MILTON — Excitement has been building throughout the week as the 43rd edition of the Milton Harvest Festival has attracted strong crowds to each of its activities.

The festivities will climax Saturday as thousands will fill the streets of Milton for the annual festival parade, which steps off at 1 p.m. along Front Street.

“I’m just super excited about the parade this year,” Stephanie Moyer, the parade co-chair, said. “It’s going to be great weather. We always pray for no rain and we don’t even say the word the day before.”

Mostly sunny skies are forecast for Saturday, with highs reaching into the mid 80s.

Moyer said Ned Germini is serving as parade co-chair this year and will be taking over as chair next year.

“Last year, he followed me around,” Moyer said, of Germini. “Last year, he got his feet wet. This year he is jumping in full force. (The parade) is coming together really nice.”

A number of bands will be participating, including Fully Loaded, Milltown Melodies and the 46th Pennsylvania Regiment Band. Participating high school bands are scheduled to include Milton, Warrior Run, Montoursville and East Juniata.

Emergency responders will also be well represented.

“This year, we have the Mifflinburg Hose Company color guard coming,” Moyer said. “I’m super excited about that. They are sharp. They are on point.”

The Watsontown Police Department’s drug-detection dog, Mariska, is scheduled to participate, along with its horse, Sampson.

“I am super surprised about the community involvement, as far as the number of churches and community organizations participating,” Moyer said. “They are doing floats.”

Organizations she listed that will have floats entered include the ARC Susquehanna Valley and Weis Markets pharmacy.

“The Milton library has entered (the parade),” Moyer said. “I know they participated a couple of years ago. Their float was awesome.

“I am super excited for Saturday,” she continued. “I am ready to see what’s going to happen.”

Moyer said individuals participating in the parade should check in with parade volunteers in the parking lot at 1200 N. Front St. when they arrive on Saturday.

From there, volunteers will point entrants to where they need to line up.

Moyer noted that parking for parade participants is not available in the lot where the parade forms.

“It’s drop your group off and go,” she said.

Dr. Richard Klinetob will be the grand marshal for the parade. Barry Mabus will serve as saluting officer.

Judges will be Tea Jay Aikey, Brenda Raker and Dan Dominica.

Saturday’s complete schedule of activities include: Arts, crafts and food vendors open, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Broadway and Bound Avenue; 5K race, registration from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Filbert Street, race starts at 9:30; Milton Model Train Museum open, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m., third floor of the Milton Moose Family Center, 139 S. Front St.; parade, 1 p.m., Front Street; 3:30 p.m., parade awards presented, Broadway.

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email kevin@standard-journal.com.

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