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Jubilee Day vendors face higher costs as event returns to Mechanicsburg

Thursday marked the 92nd annual Jubilee Day, which returned to the borough after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — It’s the longest-running one-day street fair on the east coast!

Jubilee Day returned Thursday for its 92nd year in downtown Mechanicsburg.

“Jubilee Day started many many years ago with local vendors and merchants in the community coming together to offer their wears to the residents and the tradition has continued for many years now," said Bob Buhrig of the Mechanicsburg Chamber of Commerce.

The festival brings nearly 300 vendors, artists, and community groups together.

This year, participation is coming at a higher cost.

“Everything adds up," said Wayne Schaeffer, owner of Big Fat Daddy's, which has been participating in Jubilee Day for over 30 years. "Labor, propane, the space cost so it cuts into our pockets a lot.”

Schaeffer says unfortunately those higher costs have to get passed on to customers.

"Food is sky-high, we had to bump everything up a couple pennies and dollars to make any money," he said. "I'm sure the public knows when they go to the grocery store"

Mechanicsburg’s first pizza shop, Jojo’s Pizza, is dealing with the same thing.

“Trying to offer our items at an affordable cost to our customers, especially our loyal customers, we really struggle with that and struggle to keep our prices low," said Tiffany Faulk, the restaurant's director.

Vendors come from all over south central Pennsylvania to join in on the Jubilee Day fun. 

With gas prices rising to $5 a gallon, transportation costs are skyrocketing too.

Jojo’s says it’s changed the way they do deliveries, in order to help out their drivers.

“We have added a fuel cost, fuel fee, we charge our customers an extra $1 for each delivery they order," said Faulk.

Through all the challenges, organizers say it’s more important than ever for the community to come out and show their support.

“They can smile at people they haven’t seen in some cases in a couple years, they can enjoy the vendors who are here sharing their crafts with us and in turn support them and help keep them viable businesses," said Buhrig.

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