Chamber Reaches Milestone

ST. MARYS — During Saturday’s SummerFest parade, attendees may have noticed the giant birthday cake holding 60 birthday candles.

As another SummerFest has passed this weekend, it also recognized the 60th anniversary of the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce, whose SummerFest Committee puts on the festival every year.

“At the parade, we are having Mr. Ed Noble, who is the person who signed the original incorporation papers 60 years ago, who will be in the parade with his law partner Eldon Montague,” SummerFest Committee Member Jeff Squire said. “Both of them have been very involved with the chamber.”

For his signing of the papers, Noble was named grand marshal during this year’s parade and was joined by Montague in a van in front of the chamber’s birthday cake float.

In 1952, Noble officially signed the papers that incorporated the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce. Noble and a group of businessmen had been meeting and formed the chamber to assist local businesses. He also served as the first president of the board of trustees.

Montague has also served as a president of the board of trustees.

This year’s SummerFest also featured some new events, as well as some old favorites.

“We are having a Punt, Pass and Kick event for children this year,” Squire said. “This is a first year for that.”

Another new event for 2012 utilized a new feature at K.C. Geiger Park.

“Frisbee golf is new this year,” Squire said Saturday morning. “We are very excited we are able to use one of the new amenities at K.C. Geiger park. They’ve had various practice rounds and tutorials and they’ll have a frisbee golf tournament tomorrow.”

Sunday also featured another new event.

“Also tomorrow, we’ll have the Buzzard Baiters RC Air Show,” Squire said. “We’ve had three big new things this year.”

He noted the SummerFest is put on by the SummerFest Committee of the chamber and it has gone by various names throughout the decades.

“Even though the SummerFest is a subcommittee of the chamber, it’s an independent group that puts on the SummerFest,” he said.

One of the big factors that affects festival turnout, Squire noted, is the weather.

“The cold and the threat of bad weather put a damper on the crowds last year, but it was very nice on Thursday for Supper and Sounds, and even with the cold weather on Friday, we had a very nice crowd at the entertainment tent,” he said. “The weather for tonight and tomorrow is very promising.”

Squire noted the festival is a fundraiser for the chamber and encouraged residents to come out for the annual event.

“We want people to come and enjoy the park,” he said. “It’s a big fundraiser.”