LEWISTOWN - With the annual Embassy Theatre Festival just around the corner, things are falling in to place to make this year's event the best yet.
This will be the 13th year the festival has been held to raise money to restore and reopen the historic Embassy Theatre on South Main Street.
When the Friends of The Embassy bought the theatre in 1991, the board knew it would need plenty of restoration and rehabilitation; however, a team of architects and engineers determined that the building was "structurally sound" and its "load-bearing members were in good condition with no rust or deterioration."
Several grants have been secured by the Friends to continue the restoration of the theatre, however the grants must be matched or they could potentially lose the money.
The Friends of the Embassy are focused on getting the first phase of the theatre project completed, which includes, among other things, replacing deteriorating or missing bricks on the outside of the building.
Much of the outside of the building, has been restored, including the marquee, box office, windows and display casings.
The next step in the restoration project would then be to construct a small annex, which would house mechanical equipment, such as heating and air conditioning, a concession stand and bathrooms.
The Friends hope that this year's festival will bring enough money to help kick start pending restoration projects.
When completed, the theatre will be used to show second-run movies, community-based theater, concerts, symphonies and special events.
With access to a larger area this year, Embassy Marketing Director Rick Clark said the festival is shaping up to be a smash hit for the community and he expects over 15,000 people will attend the 10 day event.
"It's going to be much better than it has been in the past, that is for sure," Clark said of the community support the festival is receiving in the form sponsorships and donations.
"I'm sure that at this point people have cabin fever and they probably need to get out and stretch their legs," President of the friends, Paul Fagley said with a laugh about a winter that continues to drag on.
Fagley said that this years festival is really shaping up to be something special and he encourages people to come out and enjoy all the activities.
"Especially if you have not been to the festival in a while. Come see what were doing this year, it's going to be great," Fagley said.
"There will be a little something for everyone this year," Lisa Heckman said, whose alter ego Toodles the Clown will be making an appearance at the festival.
Heckman's business, Tillie's Sunshine in McVeytown is one of many local businesses that are both participating in, and sponsoring festival activities this year.
Heckman has several activities planned this year for children attending the festival, including a magic show, balloon animals, face painting, sand art and games.
"It's going to be a jam packed week," Heckman said of all the entertainment planned for the festival.
Clark said there is a hot dog and pizza eating contest scheduled, bingo, rides, live demonstrations, crafts and numerous exhibits and karaoke.
Lucinda Palm, owner of the Keg, said people have been "coming out of the walls" to participate in the adult karaoke contest.
Palm said the last round of the ongoing karaoke contest at the Keg, will finish on the main stage at the festival.
"I think this is absolutely great what they are doing," Palm said of the people involved with the festival.
There are 12 bands scheduled this year including Max Corkin's band, No EZ Way, who are playing the after-fest party at the Green Gables restaurant. Other bands scheduled to make an appearance include, The Plastic Swords, Wiskerbisket, Brush Mountain Boys and the Truth Junkies, just to name a few.
13th Annual Embassy Downtown festival Schedule of Events Thursday April 23 to Saturday May 2 on South Main Street two blocks south of Monument Square. Interested sponsors and vendors call 248-0321. To donate to the Embassy Theatre, visit www.embassytheatre.org or write to the Friends of the Embassy Theatre, 114 Second Ave., Burnham PA, 17009.
Daily Skateboard and BMX Bike Demos presented by "Bliss Skate and Bike"
Kids Area Everyday Presented by "Miss Tillie Sunshine"
Daily, Homemade Specials in the Food Section of the "Big Tent"
The "Big Tent" presented by The Brooklyn Fire Co. Ladies Auxiliary
Thursday, April 23
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Live radio broadcast
7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Rock Band "Wiskerbisket"
8 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., Football "Knock-Off" contest
9 p.m. to 10 p.m., Rock Band "Wiskerbisket"
Friday, April 24
5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., Acoustic Rock Band "Unfinished Business"
7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Rock/Country Band "Blackwater"
8 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., Golf "Putting Contest"
9 p.m. to 10 p.m., Rock/Country Band "Blackwater"
Saturday, April 25
2 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., Kid Karaoke with S & D Music
3:15 p.m. to 4 p.m., Miss Tillie Sunshines Magic Show
5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., Miss Stephanie's Dance Demo
7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Rock Band "Plastic Swords,"
8 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., Scrunch-a-Balloon Contest
9 p.m. to 10 p.m., Rock Band "Plastic Swords,"
Sunday, April 26
1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., BINGO in the Bit Tent
1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., Live band "Dulcimers"
2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., Bible Baptist Praise Group
3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., Bernhard Carpenter
4 p.m. to 4:20 p.m., Sharon Bowman
4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Diaper Dash Contest
5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., Alternative 90's Band "Alternative Crush"
7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Alternative 90's Band "Alternative Crush"
Monday, April 27
5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., BINGO in the "Big Tent"
5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., Square Dancing Demo Presented by "Ellen Chapel 4-H"
7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Bluegrass band "Brush Mountain Boys"
9 p.m. to 10 p.m., Bluegrass band "Brush Mountain Boys"
Tuesday, April 28
5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., Live Dancing Demo
7p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Live Band "Messenger"
8p.m. to 8:45 p.m., Blindfolded Musical Stools Contest
9 p.m. to 10 p.m., Live Band "Messenger"
Wednesday, April 29
5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., "MC Extreme" Cheerleading Demo
7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Classic Rock Band "Impulse"
8 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., Server Races (Waiters, Waitresses) Presented by Green Gables
9 p.m. to 10 p.m., Classic Rock Band "Impulse"
Thursday, April 30
5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m., Miss Stephanie's Dance Demo
6:15 p.m. to 7 p.m., Alternative 90's Band "Alternative Crush"
7:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., "Egg-on-a-Spoon" Contest
7:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Classic Rock/Folk band "Truth Junkies"
9 p.m. to 10 p.m., Classic Rock/Folk band "Truth Junkies"
Friday, May 1 Teen Night
5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., Ken Miller's Martial Arts Demo
5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., BINGO in the Big Tent
6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., Pizza Eating Contest (18 and under) Presented by Audrey's Pizzeria
7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Hip-Hop Group "First Rate"
7:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Live Band "Mercy Nation"
8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Rock Band Contest Presented by "Aarons Lease and Sales"
9:45 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Live Band "Mercy Nation"
Saturday, May 2
Noon to 2:15 p.m., Adult Karaoke Finals Presented by "The Keg"
3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., Hot Dog Eating Contest (18 and over) Presented by Laskaris
4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., Margaret McCann's Dance Demo
5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., Doggie Beauty Contest Presented by "Rescue Our Furry Friends"
6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., Country Music Artist "Chris Ruble"
8:15 p.m. to 9 p.m., Guitar Hero Contest Presented by "Aaron's Lease and Sales"
9:15 p.m. to 10:15 p.m., Country Music Artist "Chris Ruble"
9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., After-Fest Party at the Green Gables Restaurant with Max Corkins Band "No EZ Way" $5 donation, limited to 300 tickets.