Clarion chamber gearing up for ALF

Clarion’s Autumn Leaf Festival is only 10 days away from its Sept. 28 opening.

“We have had some hiccups but right now things are in a good place,” said Tracy Becker, executive director of the Clarion Chamber of Business and Industry.

“We have some new people in the office that have never been through it but they have been on the other side, as university students,” Becker said. “One girl said she could not believe what all went into the festival.”

“We have a wonderful staff and they work long hours. Some times when I am driving home I will see the lights on and call them to tell them to go home,” said Chamber board president Jennifer Keth.

“I think my favorite thing about this year’s festival is the theme, “American Autumn,” said Becker.

The grand marshal for this year’s parade underscores the theme.

“What excites me is who our grand marshal is for the Tournament of Leaves parade, the American Legion Riders,” said Becker. “They are telling me right now to expect over 100 motorcycles with American flags. American Legion groups are coming from as far away as Harrisburg.”

“We have a lot of great sponsors this year, said Keth. “That’s what’s good about this community.”

“We had one group step out and another group stepped in immediately,” said Becker.

Getting around Clarion can be a problem during the festival.

Three buses will run a shuttle service from Walmart and J.C. Penney into town. The cost is $1.50 each way, but riders under six or over 65 ride for free.

The full schedule appears on the chamber’s website and additional information is available at various businesses in the area.