Kutztown Day celebration dates back to 1907

Photo by Steven Stolley Generation Gap played two sets, covering an eclectic variety of rock and country hits during Kutztown Day on Sunday. Generation Gap is comprised of Chris Moyer, 23, of Kutztown on drums, Kyle Isamoyer, 22, of Lyons on lead guitar and providing some lead vocals, Tom Vollmer, 78, of Shartlesville on steel guitar and Rick Hartman, 60, on bass guitar and providing lead/harmony vocals.
Photo by Steven Stolley Fireworks concluded Kutztown Day on Sunday.

Scattered showers during Sunday’s events were not enough to put a damper on the 107th Kutztown Day.

“Kutztown Day is an old celebration of Kutztown, it’s been around since 1907,” said Kutztown Day Chairman Jim Schlegel, Borough Councilman. “The only time they did not hold Kutztown Day was during World War II, and that’s because the men were all overseas fighting.”

The yearly celebration, which takes place on the first Sunday in August, was held in Kutztown Park and featured a number of vendors, performers and activities for attendees to enjoy throughout the day before concluding with a fireworks display at the lower southeast end of the park.

“This year’s Kutztown Day was outstanding,” said Schlegel. “We had a lot of good displays, the churches were here handing out information, Air Products from Trexlertown had their hydrogen car here to hand out free samples of ice cream made with nitrogen and there were a lot of great baseball games.”

“The quoit tournament actually lasted three or four hours. It was a great day, people had a good time. It drizzled a little bit, but it went away.”

Schlegel has been chairman of Kutztown Day for the last five years, but has been involved with Kutztown Day since he was a kid.

The family-friendly event, hosted by the borough, featured $1 raffle tickets, available all day, for a chance to win one of more than 80 prizes and gift certificates offered by local businesses.

Kutztown Youth Athletic Association (KYAA) baseball and softball games also spanned the event. At 1 p.m. a Hit, Pitch and Run Contest was held.

Guests could also play Bingo at 1 or attend the Lehigh Valley Health Network Health Fair held from 1-3. The Lions Club offered KidSight Vision Screenings from 1-4 and the Air Products LIN Cream & Hydrogen Car proffered free samples of the company’s innovative liquid nitrogen (LIN) “ice” cream from 1-5. The Kutztown Grange held a shoo-fly pie sale at 1:30. Guests could also cake walk or participate in a quoit tournament.

Children’s games were held at 3 and a moon bounce and other activities were available throughout the day. Food was sold at the Snack Bar throughout the event.

Live concert performances by the Allentown Band took place in the Bandshell at 3, 4:30 and 7:30.

At the lower southeast end of the park, local band Generation Gap played two sets, covering an eclectic variety of rock and country hits by performers from Chuck Berry to Steve Miller and contemporary act Florida Georgia Line. The aptly named Generation Gap is comprised of 2014 Kutztown University graduate Chris Moyer, 23, of Kutztown on drums, Kyle Isamoyer, 22, of Lyons on lead guitar and providing some lead vocals, Tom Vollmer, 78, of Shartlesville on steel guitar and Rick Hartman, 60, on bass guitar and providing lead/harmony vocals.

“We’re part of a bigger act called The Outlaws featuring Crazy Elmer; we do a lot of large outdoor venues with 800-1,000 people,” said Hartman, speaking for the group. “We formed this band as a subset of that. We play some newer country music, some rock music and some southern rock music. We thought this event was great. I wish there would have been a few more people here, but the weather I’m sure had something to do with that. We really liked it, we’re really glad we were here.”

The guests seemed to enjoy their music and the event, as well. Alex Palermo, 22, another 2014 Kutztown University graduate, said, “I really liked the music and the food; the fireworks display was solid, too.”

After concluding their second set, Generation Gap yielded the southeast stage for the raffle ticket drawing. It took several minutes to name all 80+ prize winners. After the final winner was called, recent Kutztown Area High School graduate Baylee Zimmerman sang the national anthem.

At 9:30, the attendees, gathered on the hill by the Keith Haring sculpture, then watched the stage lights go out as the day’s festivities culminated with a fireworks display courtesy of Kutztown Fire Company Station 46.