Orviston prepares for weekend celebration | News, Sports, Jobs

Orviston prepares for weekend celebration | News, Sports, Jobs

TAMMY COAKLEY/FOR THE EXPRESS The Orviston Honor Roll honors residents of Hayes Run and Orviston who served in the military.

Orviston Rock is located at the entrance to the city and will be seen by all attendees of Orviston Celebration 2024.

ORVISTON — The Orviston celebration will take place this weekend in the small village hidden in the mountains of Curtin Township, about 10 miles “upriver” from Beech Creek.

The first summer festival was intended to pay tribute to the thriving brickworks and the town’s bygone era, when there was a shop, railway station, post office, school and church.

After the brickyard closed, the annual summer festival stopped.

However, decades later, in the early 1990s, the event was revived as the Orviston Celebration under the direction of the (late) Kels Lomison and Jim Packer, whose children and grandchildren, along with other volunteers, organize and maintain the celebration each summer.

The term “celebration” is used in place of the word “festival” as a nod to the founding of the town in 1904 by Judge Ellis Orvis and as a tribute to those ancestors of people who still fondly remember returning to Orviston.

Each year, scrapbooks and photos of people and buildings from years gone by are displayed, allowing many attendees to reminisce and be transported back to those simpler times—the days of their youth. You will see many people sitting in lawn chairs, sharing memories of their childhoods spent here or of trips to Orviston to visit relatives in this small community.

Craft and food vendors will be open around 2pm and there will be a 50/50 drawing on Friday evening. Purchase your tickets for the Basket Raffle and Summer Prize Raffle, both of which will feature amazing donated items that will be given away on Saturday evening.

As for the food, it’s your typical summer menu: hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, pizza, stromboli, hot sausages, sodas, ice creams and milkshakes, as well as a few other treats that are sure to please.

Bring your lawn chairs and sit back Friday night for the annual Wiffle Ball Home Run Derby. Featuring all ages, this is an ode to the Orviston Brickyarders. The derby begins with registration at 4:30 p.m., and sluggers come in to take their swings at home plate starting at 6 p.m.

Saturday morning activities will begin with breakfast, which this year will be provided by Tom Evers and his crew. Breakfast should be ready around 7 a.m. or shortly thereafter.

The grand opening of the official 2024 Orviston Celebration will take the stage at 10:30 a.m. The grand opening ceremony will also honor the Hayes Run and Orviston veterans whose names are proudly engraved on the Orviston Honor Roll in the downtown area.

Again, bring your lawn chairs!

The horseshoe tournament begins at 11:00 a.m. Registration (and warm-ups) for the horseshoe tournament begins at 9:30 a.m. The tournament is organized by Brad Mackey, who can be reached at 570-367-9397.

This year’s lineup includes performances by Kidz @ Heart from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., BlueGrass Express with Steve and Chanse Davy from 2:30 to 4 p.m., Dan and Galla from 4:30 to 6 p.m., and crowd favorites The Lomison Family and Friends.

Parade units should start lining up at 1:00 PM on Blue Row and continue on to the annual Orviston parade, which starts at 2:00 PM. For those who have never seen it, the parade circles the city twice (Front Streets and Back Streets), so if you miss something on the first ride, you will be able to see it on the second. Floats, fire and rescue units, ATV riders, local politicians and vintage vehicles are just some of the entries in this year’s parade. If you want to be in the parade, just show up at 1:00 PM and you will be put in line.

At 6:15 PM, the Brick Float will be held. Be sure to purchase a brick and watch it float down Beech Creek toward “Laurabelle’s Swimming Hole.” Only in Orviston will you see a brick actually float. The first brick to cross the finish line wins a cash prize!

The winners of the basket draw will be drawn at 6:30 PM. You must claim your prize by 9:00 PM or a new winner will be drawn. So if you have to leave early, be sure to give your raffle tickets and permission to someone who is present to claim your prize.

The Lomison Family and Friends band will entertain the audience from 7:00 to 8:45 p.m., playing and singing old, well-known tunes that you simply can’t tear yourself away from.

At 9pm the Summer Prizes will be drawn to determine the final 50/50 winner, followed by closing speeches and announcements, and then… a fantastic finale with fireworks at 9.30pm

Everyone is invited to the Orviston Celebration this weekend. There are a few rules of courtesy that must be followed:

— No underage drinking. And for those of drinking age, keep it to a minimum.

— Leave the fireworks to the professionals. Children and families are there to enjoy the day, and setting off M-80s next to parked vehicles creates a noise that scares the little ones.

— ATVs will be allowed in the parade, but otherwise they shouldn’t be operating when there’s traffic in the city. You don’t want accidents to ruin the great thing that happens here in Orviston every year.

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