This week we are celebrating the July 4th holiday, and one event associated with that is also taking place this week — the annual Jersey Shore Town Meeting. It is one of the highlights of the week taking place locally.
This event has been taking place for more than 60 years. According to Kevin Koch, head of public relations for the Town Meeting, the event had humble beginnings. The first Town Meeting was held on January 9, 1962, in the Victoria Theatre as a get-together for the citizens of Jersey Shore. The organization began as a small group but was granted its Articles of Incorporation by the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County on March 19, 1965. It then evolved into a much bigger event that takes up a week of celebration during the week of July 4.
There are many interesting and notable components to the celebration that, included the selection of a “Town Crier” and a beauty contest that results in the crowning of “Queen Tiadaghton,” as well as a large parade, Vespers service, and the presence of various craft and food vendors.
“The Town Crier is a special honor and opportunity given to a local youth. This is a call back to the olden days. The crier needs to be a community-minded upstanding student who represents our town in many local parades as well as many community events such as the recent YMCA run/walk event. Our current crier, Eli Rauch is a prime example of this, and we are proud to have him representing us.,” Koch told Webb Weekly.
He said the criers’ counterpart is the Queen Tiadaghton. The winner of the yearly pageant known as the Queen’s Tea represents the community at local events and performs community service throughout the area. This young lady, who is awarded the crown following the parade on Thursday night, serves a one-year term. The current queen is Miss Kathryn Schwenk.
“We are a 100 percent volunteer organization of around ten members that plan our events, obtain the proper permits, and maintain our own equipment and buildings. Every penny that we make, whether it be through vendors, tickets, donations, or sponsorships, goes right back into the community through our events and other donations and projects that we do,” Koch stated.
Along with the yearly Fourth of July celebration, they also own and operate the Jersey Shore Santa House and the town’s Christmas lights. They hold a yearly Santa parade and holiday block party to open up the holiday season. Santa is then in his house for roughly 20 nights leading up to the big day.
They also sponsor and hold the town’s annual Easter egg hunt, a fall celebration around our yearly pumpkin roll event, and participate in many local parades. They will be holding their annual Pumpkin Roll on Saturday, October 7.
The Grand Parade of the Town Meeting will take place on Thursday, July 6, and the fireworks display will be at 9:45 p.m. Saturday, July 8.
There will be rides and free entertainment all week.
Please note that per borough ordinance, no alcoholic beverages, skateboards, or bicycles are allowed on the grounds.
Schedule of Events:
Tuesday, July 4th
Tiadaghton Elm Ceremony – 9:00 a.m. on stage (rain or shine)
The Balloon Men – 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
28th Infantry Band – 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 5th
Celtic Woods – 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 6th
Grand Parade Kick-Off – 6:00 p.m.
Baby Sweetheart/Queen Tiadaghton Crowning – On stage, following parade
Flashback – following parade, 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Friday, July 7th
Chris Ruble Band – 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 8th
Kidz at Heart – 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Fireworks – 9:45 p.m.