Sycamore streets making for a frightful sight. After being rained out on Saturday, upwards of 100 budding artists fanned out along the streets on Sunday where they spent part of the day transforming storefronts windows into Halloween scenes as part of the town’s Halloween Art Scene.