Photo Copyright Bob Blair
Every year in mid-June the community of Wellsboro celebrates the blooming of our State flower with the annual PA State Laurel Festival. Plans are already underway for the 73rd PA State Laurel Festival to be held June 14-22, 2014. The week-long event will include a juried arts and crafts fair, queens pageant, pet parade, children's health fair, and foot races, a gospel sing and several musical concerts, as well as the traditional two-hour Laurel Festival Parade. This is always a great week packed full of fun for the entire family - you are sure to find something for everyone's taste.
The Laurel Festival is truly a "State" festival. Miss Haylie Innocenzo from Towanda PA, the 2013 PA State Laurel Queen, will return to Wellsboro to reign over the Festival and crown the 2014 PA State Laurel Queen from among the beautiful young ladies chosen to represent high schools from throughout Pennsylvania.
Our parade traditionally features high school bands, drum and bugle corps, Shriner's units, horse units, floats, clowns and more from throughout the state, joined by several of our friends and neighbors from New York state as well.
The Festival was first held in 1938, and was the brainchild of a local businessman named Larry Woodin, who was hoping to boost a sagging economy by promoting the beautiful Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. The festival was originally organized by the Lions Club, but today's festival is sponsored by the Wellsboro Foundation Inc., administered by the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce, and is organized by a committee of volunteers who work year round to ensure its success.
2013 Laurel Queen, Hailey Innocenzo, Photo By Bruce Dart
Over the years, the Festival has grown and expanded and has become known far and wide. A big part of our success is due to the friendly hospitality of our area. We invite visitors to enjoy not only the fun of our festival in June, but plan to return for our Dickens of a Christmas in December. Please take time also to enjoy our majestic mountains, the forestland abloom with laurel, our beautiful lakes and the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.