Last updated: February 17. 2013 2:37AM - 116 Views

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Area residents gathered to celebrate the 10th birthday of the Dallas Harvest Festival on Main Street on Sept. 16. Eighty vendors from all over the Back Mountain took part in the event that also hosted special guests Cherie and Dave, clowns from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Students from Verve Vertu Art Studio for students with disabilities in Wilkes-Barre created a custom Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus advertisement on canvas which will be donated back to the school for the students to sell as a fundraiser.

The festival committee gave away 120 gift certificates donated by local businesses and hundreds of cupcakes, compliments of Metz Culinary Management.

According to Carol Carroll, committee member in charge of flower displays, the festival is like a giant family reunion for the Back Mountain every year, and this year the committee wanted to focus on giving back to the community that makes this celebration possible – thus the reason for so many give-aways and a free-of-charge photo booth.

"We are so grateful to the people who came out and all of the volunteers," Carroll said. "I don't know how we could possibly top this."

Vendors were also pleased with the turnout. "There's a great crowd," said Ellen Jamiolkowski from Earth and Wears. "It's nice that I'm able to tell people this is just a little taste, but there's a shop just up the street," indicating her retail store is locaed not far from the festival.

The family-friend event featured an appearance by the Penn State Nittany Lion, fire truck rides by the Dallas Fire Department, an open mic competition with local performers of all ages and a petting zoo presented by Blue Chip Farms. Children flocked to see white rabbits, ducks, chickens and Wilbur the 8-month-old pot-belly pig that was available for adoption.

The elected winner of the Kiss the Pig fundraiser was Dallas Middle School Principal Dr. Tom Duffy, who puckered up to Wilbur in the afternoon.

The Dallas School District was well represented as seniors Madeline Mulhern and Courtney Sickel volunteered at a booth to gather organ and tissue donation sign-ups and the Dallas High School varsity cheerleaders performed on the main stage.

Families gathered their children around the Whistle Pig Pumpkin Patch stand for pumpkin decorating fun. Chase Susko, of Dallas, sat with his wife and young daughter while they decorated a pumpkin. "It seems like there's more people this year," he said.

With vendors on a waiting list for next year's celebration, the committee is pleased with this year's attendance and is already working on improving the event for next year.

To see more photos of the Dallas Harvest Festival, log onto www.mydallaspost.com

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