WELLSBORO — Despite the cancellation of the 2020 Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival, some residents decided to celebrate the day anyway.
A group of adults and children gathered on the boulevard this past Saturday, June 20, around 2 p.m., the traditional start time of the Laurel Parade.
Christina VanDergrift said the group organized to bring some joy to a day when some people may have been missing the parade. She, along with her husband Jeremy, their children Jefferson and Jaxon, friends Curt Runyan, Rachel Burrows and Jill Kephart set up lawn chairs and waved to the passersby.
“With all the chaos going on, we wanted to do something like this to make people laugh and bring joy to people,” said Christina VanDergrift.
They stayed on the boulevard with signs that read “Waiting for the Parade” and “Honk for the Laurel Festival.” Cars going by honked horns, while drivers waved and shouted encouragement to the group.
“We let the police know we might be there. (Police Chief) Jim Bodine drove by and threw a handful of Tootsie Rolls at us,” she said.
The borough’s police chief typically leads off the parade in a police car.
With temperatures in the 80s and high humidity, the group only stayed about an hour.
“We got a lot of laughs and a lot of people beeping at us,” said VanDergrift. “We’re very grateful for where we live that we could do something like this.”