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Crickfest draws crowds to Coburn Park

by on September 06, 2018 11:20 AM

COBURN — The Penns Valley Conservation Association's Crickfest derives its name from a slang term for "creek," and the name certainly is appropriate for the event, which is held at Coburn Park, where Elk Creek and Pine Creek both flow into Penns Creek. The festival, in its 16th year, was held Sept. 2. 

The PVCA fundraising event celebrates conservation of the environment and watershed, and attracts hundreds of citizens from Penns Valley and the surrounding area each year. It features live music, food, a silent auction and many fun and educational activities for the whole family. 

Profits from Crickfest help to finance the PVCA's environmental education program in the Penns Valley Area School District, as well as several other projects.

In the nonprofit groups display area, Lisa Marshall and Larry Wolken represented WSOV, the low-power FM radio station that broadcasts in Penns Valley. Planning for the radio station began in 2013, when Marshall and Wolken met with locals to discuss the idea. They were soon granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission to build the station under the auspices of the PVCA.

WSOV, which has a studio and transmitter in Millheim, acquired equipment through numerous fundraising events over a four-year period.

The "Sounds of the Valley" began broadcasting in December 2017. Marshall said the FCC-mandated 100 watts maximum power restriction and geography of Penns Valley degrades the signal at the valley’s extremities, but the station is now live-streaming on the Internet at, making it available everywhere.

Kyle Fawcett was on hand representing the Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey. This group of volunteers works under the auspices of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to collect data from citizens’ sightings of salamanders, frogs, toads, lizards, turtles and snakes throughout the state. Collected information is fed into a large database to determine population changes and other conditions that might indicate problems with environments or predators, leading to further investigation.

Also at the event was Mike Dupuy, of Middleburg, who is known as "Mike the Falconer." Dupuy has had a lifelong involvement in falconry, making it his career by traveling around the country giving informative presentations on falcons, hawks and other birds of prey. He brought a falcon to Crickfest, explaining the habits and behavior of birds of prey. He noted that some endangered species of birds are now increasing in population, thanks to the efforts of conservation-minded citizens.

Rubber duck races always are a popular children’s activity during Crickfest. Entrants purchased numbered yellow rubber ducks, which were released in a swift-flowing section of Penns Creek. Prizes were awarded to the first few ducks to cross the finish line, about 60 yards downstream.

Another popular children’s activity was the launching of water rockets, made out of 2-liter soda bottles. The kids used tire pumps connected to plastic piping to pump up air pressure in the bottles, then pulled string that released the "rockets," shooting them high into the air and spraying out a stream of water as they climbed. When the right balance of water and air pressure was achieved, the rockets often flew higher than the nearby trees.



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