DENNISON (Tusco TV) - The Dennison Railroad Festival appears to be back on for 2020 with a group of community members stepping up to run it.
Saturday's "Help Save the Railroad Festival" public meeting drew more than a dozen Twin City residents willing to serve as board members or head up various aspects of the festival. Dennison Volunteer Firefighter George Flanagan says he will step in wherever he’s needed so future generations can continue to enjoy the yearly tradition.
"There’s a lot of kids that don’t get to go anywhere else. There’s nothing in this community to keep these kids here, and there needs to be. I really think it’s a really, really good thing for everyone," he says.
Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition member Diana Smith says she’s willing to serve as a board member. She says events like these can help keep kids out of trouble.
"We’re constantly hearing there’s nothing for the kids to do so they turn to drugs because what else is there, so if we can keep this tradition going and we can give the kids a positive outlook and something to look forward to, we can try to start improving that epidemic that we got going on," she says.
Claymont High School teacher Sara Trimmer says this festival means a lot to their students, so she knows they’d be willing to come out and help.
"Our high school kids at Claymont, they’re amazing. They really are. They want to be supportive of the community, and they want to help, and so getting some of them involved in terms of put-up and tear-down or just running some of their volunteer booths, I know that they would be willing to do it," she says.
Outgoing festival board president Greg DiDonato says the meeting was to gauge community interest because they need to let the vendors and ride company know as soon as possible whether the event is still on. He says he was impressed with the turnout.
"Clearly, there’s a passion. They don’t want the festival to end, and there’s good people who can carry it on," he says.
DiDonato says the group will reconvene sometime in October or early November to select board members and chairpeople and start getting more of the details ironed out.