Counting down to the Bavarian Fall Fest

File photo by Amy Cherry – Visitors to the 2017 Bavarian Fall Fest peruse the various vendor booths around the Diamond and boulevard area of downtown St. Marys.
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

The ninth annual Bavarian Fall Fest is just around the corner, taking place Sept. 14-16 in downtown St. Marys.
The weekend-long festival opens opens Friday at 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., and continues Saturday 9 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
“All vendor spots are full. This includes 99 craft vendors and 10 food vendors,” said Paula Weyant, festival chairwoman. “Spots filled up quickly this year. As our city continues to grow so does the Fall Fest.”
New this year is additional seating at the end of Center Street. An accordion player will perform Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.
A massive basket raffle, food, crafts, entertainment, Farmers Market, Folk Mass and pancake breakfast are among the main highlights of the festival.
Vendors offering a vast array of items such as jewelry, herbal products, bath and body items, candles, essential oils, craft items, house ware items, skincare, wooden signs and other pieces, children's items, ceramics, hair accessories, books, wreaths, various food items, and much more, will be situated along the Diamond and the Boulevard.
Setup begins at 8 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. Market Street and the adjacent municipal parking lot will be closed through the duration of the festival.
The festival's opening ceremony is set for Friday at 6 p.m. on the stage in the Market Street parking lot. John Salter of The River 98.9 is emceeing the ceremony, featuring the awarding of the Bavarian Fall Fest’s Person of the Year to Elkland Search and Rescue, and the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce's Business of the Year.
St. Marys Mayor Lou Radkowski is offering a welcome speech at the ceremony along with an opening prayer by Brad Brunner of First Baptist Church.
The open container law has been waived for Friday from 6-10 p.m. and Saturday from 2-10 p.m. Plastic mugs will be available for purchase in nearby drinking establishments and at the Fall Fest booth as no glass is permitted outside the businesses. Only beer and wine will be permitted outside of local drinking establishments.
Food vendors will be located inside the Market Street municipal parking lot.
Festival favorites ranging from authentic German cuisine such as Reuben sandwiches are being offered, along with smoked sausage, beef on wick, brisket, gourmet hot dogs, Philly and chicken cheesesteaks, and loaded fries, as well as sweet treats including ice cream sundaes, kettle corn, baked goods and chocolates.
The entertainment lineup includes Lawyers Guns and Money on Friday at 10 p.m., Chase and the Barons from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday followed by Dave Carr, a Frank Sinatra impersonator, from 4:30-6 p.m. and Green River Revival, a Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band from Canada from 7-10 p.m.
A Farmers Market is scheduled for Saturday from 9-11 a.m. in Casali's parking lot.
A pancake breakfast is scheduled for Sunday beginning at 7 a.m. at the Crystal Fire Department station on Erie Avenue.
After the conclusion of the Folk Mass, celebrated by Fr. Ross Miceli on the main stage on Sunday from 9:15-10 a.m., Bill Thompson will perform from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. This year marks a new starting time for the Mass.
Basket raffle winners will be announced Sunday at 2 p.m. on the main stage. Tickets sales end Sunday at noon. The raffle is once again staged in the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce parking lot.
All entertainment is free and located in the municipal parking lot.
The Kids Zone will keep youngsters entertained on Saturday from noon-5 p.m. Admission is free to the Kids Zone, taking place in the South St. Marys Street Elementary School parking lot.
This year’s entertainment includes Mike’s Rock and Roll Pet Show, sponsored by Hunt Marcellus, with three shows; an activity center hosted by Dickinson, Inc.; identification kits provided by the St. Marys Moose; Crystal Fire Department’s Kids Challenge; Elkland Search and Rescue equipment to explore; an appearance by St. Marys Police Department’s K9 Officer Nando and his handler Sgt. Mike Shaffer; Bubbles the Clown will be making balloon sculptures; face painting by Winklbauer and Friends; games and prizes sponsored by St. Marys Ambulance Service; more activities.
The popular rock wall is back, available downtown along the boulevard Friday from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday from 1-9 p.m.
The Fall Fest committee is seeking basket raffle donations from businesses, individuals, families and organizations. This year patrons may donate a basket raffle item in memory of an individual.
Among some of the large prizes being raffled off are a Goggle Home device, a Samsung Chromebook, a Shark navigator sweeper, a Ninja professional blender, Penn State football tickets, and an LED TV.
This year’s Bavarian Fall Fest organizing committee consists of Paula Weyant, Cherie Pichler, Carrie Carroll, Greg Carroll, Emma Carroll, Laurel Theirs, Mary Kay Wendel, Joyce Schreiber, Julie Wittman, Amy Cherry, Hannah Brock, and Dolly Wehler,
The committee works a year in advance to book a majority of the entertainment. They have already began planning next year’s festival.
A complete schedule of this year’s festival activities and events may be found online at or on their Facebook page under the same name.