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Festivals and carnivals return to Central PA providing support to local businesses and volunteer organizations

People are now able to enjoy live music, drinks, food and support local businesses after a year of mitigation orders

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — With COVID-19 restrictions easing and warm temperatures rising it's only fitting the beginning of festivals and carnivals are here.

Dauphin County Commissioners and M&T Bank held a festival today to provide Pennsylvanians with some fun.

The two planned to hold the "Proudly PA" festival last year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it could not occur.

Saturday marked its beginning and more than 1,000 people were expected to show up.

People enjoyed live music, different types of drinks, and foods and had the chance to support local businesses.

"A lot of businesses struggled last year and this is a great opportunity for us to be able to give back, said Nancy Gates, assistant program manager of the Dauphin County Parks and Recreation, "the community to be able to give back by supporting these businesses here today."

Business vendors were excited to come out and see people in their communities.

"Having fun and gathering together, it's great to see, and everybody is just so wonderful especially when they find out what we're doing," said Donna Shuler, acting president of Shalom Services.

In addition, residents were happy to feel a bit of normalcy.

"It's nice to finally be around people again," said Jenna Deppen of Camp Hill, "It's weird but it's a good weird."

These types of events also leave an impact on volunteer-based companies.

The co-chairperson for the Shrewsbury Fireman's Carnival, Matthe Mitzel says every little bit of income helps because the fire volunteer company relies heavily on help from the community.

"Whether it's even sponsorships for our carnival or fireworks display. To the little bit of the community income that comes in that supports us as a fire company," he said.

The "Proudly PA" festival was only a one-day affair but event managers hope to continue to hold more events throughout the summer.

Mitzel says the Shrewsbury Fireman's Carnival will be held June 28th through July 3rd and their fireworks display will be held July 3rd at 10:45 p.m.

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