Written by: Beth Exley
I would say “as long as I can remember,” but it goes back much farther, the town of Brookville has hosted a Laurel Festival on the third week in June. Like so many charming small-town festivals, it has had ups and downs and many changes, some minor, some major. The Brookville Laurel Festival is now in it’s second year of a total revamping and experiencing great success. The festival is still held the third week in June. Planned at this time of year to celebrate the blooming of the beautiful mountain laurel. One of the best places to see the mountain laurel in bloom is at the Laurel Fields just outside of Sigel. VisitPAGO.com/mountain-laurel. The Brookville Laurel Festival is a 9 day festival with themes for every day.
June 8 will be the Laurel Queen Pageant. While 99% of the festival happens the third week in June, one major event happens prior to the festival and that is the Laurel Queen Scholarship Pageant. It is slated for June 8 at 7 pm at the Brookville Area High School. The theme for the 2019 Brookville Laurel Festival pageant is “Celebration” based on the popular disco song Kool and the Gang. The song tells everyone that “We are going to have a good time tonight” and that is exactly what those who attend the pageant at the Brookville Area High School on June 8 are going to do. This year eight young woman will compete in the scholarship pageant. The contestants will compete with a written essay, personal interviews, an evening gown competition, talent and an impromptu question. The new Queen will receive $1,500 in scholarship money. Cash awards will also be given to the first and second runner-up and a special cash prize to the contestant selected by her peers as Miss Congeniality. The pageant will begin at 7 p.m. There is no admission fee but donations are accepted.
Saturday, June 15 kicks off the week with Art in the Park on Main Street featuring craft, art, and games from 1 pm – 6 pm. Art in the Park blends games, art, and music into a daylong event that is sure to entertain everyone. The evening features a concert by Pork McElhinny at the Columbia Theater.
Sunday will be Family Faith Day in the Town Square. Pancake Breakfast starts off the day at 7am at Walter Dick Memorial Park, followed by a Strawberry Social in the Town Square at 1pm. The emergence of Christian rock has made faith relevant for a new generation. Starting at 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon four bands will take the stage. First up will be “The Worship Team” from the Christian Missionary Alliance Church. They will be followed at 4:30 by “Reach the Masses.” At 6:00 p.m. it will be “To The Throne” before the “Allan Scott Band” winds things up from 7-8:30 p.m. The concert will be held at the Town Square and is free. Bring your own chair.
Monday will be Game Day. Game Day is a day just to have fun. There is something for everyone to enjoy. If the popular Dungeons and Dragons game is your thing then you should join the tournament. If racing is for you, (provided you are under 12 years of age) then you should try the Laurel 500 race. For the really adventurous, there is Human Hungry Hippos on Main Street. (No Hippos are hurt during the playing of this game). Power Wheel races and a bouncy house are just a few of the events. Berry Relay for Life Team will have a duck drop at 7pm at D’Argy’s. Better yet, it is all free.
Tuesday will be Family Fun Day. When was the last time you rode a train on Main Street? Well you can on Family Fun Day. Barrel train rides are just part of the fun on Tuesday, June 18. Think you are a big eater? There are two ways to prove it: A pie eating contest – adults allowed and a hot dog eating contest. – age groups for this! You can build a friend, go sky high in the bouncy house, enjoy the Rock and Roll Pet Store and attend a twirlers workshop. Pet lovers can parade their pets in the annual pet parade on the courthouse lawn. Bring your cats and dogs, mice and mongoose, any pet can enter. Bring your pet (and a doggie bag) to the courthouse lawn on June 18. Bring the whole crew downtown for Family Fun Day.
Wednesday will be Heritage Day. Do you know what the Borough of Brookville and yo-yos have in common? If you want to find out, then you may enjoy taking the Historic Brookville Walking Tour. This is a completely different tour than last year. There will be 10 stops, all along Main Street. The tour is not only about buildings but also about the people who made Brookville. The tours start from the Town Square at 1:00 pm. A new feature this year is a peak into “Victoria’s Closet.” With the cooperation of the Jefferson County Historical Society, volunteer models will display dresses from the early reign of Queen Victoria through 1900. Brookville grew during the Queen’s reign and the architecture of the town reflects the period. Clothing experts who collect and create Victorian clothing will interpret the costumes. In addition, authentic clothing items will be displayed at the Opera House. Finger foods will be provided. Tickets are available at the Opera House. The show begins at 6:00 p.m. The evening ends with a concert by the ever-popular Moore Brothers band. The band plays music from the fifties through the 1970s.
