Rain and shine, Chokecherry Festival a success

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
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Despite rainy weather in the morning a huge crowd gathered on Main Street in the afternoon for the 30th annual Chokecherry Festival. 

Photo by Jacques Rutten

The rain did not dampen the mood of the more than 4,000 attendees at 30th annual Chokecherry Festival this past weekend.

Both new and returning vendors were pleased with the turnout. 

Connie Fry, executive director of the Lewistown Area Chamber of Commerce said, “Most of the vendors said that after the sun came out, they were pleased with the crowds. We also had inquiries about how to be a vendor for next year’s event.”

A festival special event that draws a crowd to the Main Street fairway every year is the Pit Spitting Contest, where contestants vie for the title of King and Queen of the chokecherry pit spitters, based on the distance a small pit will fly. Fry announced the winners for 2019, “Jeff Southworth won for the men and Justine Pearson was the winner for the women.”

A wide variety of music and dance was presented by entertainers at the stage at Third Avenue and Main Street. Music varied from folk to heavy metal, with the Dance Syndicate and the Lewistown Hoppers keeping things moving.

 “Charlie Denison did a great job of organizing the entertainment,” Fry said.

The morning started with a pancake breakfast at the Eagles or, for the more athletic, competitive runs (5k and 10K) and walks. Rain did not discourage the 311 runners and walkers, who enjoyed a slightly damp course along Upper Spring Creek road and the Lewistown trails.

The Chokecherry Festival, according to Fry, continues to be a great asset for the community. 

“It brings a lot of people to town every year, and that boosts our economy. Hotels were full, restaurants were busy and the Chokecherry Train ride was sold out,” Fry said.



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