Thursday, January 24, 2013

Milton Harvest Festival, part 1, John Yingling

The 2012 Milton Harvest Festival was held September 7 - 15.  This year, the Harvest Festival was dedicated to one of its founders, its long-serving Master of Ceremonies, my former boss, my friend, John Yingling.
John Yingling, waiting for the beginning of the parade.

John, the story goes, along with Milton businessman, John Everitt, were trying to find a way for Milton to recover from two devastating floods -- Agnes in 1972 and Eloise in 1975.  The idea of the Harvest Festival became a reality in 1977.

Chef Boyardee is the most famous of Milton businesses.  It has now been absorbed by a large corporation, but is still Milton's largest employer.  Back in 1977, the real Chef Boyardee -- Hector Boiardi -- provided the spaghetti for a block-long spaghetti dinner during the first Festival.  He also served as Grand Marshall for the "Tomato Harvest" parade the following year. 

John on the Grand Stand

John Yingling was the announcer for the parade for each year the Festival was held, except in 1986, when he was the Grand Marshall.   

I was privileged to work with John for many years at WMLP radio, and also lucky to develop a wonderful relationship with his talented wife, Ruth, known to many people in the Susquehanna Valley as "Zelda Zodiac."  

Thanks for the memories, John and Ruth!    

Some of the information for this post came from the following website:

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