LOWER MAKEFIELD >> From a spectacular fireworks display to an afternoon filled with fun and games, Lower Makefield pulled out all the stops on Saturday for Community Day as it welcomed everyone home from summer vacation with an afternoon of community togetherness.

Despite the overcast skies and occasional raindrops that put a damper on turnout, the fun and smiles were evident throughout the township’s community park from the rides and the entertainment to the emergency services area where kids got a chance to explore a Yardley-Makefield fire truck and to take home a fire hat.

“We’ve been fighting the weather all day, but we’re very happy that people have come out to have a good time as a community,” said Monica Tierney, the township’s director of parks and recreation, which organized the event. “It’s great to see the people who are already here and I hope it continues to pick up.”

Lines were already forming at all the rides as kids took the Meltdown challenge, bounced high into the air on bungee jumps and scaled a towering wall set up on the grassy field.

Nearby, more youngsters were trying their hand at a number of games, from basketball challenges to an alien hoops game, all for the benefit of local nonprofits.

In the area of the township pool, visitors had the chance to explore a handful of information booths promoting everything from the environment to the arts and handicapped accessibility.

At the AOY booth, Bette Sovinee was promoting the nonprofit organization’s upcoming fall classes and handing out information about the Artists of Yardley, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in September.

While Sovinee greeted visitors, one of AOY’s newest members, Chris Monteiro of Lower Makefield, was drawing the attention of a small group of onlookers as he worked en plein air using watercolors to capture the look and feel of community day.

The weather decided to add its own touch to Monteiro’s work, sprinkling it with raindrops and giving it a surreal look.

“The rain did that. And I like it,” said Monteiro. “It looks like it’s raining.”

A few booths away, volunteers with the Riverstone Church were busy handing out free cotton candy and bottles of water to Community Day visitors.

Despite the overcast and dreary day, in just two hours they had given out more than 150 cotton candy cones.

“That’s pretty good considering it’s a rainy day,” said Mike Riggall, who was working the booth with his son, Toby. The other positive: no bees buzzing around the cotton candy machine this year.

“We are part of the community and events like this give us an opportunity to introduce ourselves and to let people know we are not just about Sunday services,” said Jeff Eubank.

Nearby, members of the Lower Makefield Environmental Advisory Council were promoting an upcoming styrofoam recycling event to be held Saturday, Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Lower Makefield Township building at 1100 Edgewood Road.

Bring your clean, white styrofoam used for shipping (no food packaging or peanuts). Instead of going to the landfill it will be remade into picture frames and furniture trim.

The EAC also used the day to put out a call for nominees for its annual Environmental Stewardship Award. The award recognizes township residents, businesses and groups that have contributed positively to the environment and to the LMT community. Nomination forms can be found at LMT.org.

Meanwhile, State Rep. Perry Warren and State Senator Steve Santarsiero were on hand to greet constituents and to provide them with the latest updates and legislation coming out of Harrisburg.

“Today we are here to meet residents,” said Warren. “It’s good to see people out and in person. And they are active and interested in the community.”

On the other side of the park at the township information booth Danielle Frost and Ellen Saracini were selling commemorative 9-11 pins and Garden of Reflection hats in support of the garden’s endowment fund.

They were also there to promote the upcoming commemoration of 9-11, which will include a morning and an evening ceremony at the 9-11 Garden at Memorial Park on Woodside Road. 

Community Day visitors were also encouraged to sign one of the Walls of Reflection, which will be on location at the Garden of Reflection during the lead up to the 20th commemoration of 9-11. The public is invited to stop by the Garden during park hours to sign the walls between Sept. 4 and 11.

“We wish we would have had a little better weather, but the people who have come out today are having a good time,” said township supervisor James McCartney. “Last year put a huge damper on everything with COVID so it’s exciting to see everybody here today having fun and celebrating community. We have fireworks planned for later this evening, which should be a real nice end to the day.”

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