Heidi Rice

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September 5, 2014
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New Castle Burning Mountain Festival saved by community

At one point, New Castle officials were afraid Burning Mountain Festival wouldn’t happen this year, now that the chamber was no longer involved.

But town officials and volunteers from the community saved the day and pulled together.

“We took it over,” said Ed Nichols, who is coordinating the event. “It’s too important to the town. It’s been around too long and too many people love it to let that happen. But we were very worried at one point that it would disappear after 42 years.”

Burning Mountain Festival will include a lot of the same favorite events, including the Saturday morning parade, although parade entries are still needed.

“We need people to watch and people to walk,” Nichols said.

A time capsule will also be buried in Ritter Plaza on Friday afternoon.

“It has a variety of items,” said Leah Feeley, town administrative assistant who put together the time capsule. “We’ve got old photos from around town, pictures of town from the 1800’s, the recreation department’s baseball uniforms that they wore in the town’s 125th anniversary celebration last year, newspapers from the 125th anniversary, a 100th anniversary mug — it’s kind of centered around the 125th anniversary.”

The time capsule will be buried for 50 years and taken out in 2064.

Children’s games will all be held in Ritter Plaza and there will be a display of youth art at 384 Main Street.

“Gus the Bus will be there and the kids can blow up balloons and there will be face painting,” Nichols said.

There will be lots of music in the park and craft and food vendors during both days.

“The local restaurants will have specials, too,” Nichols said. “We have some great restaurants downtown. People should come down and try them.”

So, are you ready for a Burning Mountain Festival?

“I’m as ready as I am right now,” Nichols said with a laugh.

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The Post Independent Updated Sep 5, 2014 05:36AM Published Sep 6, 2014 06:40AM Copyright 2014 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.