Laurel Festival Moves Forward with New Name, New Faces

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – It has a name – now it needs a board.

The new summer festival, to be held in June in Brookville, will be called the Brookville Laurel Festival.

Steering committee members and other interested Brookville area citizens who met Thursday at the Brookville Fire Hall agreed on the name.

“That name seems to be popular,” steering committee member Dick Boozer said.

Attorney Jim Dennison said he had already checked to see if the name was available and determined that it was.

The new festival replaces the Western Pennsylvania Laurel Festival, a non-profit organization created by Joyce Toven in 2003.

The origins of the festival date back to the 1930s and included various organizers throughout the years.

The 2017 Western Pennsylvania Laurel Festival was canceled due to medical issues suffered by Toven and a lack of volunteers. Some individual events were held despite the cancellation.

Dennison recommended that a board be appointed for the new Brookville Laurel Festival. The board would then appoint officers.

Those who live, work, or play in the Brookville area who want to be considered for board membership should contact Randy Bartley at or Luann Murray at Please apply as soon as possible because the steering committee wants to put together the board at the next meeting in two weeks.

The board will consist of 11 members, and their terms will be staggered so that the board always has holdovers.

Some attending the meeting felt as they may be on the outside looking in as the new event was planned, but Murray, also a steering committee member said it would not be.

“It’s going to take every one of us and many more to pull this off,” Murray said. “We don’t want anyone to feel excluded.”

With the name of the event established, a Facebook page will soon be established to help keep people informed about what is going on.

Dennison also pointed out that articles of incorporation also need to be established.

“The sooner that is done and the sooner there is a board, the sooner fundraising to put this on can be done,” Dennison said.

Raising money is obviously critical to putting on what the steering committee hopes is a week-long event.

“Board members should be doing the fundraising, but the articles of incorporation need to be done before we can solicit,” Bartley said.

Dennison explained that the status will be a 501c4, for a civic cause non-profit.

The festival and its members will not be able to profit from any money it makes.

There is no shortage of ideas for next year’s festival.

They include a home run derby, a soccer tournament, a fishing derby, a soap box derby, an auto/motorcycle show, a dunking booth, a battle of barrel a firefighter’s competition, a parade, bands, lawn mower races, a lumber jack festival, chainsaw carving, a wing night, a scavenger hunt, a senior night, a veteran’s appreciation day, pony rides, a hot dog eating contest, an art show, pony rides, a pet parade, a pageant, fireworks, a climbing wall, an underground railroad re-enactment, a ninja warrior challenge, a 5k race, tours of area businesses and factories, a wine tasting, kayak/tubing races, an EMS day, sidewalk sales, face painting/kids activities, later tag, and a video game tournament.

The steering committee realized not everything will be done because of time limitations, but they are glad to have the ideas.

The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 31.

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