77th annual Laurel Festival kicks off in Wellsboro

WELLSBORO — The 77th annual Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival celebration began Saturday and continues through next Sunday, offering family-friendly activities including the State Laurel Queen competition.

The Laurel Festival continues today with a 1:30 p.m. pet parade for youngsters 12 and under, their pets and decorated bicycles.

There will be five free concerts — one every night Monday through Thursday, plus the Queen’s Preview concert on Friday.

A juried Arts and Crafts Fair and International Street of Foods will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, with more than 120 vendors.

While in Wellsboro, the 27 queen candidates, who hail from a variety of schools or school districts throughout the state, will enjoy a full weekend of activities.

At noon Friday, they will gather on the Tioga County Courthouse steps for the official welcome. Then, they’ll go to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon for a picnic lunch and tour.

A 5 that evening, the queen candidates will be introduced to the public on the Deane Center’s outdoor stage. The Queen’s Preview will include a free concert by Gabe Stillman and the Billtown Giants of Williamsport, who will perform electric blues and R&B tunes. Guests should bring lawn chairs.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, the queen candidates will ride on floats in the Laurel Festival Parade.

Featured during the Laurel Parade will be the Pennsylvania Bucktails, drum and bugle corps, bagpipers, high school bands, vintage cars, floats and more.

That evening at 6:30, the coronation of the Pennsylvania State Laurel Queen will be on stage at the Deane Center’s Coolidge Theatre. Tickets are available at the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce, 114 Main St. Admission is $10 at the door.

The festival concludes next Sunday morning, with the 10:30 Union Church service on The Green.

For more information about Laurel Festival activities, send an email to info@wellsboropa.com, visit the website www.wellsboropa.com or call the chamber at 570-724-1926.

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