Wooly Willy Wonderdaze Ekes Out a Win for Smethport

Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

Despite rainy weather, Smethport’s first annual National Wooly Willy Wonderdaze was a big success. About 2,500 people attended the carnival, fireworks, street dance, and car show over the four-day Wonderdaze festival held from June 18 through 21. Had the weather been better, the event would have drawn many more people to Smethport. This year’s turnout provided a glimpse of what’s in store for next year during weather that is sure to be sunny and warm!

Sponsored by the Smethport Chamber of Commerce, a great many people and organizations were responsible for Wooly Willy Wonderdaze.  Patch Products in Beloit, Wisconsin lent the use of their brand and designed the festival logo. Patch even developed banner ads to help promote the Wooly Willy festival over the iPhone and iTouch.

Patch also arranged for executives Bob Wann (CEO) and Dick Powell (CFO) to appear as guests of honor at the opening ceremony. Lisa Wuennemann, Director of Marketing at Patch, provided all the assistance the event planners requested, never turning them down. Mary Jo Corignani at Patch’s local facility (Smethport Specialty) also provided a big assist with the car show.

Jim Herzog, the man who started it all with his invention of the Wooly Willy magnetic toy in 1955, was always on hand to lend his assistance, even devising the “Discover Smethport” quiz.

Special thanks go to Jeff and Christy Andrulonis of Colonial Radio Group for their leadership in getting event planning into high gear. Noteworthy among their many achievements was their blistering fundraising drive for the fireworks, making arrangements for the carnival, and generating much of the publicity for the event through their radio station and remote broadcasts.

Rose Bishop and Michele Burns sold most of the Wooly Willy admission buttons, which was an important revenue source for putting on the event for Smethport.

Jackie Taylor did a superb job managing 21 vendors, some coming from as far away as Buffalo and Olean to participate in the Wonderdaze festival.

Les Jordan, Jr. cranked out press releases, arranged for the band at the street dance, and organized and helped judge the window art contest. He also provided valuable insight and advice throughout the planning process.

Thanks go to Anne Potter for generously offering her Lavender House on W. Green Street for the Father-Daughter dance. The kids had a great time and the professional photos will rekindle some great memories for many years to come.

Darlene Dorward organized the Backyard Challenge presented by Family Life Network of East Smethport Church of God. The event featured a tug-of-war between opposing sides of eager teenagers.

Thanks to Smethport Ministerium for providing the Church Service at Hamlin Park the morning of Fathers Day before the car show.

Other groups participating in Wooly Willy Wonderdaze included the Smethport Rotary Club which ran the Duck Race on Hamlin Lake and the Smethport Lions who provided some great barbequed food at Hamlin Lake Park. The Smethport Fire Department not only furnished barbequed chicken at the park and drove the antique fire truck in the parade, they provided for traffic control at the Street Dance and parade.

Corky Hull raised money for the Potato Creek Trail Association by loaning out kayaks for a spin around Hamlin Lake during the car show. In addition to fiberglass models, Corky even allowed people to try his handcrafted wooden kayaks. Corky also supported the car show by providing tables and chairs for the organizers.

Diana Covert provided the excellent trophies for the car show. Several times the car show MC commented on the quality of the trophies during the presentation to the winners.

The following businesses supported the car show by sponsoring trophies. Names in bold indicate sponsors of multiple trophies.

Costa’s Ace Hardware – Smethport
Ascent Solutions – Smethport
The Country Porch – Smethport
Tri-County Tire – Smethport
Sweet William’s Treats – Crosby
Buchanan Brothers’ Pharmacy – Smethport
Fox’s Pizza Den – Smethport
Headliners – Smethport
McKean County E-Sales – Smethport
Edward Jones FA Keith Delacour – Smethport
Free and Accepted Masons of McKean, Lodge No. 388 – Smethport
Smethport Gulf & Tire – Smethport
Lindgren’s Variety Store – Smethport
Carlson Dental Associates – Port Allegany
Hull’s – Smethport
Olsen & Tenglund Inc. – Smethport
Bouton House – Smethport
Lakeview Living & Rehabilitation – Smethport
Marvel Specialty Co. – Smethport
WLMI Radio Network – Smethport
Bill Lake Real Estate – Smethport
Chief Specialties Co. – Smethport
The Mountain / 106.3 WXMT – Smethport
Charles Cole Memorial Hospital – Coudersport
Smethport Country Club – Smethport
Rainy Day Farms – Smethport
Dexter’s Service Center – Bradford
Timber Ghost Taxidermy – Smethport
Sena Kean Manor – Smethport
Corner Restaurant & Bar – Smethport
J&B Furniture – Port Allegany
Smethport Motel – Smethport
Myra’s – Smethport
V.F.W. Post 2497 – Smethport
H&S Pet Animal Hospital – Smethport
Kwik Fill – Smethport
Mansion District Inn Suites – Smethport
Bayline Insurance Agency – Port Allegany
D.S. Groff Electric – Lewis Run
Northwest Savings Bank – Smethport
Lent’s Garage – Smethport
The Cottage House – Smethport
Zaleski Vinyl Outlet – Smethport
Precision Collision – Smethport
Lightwaves Laser Engraving – Smethport
C. L. McKiernan, Inc. – Smethport
Rain or Schine Towing – Bradford

Wooly Willy Wonderdaze was the result of a great cooperative effort between many individuals and organizations. Congratulations to all!