RICHBORO >> Sunny to partly cloudy skies brought out the crowds for a day of community spirit at Northampton Day on Saturday.
After being postponed this past spring by rain, thousands took advantage of the early fall weather to enjoy a day of community fun and excitement.
While kids lined up to try out the new mobile zipline, their parents captured the moment on their smart phones.
Nearby, more kids were having a blast inside several large bounce houses, letting off steam and plenty of pent up energy.
Meanwhile, up in the parking lot, the crowds browsed through more than 100 vendor booths spotlighting Northampton’s many businesses, groups and nonprofits along with businesses and groups from nearby communities.
Among the newest additions was Classic Rock Auto Detail, which opened four months ago at 741 Second Street Pike. The nonprofit auto detailing business works together with Able Workforce Employment to provide employment to adults with cognitive disabilities.
Brian Damiani of Doylestown, a volunteer with the Miracle League of Northampton, brought the concept to the township after visiting a similar business in Bloomsburg where he saw the idea in action. “I thought, ‘We could do this,’” he said.
“Northampton Day is a great opportunity for us to introduce ourselves to the community,” said Damiani. “The reception so far has been great.”
They already have one big fan.
“I took my car there to get detailed and it was never ever so clean,” said Mary Camp of the Miracle League of Northampton Township. “They did an amazing job.”
At another booth, Stephen McGill spent a busy day promoting the Churchville Nature Center and its upcoming events and activities, including its Autumn Faire & Benefit Dinner on Oct. 19.
“The weather’s beautiful. It’s not killer hot and it’s not raining,” said McGill. “The committee has done a great job resurrecting the event, taking over from George Lang. He’s really pulled it together and done a nice job with it.”
As the crowds wandered among the booths and waited in line for a smorgasbord of festival food, a small band of Mummers strutted by, their banjos and Philadelphia sound attracting the attention of the crowd.
The Philly Phantic dropped by with his crazy antics, maneuvering through the crowd posing for photographs and raising the fun level through the roof.
Also attracting a lot of attention was the opening of a cornerstone taken from the former Northampton, Bucks County, Municipal Authority building, which is now the site of the new police station on Township Road.
When the Authority vacated the building last year and relocated down the street to the former Fox Chase building at Upper Holland Road and Bustleton Pike, they took the building’s original 1976 cornerstone with them.
Using a hammer and wearing protective goggles, Thomas Zeuner, the Executive Director of the Authority, did the honors of breaking open the concrete vessel as Board member Vince Deon assisted.
“There is stuff in there,” announced Zeuner as he chipped away at the stone and the excitement grew.
Someone shouted, “It’s Geraldo Rivera all over again,” a reference to Rivera’s infamous broadcast in 1986 unearthing Al Capone's secret vaults. Millions watched the two-hour show, but all that they uncovered was dirt.
There was more than just dirt inside the Municipal Authority cornerstone.
Zeuner found annual reports from 1973, 1974 and 1975; two broken sample water collection bottles; an agenda from the August 16, 1975 meeting; and a copy of the Bucks County Courier Times from 1975, which was probably used to wrap the glass bottles.
“Nothing fancy,” said Deon. “This is a Geraldo Rivera event,” he joked.
At the other end of the festival grounds, members of the Miracle League were showing off exciting plans for all an inclusive playground to be built at the township’s Municipal Park on Hatboro Road.
The project will retrofit the current Northampton Township Municipal Park Playground with accessible and customized equipment “so that everybody can play together.”
The play area will include a rubberized surface for wheelchair accessibility and new pieces of play equipment, including Global Motion, We-Saw, marble panel, splash panel, sway fun glider, rhapsody, Braille and clock, clubhouse, a double oodle and a sensory wall.
“We are more than halfway there,” said Mary Camp of the project’s $800,000 fundraising goal. “We’re only $200,000 away.”
Their next big fundraiser is a Halloween Bash at the Fuge in Warminster on November 2 beginning at 7 p.m. The cost is $40 in advance and $50 at the door for the 21 and older event. To order tickets, visit https://app.etickets.to/buy/?e=17884. For information, call Pauline Borgia 215-498-7760.
The bash includes appetizers, pasta and Asian-inspired dinner stations, donut station, cash bar and a special event cocktail, dancing, raffle baskets and a 50/50 drawing. And for those who come in costume there’s a chance to win three costume awards.
Hank’s Beverage Company was also there supporting the Miracle League and selling bottles of its refreshing soft drinks, including its new seasonal flavor, pumpkin spice, to thirsty festival goers.
According to Tony Salvatore, Hank’s also sponsored the games at the Miracle League booth, including Hank’s Root Beer Ring Toss, and also its fundraising gift baskets.
“The response has been great,” said Salvatore, noting that pumpkin spice and black cherry have been the top sellers at the festival.
The Miracle League also will receive a financial boost from the Northampton Day Committee. The committee, chaired by Steve Bryer, designated the league and its all inclusive playground as its primary beneficiary this year.
Proceeds from this year’s event will also benefit two scholarships for graduating Council Rock High School students who volunteered their time at the event
Serving on the Northampton Day Committee are Amanda Brady, Jim Brady, Steve Bryer, Carol Dubas, Scott Duretz, Tina Hartley, Amie Houser, Tom Laskowski, Pete Palestina, Lindsay Pikovsky and Eileen Silver.