PHILIPSBURG — The 2019 Heritage Days was a “huge” success, Chairman Jim Pollock told The Progress yesterday.
He said the larger-than-usual crowds were helped by several call reunions being held and with the 4th of July falling on a Thursday, many people were still on vacation.
“There was a lot of people in town this year,” Pollock said.
Plus the weather cooperated — the only rain was a light mist on Thursday.
Pollock said holding the festival at the same time of Arts Festival in State College and the People’s Choice Festival in Boalsburg helps as well, because many people will go to all three. And Heritage Days is the only one of the three that has a parade. Plus the fireworks on Saturday night brings in a lot of people.
“The crowds at Cold Stream Dam were huge,” Pollock said.
The festival had some new vendors this year, one of which was from New Orleans. The booth sold a variety of Cajun food — even alligator on a stick.
He said the family heard about the Heritage Days festival from friends from Atlanta, Ga.
Pollock said they did so well they sold all the food they had including the food they had purchased for an upcoming festival and are planning on expanding their booth at next year’s event.
In addition to the strong sales, he said they were impressed by the friendliness of the people here and how often people could come over and talk to them and talk about New Orleans.
He said in many larger metropolitan areas he said they told them they are treated like a food vendor and not a friend.
Also new for this year was the entertainment stage. This year they used a mobile stage from a company in State College. The stage was equipped with plush carpeting, LED lighting and a premium sound system. And all that needed to be done was to plug in the stage with just one cord, and the musicians just plugged in their instruments and the whole operation was run using an iPad.
The parade Saturday afternoon drew big crowds and featured 17 bands as well as numerous floats, fire equipment, and performing groups and lasted two hours and 15 minutes. The drum and bugle corps competition afterward also drew big crowds of spectators in front of the Philipsburg Towers.
Rogues Hollow Regiment of Doylestown, Ohio won the People’s Choice Award at the competition.
As usual, the Philipsburg Heritage Days week kicked off Tuesday evening at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church with the annual Vespers Service and Awards Ceremony.
The Vespers Service was conducted by many of the community ministers — led by the Rev. Fr. Robert McKay — and also saw a performance by the Valley Voices community choir.
The Awards Ceremony saw eight businesses and organizations honored for anniversaries: Moshannon Valley EMS (40 years), Rothrock’s Department Store (45 years), Moshannon Valley Pharmacy (45 years), Geisinger of Philipsburg (45 years), Simler Insurance Agency (85 years), Philipsburg Kiwanis Club (95 years), American Legion Post 437 (100 years) and Grace United Methodist Church (135 years).
CLEARFIELD — Clearfield resident Timothy Harley recently wrapped a 15-year career as executive director of the Jimmy Stewart Museum.
The museum, located in Indiana Borough, highlights Stewart’s radio, television and film career along with his military service and the early years of life in the town located in Indiana County. It is located at 835 Philadelphia St., Indiana.
Harley said in 2001, while he was serving as the executive director of the Irish American Museum in Albany, N.Y., his father experienced health problems and he decided to return to Clearfield to help care for him. “I wanted to come back and spend time with my Dad and my family,” he said.
After working for several years as a substitute instructor for the Clearfield Area School District and the DuBois Business College, he saw an advertisement for the museum’s director position and decided to apply. “Although I thought I was needed at home and was coming home to stay, my father had a wonderful recovery and I was looking for something to fill more of my time.”
He was hired and began working there in June of 2004. Harley said, at first, his acceptance of the position came with reservations since his duties differed from earlier positions he held at various museums at locations throughout New York.
“My concern was being the director of a personality-based museum when my love is historic architecture. While I love and collected old movies, a museum dedicated to a star baffled me,” he explained. That attitude was quickly reversed once he became immersed in his job and saw how Stewart was revered even by those who are too young to have known him personally.
“It was very interesting and amazing thing in how people had a way of disassociating Mr. Jimmy Stewart and the actor. In most of his movies, he played an admirable person and that was reflected in the life he lived. The measure of weight he had on people’s lives overwhelmed me,” Harley said.
He said the museum then and today continues to be the largest-drawing single site tourist attraction however when he became executive director, the museum’s attendance was starting to experience a downturn as Stewart’s fanbase grew older, affecting its bottom line.
Harley said, as the museum’s overseer, it was vital to the site’s future existence, to find way to sustain funding and find opportunities to make the museum’s story more accessible.
He said while some of the museum’s board of directors were reluctant at first to announce financial difficulties, they soon were agreeable. Harley said the first break was securing an interview about the museum and the hardships it was facing with MSNBC. The story appeared on both the Today Show and the Nightly News. “That started a flood of donations and got the ball rolling,” he explained.
Other interviews with prominent publications were also helpful in allowing the museum to be maintained for future generations. “We put the museum on track so that it can continue,” Harley explained.
Harley said, also during his tenure, he was able to create a new display of existing items along with acquiring new photographs and memorabilia from his career.
He said Stewart had a long and successful career starting supporting movie roles and quickly becoming the lead during the 1950s in films such as “Harvey” and “Bell, Book and Candle” and “The Man Who Knew Too Much.”
Stewart’s final film role was to provide the voice of Wylie Burp in the 1991 animated movie “American Tail: Fievel Goes West.”
He said the museum is a “must see” for any Jimmy Stewart fan and for anyone who wants to be immersed in the life and career of one of the commonwealth’s notable residents. “I encourage anyone who is interested in Mr. Stewart to do. It’s an easy day trip from here.”
Harley said one of his favorite things to do while he was the museum’s executive director was to leaf through the attraction’s guest books. “The comments were so moving like “bucket list.” Stewart’s fans left such beautiful sincere feelings.”