Thursday will be Hometown Heroes Day. Please join in for a day of celebrating our Hometown Heroes. At 1pm a granite Memorial will be set and dedicated to World War II Veterans. At 5pm, the Pickering Street Bridge will be named and dedicated to James Slagle. Belle Tones will perform from 6pm – 9pm.
Friday will be Sidewalk Sale and Manufacturing Tours. For a complete list of Manufacturing Tours, go to Facebook.com/BrookvilleLaurelFestivalFriday is the day smart shoppers have been looking forward to all year, the Laurel Festival Sidewalk Sale. You just never know what you will find among the tables lining Main Street. The sales start at 8:00 am and better yet, it is a free parking day. If the sales get to be too much, drop down to the Brookville Fire Hall’s social room for the quilt show from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, which includes demonstrators and vendors in addition to the quilts. Don’t forget to stop by the famous Pine Creek Firemen’s Chicken BBQ. In the Town Square from 6pm – 9pm, listen to the sounds of “Stillwater Band.” After you have taken in all of the factory tours don’t forget the d’Argy Family’s annual “Movie on Main Street.” What’s playing? Only Jacob knows. Movie starts at dusk. There is no charge for this event.
Saturday will be EMS Day, Grand Parade and Fireworks. What is a festival without a parade? The Laurel Board wouldn’t know because we have always had a parade. The 2019 parade looks to be even bigger and better. Bagpipes, marching bands, floats and a fire truck or two will step off for the grand Parade at noon. Bring a chair and grab your space early. Before the parade visit the popular Paw Patrol, back again by popular demand. Kittanning Fireman’s Band will be in the parade and will perform immediately after. Following the parade “Billy and the Neptunes” will heat up the day at the Town Square stage. The popular Firemen’s Games will immediately follow the parade. There will be both kids and adult fireman’s games. The fun isn’t done. At 6:00 p.m. “Against the Grain” will rock out until 9:30. Don’t go home yet because the Grand Fireworks display will light up the night’s sky at 10:00 p.m. The fireworks will be set off from Memorial Park.
Sunday will be Autorama and Sporting Day. If you are a fan of fins and running boards, you should be on Main Street on Sunday, June 23 when some of the finest vintage cars will be on display from noon to 4:30. You may even see a car you once owned. The show will span Main Street and will include classic and modern cars as well as motorcycles of all makes and models. Clarion ABATE is in charge of the Motorcycle Show. The organizers said, “If it runs, bring it!” Trophies will be awarded for Best-of-show, Brookville Laurel Festival Queen’s Choice, People’s Choice and, new this year, a trophy selected by the participants in the show. The show will be held rain or shine. Registration forms may be found at email@example.com. Two new events have been added to the Sunday line-up, a weight-lifting competition will be held in the YMCA at 11:00 a.m. Bring out your inner Arnold and see how you stack up. At 1: 00 p.m. the young baseball players will square off for the first Home Run Derby. The event is sponsored by BWP Bats and will be held at McKinley Field. At 2:00 there will be a duck float starting at the Purple Heart (Blake’s) Bridge. A corn hole championship will begin at noon at the Town Square and run until someone wins. Dr. Steve Greenberg will open his private museum of antique and classic Cadillac cars to the public on Sunday, June 23 from 4-6 p.m. Dr. Greenberg’s collection includes dozens of pre-war and modern Cadillacs in what may be one of the largest privately held array of Cadillacs. Many of these cars are extremely rare but all depict the quality that has made Cadillac a by-word for excellence. The Cadillac collection may be found at the White Street Complex on Route 36 South in Brookville. Any Cadillac owner is encouraged to bring their own car and meet other Cadillac owners.
It is a week of fun filled activities that should not be missed. Pick your favorites and have a great time. If you are looking for more information on events in the PA Great Outdoors, go to Visitpago.com/events