Published first on the Progress News, June 14, 2021

If you don’t already have July 9th – 11th on your calendar, mark it now!  Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Okay, now that you’ve got it penciled in, start getting excited for the return of Emlenton’s own Summerfest!  Thanks to the hard work of the folks at the Emlenton Civic Club, and the partnership of Emlenton Borough as well as a host of area businesses and organizations, Summerfest is back in action for 2021.  With an entire weekend of vendors, live music, a 5K, kids’ bike race, and so much more, there will be something for everyone.

And this year, as the former Fuchs Lubricants property inches toward full remediation and redevelopment, I am pleased to announce that the ORA will be joining in on the fun!  On Friday, July 9th at 3pm, we’ll kick off the first annual “FuchsFest,” bringing a bit of the Summerfest carnival atmosphere to the end of Main Street, and making good use of the lovely new paving provided by Reynolds Construction at the completion of the Aqua Pennsylvania water intake upgrade earlier this year! 

“FuchsFest” will add to the general festivities of the weekend, tucked in at the end of a day of yard sale bargain hunting and before the 5K, and this year’s big draw for the event will be a public mural-painting project.  We will be sprucing up the exterior of the Fuchs building with a series of murals, and anyone who is keen to pick up a paintbrush – whether professional, keen hobbyist, or rank amateur – is invited to participate!

The theme of the murals is the potential and promise of the AC Valley, and we are currently taking expressions of interest from professional artists for panel ideas.  Besides individual professional works, we will also have panels set up for collaborative public use, and Emlenton’s Chicken Coop art studio is working on a paint-by-numbers panel for those less comfortable with a brush.  Kids or adults, everyone is invited to get in on the fun and help create a vibrant corridor to the rail trail!

Alongside the murals, we will have information and resources available on our Brownfields program.  Not quite as exciting as mural painting, I know, BUT, if you’ve been at all interested in the process to date, or what to expect, this will be your chance to see what’s going on – including concept drawings of what the Fuchs site could look like after redevelopment – and to ask questions or provide input directly to members of the redevelopment team. 

“FuchsFest” promises to be an afternoon of interactive and hands-on fun, where you are all invited to take an active role in the beautification and future planning of our community.  Friday, July 9th, starting at 3pm.  See you there!!