Harley said he had been contemplating his retirement for several years before he actually tendered his resignation. The decision to withdraw from the position was difficult. “I loved my wonderful work family and I had a very supportive board but in time I came to the decision that it was time to retire. It was important to the museum’s continuation that it have a new vision and I trusted the board to find someone who could sustain this wonderful community asset.”
Harley said, approximately two months into his retirement, he has been enjoying spending time with his family. He said he has two siblings who reside in Clearfield along with a niece and her family. He also has a sister that lives in Hershey.
He has also been spending time on another of his interests – painting. He has been painting images of downtown Clearfield using watercolors and acrylics.
CURWENSVILLE — Jeff Bellmore of Lumber City was honored Sunday evening as the 47th recipient of the Service Above Self award.
The annual award is presented by the Curwensville Rotary Club. Bellmore joins a long list of individuals, couples, organizations and businesses who have been recognized for their efforts in helping to improve the Curwensville community.
The Rotary’s award selection committee Chairman Bill Williams Jr. said, “The recipient chosen for the award best represents what the organization’s motto, “Service Above Self” means. They have given of their time and talents unselfishly for the betterment of the community and people who live there. They don’t seek praises or accolades for their endeavors but only to help in whatever way they can.”
Curwensville Rotary Club became the award’s patron in 1976.
Williams said in selecting the award recipient, Curwensville Rotary Club seeks nominations from the other service club in the community along with recommendations from the general public. He said he believed Bellmore received the most nominations of any award recipient in the 34 years he has been chairman of the selection committee.
Bellmore said, following the ceremony, “I am completely blown away. I never expected anything like this in my life. Not ever.”
During his presentation, Williams reported Bellmore lives the 12 points of scout law.
“A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Each of these points are a goal that a scout tries to live up to each day. It is not an easy task and some days he proves unsuccessful but the scout still tries.”
Bellmore, Williams said, has been involved with Boy Scouts of America nearly all his life. He progressed through the scouting ranks as a youth and a teenager, then as an adult served in various capacities on both the troop and council levels.
“To anyone who knows him it is obvious scout law and scouting’s oath are not just words spoken at the opening of a meeting they are the ideals and directives by which he lives and he wholeheartedly believes in these ideals as well as the principles and skills learned in the Boy Scout program –so much so that he has dedicated more than 35 years of his adult life to ensuring the youth of Curwensville have the opportunity to participate and grow from the program.”
Bellmore took over the position of the Troop No. 13 scoutmaster in 1984. During his tenure he has led the scouts on numerous adventures including camping, canoeing and various field trips.
Williams reported under his direction, Troop 13 has had 34 scouts achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
“Such a record could not exist without devoted leadership,” he said.
Bellmore has also received numerous scouting awards including the Scoutmaster Award of Merit, District Award of Merit, Scoutmaster Training Award, Scouter’s Key, the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award and the Silver Beaver Award.
Encouraging the troop’s scouts to give back to their community has been one of his missions. The troop has been involved in various projects including welcome signs and planters at the entrance to Curwensville, sandboxes and wilderness trails added to Irvin Park and various acts of community service.
“Such long-standing dedication and service to one organization is rare and commendable. Although he would not admit to such, there have been sacrifices made for him to devote so much time to the troop and its members in an effort to impart to them values ad ideals of a program designed transfer boys successful young men,” Williams said.
During the past 35 years he has been scoutmaster, Bellmore has also been active in the community. He served several years on the Curwensville Regional Development Corp and is a member of the Curwensville Moose Lodge, Rescue Hose & Ladder Co. Masonic Lodge No 480 and Scottish Rite, Jaffa Shrine and the Clearfield Shrine Band.
Prior to the award ceremony, there was a vespers service to open the 50th annual Curwensville Days. Various members of the Curwensville Ministerium played a role in the service. The Rev. George Cannon was the speaker. Special music was provided by the band, “Not Ashamed.”
PHILIPSBURG — The Philipsburg Heritage Days committee has announced the winners of Saturday’s parade.
Best Appearing Ambulance: Mountain Township
Best Appearing First Responder Unit: Blazing Arrow
Best Appearing Brush Truck: 1st Mountain Top Fire Company; 2nd Winburne Fire Company
Best Appearing Light Rescue Truck: Columbia Fire Company
Best Appearing Aerial Apparatus: Morris Township
Best Appearing Tanker: 1st Morris Township, 2nd Chester Hill Fire Company
Best Appearing Engine, 1979 and older: Columbia Fire Company
Best Appearing Engine 1980-1989: Chester Hill Hose.
Best Appearing Engine, 1990-1999 Mountain Top Fire Company
Best Appearing Engine 2000-2010, 1st Winburne Fire Company, 2nd Columbia Fire Company
Best Appearing Engine 2011-present, Winburne Fire Company
Oldest Motorized Apparatus: Columbia Fire Company 1972 Mack
Oldest Non-Motorized: Columbia Fire Company 1898 antique
Longest Distance Traveled: Blazing Arrow
Judges’ Award: Mountain Top Fire Company
Drum and Bugle Corps: Sonus Brass Theater
Best Senior High School Band: 1st Curwensville Senior High School, 2nd Moshannon Valley Black Knights.
Best Junior High Band: Curwensville Junior High
Best Appearing Bagpipes and Drums: Nittany Highland Pipe Band
Best Appearing Junior Baton Corps: 1st Daisies, 2nd Diamonettes
Best Appearing Senior Baton Corps: 1st Diamonettes, 2nd Nittany Dreamers
Best Appearing Organization Float: Front & Centre Productions
Best Appearing Business Float: Timberland Federal Credit Union
Best Appearing Children’s Float: MoValley Branch YMCA of Centre County
Best Appearing Church Float: New Life Center