Mostly socially distanced and with masks on, many members in the Gov. Mifflin School District community spent Sept. 5 to 7 listening to music and enjoying fair food favorites.
With the cancellation of Community Days this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Greater Governor Mifflin League — a nonprofit devoted to the Gov. Mifflin community which consists of Shillington, Kenhorst, Mohnton, Cumru Township and Brecknock Township — still wanted to provide an event for the community.
The result was the three-day, smaller-scaled Drive N' Dine event, held Sept. 5 through Sept. 7, rain or shine, noon to 7 p.m. each day. Vendors were on site and entertainment was from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
The League wanted to give something back to the community after the cancellation of Community Days. Erich Cawalla, League president and member of The Uptown Band, pitched Drive N' Dine after seeing another town host such an event. A subcommittee was made and the planning for the event began in June.
"We wanted to do something for the community, to let them know we're still active, since we had to cancel Community Days," Swavely said. "This is a good way to get people out to enjoy some good music and fair food during the last weekend of summer."
Cawalla also publicly thanked the sponsors for the event.
The Uptown Band kicked off the event's entertainment Saturday, Sept. 5. Taking the stage on Sunday, Sept. 6, was 23-year-old, award-winning Elvis tribute artist Jeff Krick Jr. and on Monday, Sept. 7, Mifflin graduate Cody Tyler performed.
"We appreciate all of you being here tonight," said Cawalla. "We know this has been probably the toughest time in our lives the last 20 years. It's been tough, but we're very, very fortunate that you're here and we thank you."
Cawalla also thanked the Mifflin school board for allowing the event to happen under the stipulation that all federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regulations would be followed.
To ensure proper social distancing, vehicles were parked in every other spot and attendees were asked to stay by their vehicles unless they were getting food from the vendors. Masks were to be worn in the vendor area and hand sanitizer stations were also set up in the vendor area.
Along with food and entertainment, attendees could take a chance on the 50-50 raffles each day.
"We're trying to keep everyone safe and also have them enjoy themselves," said Kevin Swavely, League treasurer. "I think we did a good job of pulling something together for the community."
Brenda Weaver, 49, and Gene Keener, 51, both of Lancaster, had no problems adjusting to the remain-by-your-vehicle rule. They set up their chairs in the bed of their pickup truck as they settled in to listen to The Uptown Band. The couple travels the state, they said, to see the band perform.
Community Days is scheduled for July 5-10 in 2021.