‘Heart of Whitehall’ festival June 11

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The Heart of Whitehall Festival and Fireworks will be held on Saturday, June 11, from noon to 9:20 p.m. on the dot. The festival will be packed with plenty of things to do for the community and is being planned by the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber board members met on May 3 to discuss the day and how plans are lining up for the event. Barbara Spoor has been busy booking vendors for the day, both food and crafts. There will also be a cake booth that locals may have seen at previous Whitehall festivals.

“All of the money that we raise goes to the cost of the fireworks,” said Chamber member Beth Molinero.

Whitehall Volunteer Fire Department will also have their doors open for visitors at the festival and will be having two fire demonstrations for community members who want to see how the department is trained to handle various situations that could occur.

“Because they’re big demonstrations, we want to space them out so people can come back and see something again later in an hour or so,” Chamber president Erik Ross said.

The festival will last throughout the day with many options of things to do beyond shopping and eating. There will be a presentation by Paul Bartholomew in the afternoon, the time still to be set.

“If we can schedule the fire department at one hour, Paul at the next, and if we have things going all day people would be walking in around both parks,” Spoor said.

The event page has already received 273 RSVPs on Facebook saidoor said there is a high possibility that there will be a large attendance, especially being a month out from the festival.

“The number is always bigger than that. Just to gauge what that means, these people will get alerts the day of the event so you know that many people will see it and be reminded,” she said.

Some other events to take place will be the first ever community award ceremony at 6 p.m. followed by Hometown playing at the Riverside Park pavilion from 7 to 9 p.m. When the band ends, that is when the 20-minute-long firework display will begin.

Molinero said that as much as the chamber enjoys putting on events such as The Heart of Whitehall Festival and Fireworks, they cost more than some might think.

“Some may just assume that the fireworks are paid for, but they are not. We have to raise the money and it’s expensive,” she said.

Donations can be made to The Heart of Whitehall Festival and Fireworks at Berkshire Bank in Whitehall. The firework display at the end of the night will cost $5,200.

“The reason why we ask for donations is that in previous years when the fireworks were 15 minutes, they would complain about them not being as great as Fort Ticonderoga or other places, but they have a lot of big industry that will pay for them unlike Whitehall where we raise the money ourselves,” she said.