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It's almost time for the Peach Festival

By Jason Poole

Reminder Correspondent

WILBRAHAM For 20 years, the Peach Festival in Wilbraham has been raising money for good causes and providing great entertainment and activities for people of all ages. This year, with many new faces coming to the forefront to run the festival, promises to be no exception.

The Festival, which begins on Aug. 19 and runs through the 21st, has already booked its main stage entertainment, which will be a showcase of musical concerts, dance shows and many other performances. All entertainment is free and open to the public.

This year, there are many new members of the Steering Committee, which puts on the Peach Festival.

"Most of us are all brand new, you don't have to be in town forever to volunteer and put your heart into this," said Kim Marowski, who is in her first year as the director of marketing.

In addition to members of the Steering Committee, there are also hundreds of other volunteers who help to make the Festival weekend a success year in and year out.

"It takes over several hundred people to run this festival, we are always looking for volunteers," said Marowski.

Adults aren't the only ones who are chipping in to make the Festival a success as many children, including Marowski's own kids, volunteer their time at the Festival and seem to have a blast doing it.

"They feel so important when they are behind the counter serving soda," said Marowski.

Patrons are encouraged to purchase a membership to the Wilbraham Community Association, which will earn people admittance to the reception tent on Friday evening, where there will be free food and members of the Association will be awarded token gifts.

There are four types of memberships that people can purchase. The bronze membership is $25, the silver membership is $40, the gold is $100, and the platinum membership is $150. Platinum members get free parking throughout the Festival weekend.

The funds that are raised at the Peach Festival are invested back into the community, through public park development, scholarships and grants for projects that improve the quality of life for all, according to Marowski.

People who get more expensive memberships will be awarded more expensive token gifts Marowski said.

When the Festival opens on the 19th, singer/songwriter Lisa Martin will perform from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and the Union Jack Band will play from 7 to 10 p.m.. At dusk on Friday there will also be a showing of the 30th anniversary addition of the movie Jaws.

Saturday's performances include the Skid Marks, a 50's and 60's rock band, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and The Claddagh School of Irish Dance from 1:30 to 2 p.m. Singer/songwriter Tracy Lyons in scheduled to appear from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., and the Uptown Rockers will perform from 7 to 10 p.m. in the evening.

The entertainment continues on Sunday with Irish folk music being performed by The Bards, a Battle of the Bands competition, and the closing ceremonies from 6:30 to 7.

There are also many other shows scheduled for the three days on the main stage.

Businesses will be at the fair on Saturday and Sunday to show off their unique products and there is also a craft fair on both days as well.

A children's entertainment tent will be set up on the weekend offering a place for children to enjoy the Festival. There will be magic shows, storytelling and other activities for all children to enjoy.

The Lil' Peach Pit, a free area for children under the age of six to enjoy games and other activities, will also be available on the weekend.

The first Peach Festival was held at Minnechaug Regional High School in 1985 to celebrate the peach harvest. In 1993 it became a three day festival and moved to the formerly state owned Pheasant Farm, which is now known as Fountain Park. In 1999, the park became the permanent home for the Festival.

Parking for the Festival is $3 and $5 on Saturday night, which is the night of the fireworks show.

For more information, visit the web site at