WELLSBORO — Committees are continuing to work toward planning the 79th annual Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival, although the coronavirus may affect what it looks like.

Julie Henry, executive director of the Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce, reported at the Feb. 23 virtual meeting that 29 schools have sent in candidates for the scholarship program.

“We are moving forward cautiously,” Henry said. “We are making adaptations to the event in an effort to consider any COVID regulations that may still be in in place or any new regulations that may come along.”

The chamber does plan to have vendors and crafts in downtown Wellsboro during the final days of the June 12-20 festival, but there is a “strong possibility” that some may be located on side streets, similar to what happens during the Dickens of a Christmas event. That will allow for more social distancing and bring visitors into Wellsboro’s downtown area, Henry said.

“There are a lot of moving parts and we have to figure out how to accommodate our new situation,” Henry said.

In a related matter, the Wellsboro Rotary Club traditionally holds a Laurel Festival Booster Dinner in April, reported member Jim Tutak. Due to the current COVID situation, the dinner has been canceled again this year.

Instead, the Rotary is looking at another way to raise funds for the festival. Traditionally, the booster dinner generates about $5,000 for the festival.

In a related matter, Henry said applications for Dickens of a Christmas are going out to potential vendors this week.

In other business:

  • Kevin Connelly from the Deane Center reported that performances will resume inside on May 8. the center is planning to resume outdoor concerts on Friday evenings, weather permitting, from July 2 through Sept. 10.
  • Tutak encouraged the chamber to establish a charging station for electric vehicles in the borough. Ellen Bryant from the Penn Wells reported that the lodge will install a two-car charging station by this summer.

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