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The PA State Laurel Festival is held annually the second weekend through the third weekend in June to promote the community of Wellsboro, one of Pennsylvania's natural wonders - the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, and our state flower - the Mountain Laurel. Events include a pet parade, craft fair, concerts, 10k race and the Laurel Parade. The festival highlight is the crowning of the Laurel Queen.
Organized by the Wellsboro Lions Club, the first Laurel Festival was in 1938 and was the brainchild of Larry Woodin, a Wellsboro businessman who
was so impressed with the Pine Creek Gorge, located 10 miles southwest of Wellsboro, that he persuaded the Chamber of Commerce to publicize it as a
natural wonder of Tioga County. Through Mr. Woodin's efforts, visitors came to see the breathtaking 50-mile gorge, now known as the "Grand Canyon
of the East" or the "Pennsylvania Grand Canyon."
The Laurel Festival continues to grow , and the friendly hospitality of the area has not changed over the years. Visitors are welcome to enjoy not only the fun of the Festival, but also the unspoiled forest land abloom with laurel , and clear bubbling waters - all the natural beauty of Tioga County.
Adopted on June 15, 1999.
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
No. 213 Session of 1999
INTRODUCED BY BAKER, FICHTER, ARGALL, ARMSTRONG, BARD, BEBKO-JONES, BELFANTI, BENNINGHOFF, CAPPABIANCA, CLARK,
L. I. COHEN, CORRIGAN, DALEY, DALLY, DeLUCA, DEMPSEY, DONATUCCI, FAIRCHILD, FARGO, FEESE, FORCIER, FRANKEL, FREEMAN, GEIST, GRUCELA, HALUSKA, HARHAI, HARHART, HASAY, HENNESSEY, HERMAN, HERSHEY, HESS, HORSEY, JOSEPHS, KIRKLAND,LAUGHLIN, LEDERER, LESCOVITZ, LUCYK, MAJOR, MANDERINO, McNAUGHTON, MELIO, R. MILLER, PHILLIPS, PIPPY, READSHAW, ROBERTS, ROHRER, ROSS, RUBLEY, SAINATO, SATHER, SAYLOR, SCHRODER, SCHULER, SERAFINI, SHANER, B. SMITH, STABACK, SURRA, E. Z. TAYLOR, WALKO, WOJNAROSKI, YOUNGBLOOD AND ZUG, JUNE 15, 1999
INTRODUCED AS NONCONTROVERSIAL RESOLUTION UNDER RULE 35, JUNE 15, 1999
Memorializing the Governor to proclaim the festival held annually during the month of June in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, as the "Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival."
WHEREAS, The first Laurel Festival was held in Wellsboro in 1938 and was the brainchild of Larry Woodin, a businessman so impressed with the Pine Creek Gorge located ten miles south of Wellsboro that he persuaded the Chamber of Commerce to publicize the gorge as a natural wonder of Tioga County; and
WHEREAS, As a result of these efforts, visitors came to see the breathtaking 50-mile gorge, now known as the "Grand Canyon of the East" or the "Pennsylvania Grand Canyon"; and
WHEREAS, Originally organized by the Lions Club, the first
festival was held to promote not only the Grand Canyon but also the State flower - the mountain laurel. Events included a parade, circus, block dance, ball and the crowning of the first Laurel Queen; and
WHEREAS, The Festival, now sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, is organized by a committee of devoted volunteers and attracts between 30,000 and 35,000 people; and WHEREAS, Over the years the Festival has undergone many changes. In 1950 the title officially became the "Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival" to indicate the representation of the many towns from throughout this Commonwealth. Various events have been added, including the Pet Parade, the Laurel Princess Program, the Arts and Crafts Fair, the Laurel Concert Series, a 10k foot race and the Laurel Classic Bicycle Race; and
WHEREAS, Festival visitors not only enjoy the fun of the Festival but also the unspoiled forest land abloom with laurel, majestic mountains and clear streams in the area; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives memorialize the Governor to proclaim the festival held annually during the month of June in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, as the "Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival."