Community Events

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather for call of nature during Boyertown EarthFest

By Michilea Patterson, The Mercury
BOYERTOWN >> By Saturday afternoon; the morning’s rain had stopped and the skies cleared making it possible for hundreds of people to celebrate EarthFest.

Lori Carnes, of the Boyertown Parks & Recreation Board, said the event has three components. There are nature, environment and healthy living aspects. From morning to mid-afternoon, the community was able to enjoy all three at Boyertown Community Park. In addition, people also visited about 100 vendors as part of a flea market.

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Carnes said one of the main purposes of EarthFest is to get people out in nature to enjoy the park’s features. Kids stayed active by reaching for the sky with a 24-foot rock climbing wall. Carnes said the wall was a great way to enhance the healthy living aspect of the fest. She said the kids really loved it.

“There was a line the entire time,” she said.

Carnes said there was also a great number of recycling and environmental opportunities at EarthFest. There was a mobile shredding truck available in the morning where people could discard sensitive documents in a safe way.

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People stand in front of trees for sale during EarthFest at Boyertown Community Park Saturday. The Building a Better Boyertown Tree Committee won the Tree City USA award for its ninth year.

Being that Arbor Day is in a few days, EarthFest also allowed the community to learn about the benefits of trees. The Building a Better Boyertown Tree Committee sold different types of trees and gave away free seedlings.

“Trees take the carbon monoxide out of the air and puts back oxygen,” Kathy Kirk of the tree committee said adding that trees also provide shade, shelter and food for many organisms.

The tree committee was presented with the Tree City USA award for the ninth year. The award is through the Arbor Day Foundation and communities must meet four standards which are to have a tree board, a tree care ordinance, a forestry program with an annual budget and an Arbor Day observance.

EarthFest also allowed residents to take a look back at history. Boyertown is celebrating 150 years of being an incorporated borough. The anniversary committee was represented at the celebration and handed out T-shirts. A big anniversary celebration will happen May 20, 21 and 22.

Another historic treasure being celebrated Saturday was the Boyertown State Theatre. The theatre was closed last year but a benefactor purchased the facility for the community and it’s currently under renovation. Shannon Anthony, of the State Theatre Preservation Society, said the nonprofit organization has a 20-year lease for the building and the benefactor only charged them a dollar a year to use it.

“The state theatre will be back in operation very soon,” Anthony said adding that the hope is it will be open for community theatre in the fall.

Charles Haddad, president of the preservation society, said the theatre will be available for stage performances, musical programs and film when it’s completely done. To be ready for film; a lot of new digital equipment is needed such as a projector, monitor and speakers. Haddad said they need to raise $100,000 to make all the purchases. He said they are also in need of volunteers to help run the concession stand, sell tickets and do other tasks.

Jake Zimmers, vice president of the preservation society, said the new digital equipment will really enhance the community’s experience while watching a film.

“If you have a helicopter fly off the screen, with the new digital system and the surround sound then you’ll hear it fly around and go all the way around the theatre,” he said.

Zimmers said the Boyertown’s 150th anniversary is great time to open the theatre back up. It has a lot of history since it’s been around since 1912. To find out more about the preservation society, visitwww.statetheatrepreservation.com.

The community got to experience nature, fitness and history Saturday; all while celebrating Mother Earth.

“We had a beautiful day. We had a lot of people in the park and everyone had a good time,” Carnes said.

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