RIMERSBURG – New life is being breathed into a longstanding local event, as the newly dubbed Southern Clarion County Community Days makes its debut in Rimersburg this weekend.
For decades, the Rimersburg community gathered each August for the annual Cookie Daze celebration, named in honor of the former Davis Cookie Company along the town’s Baker Street, which manufactured Archway cookies. Even after the factory changed hands and eventually closed, Cookie Daze carried on.
A lack of volunteers and the pandemic hit the festival in recent years, with events scaled back to the large car cruise, which was a mainstay on Sunday at the festival for years.
But this year, under new leadership with the Southern Clarion Police Association, a two-day festival will return Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13-14.
SCPA member Dan Burkett of Rimersburg said that the longtime car cruise organizers were looking to step down following the 2021 event, and the police association was looking for an event in Rimersburg to help organize.
Burkett said police association members worked with the car cruise organizers last year, with plans to take over the event this summer.
“We decided to grow it a little bit into a community festival,” he said.
On Saturday, events will start off with a Rimersburg homecoming with a focus on local history from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Jerusalem United Church of Christ, at the corner of Main and Cherry Run streets.
Burkett said that Rimersburg mayor Tim Yeany is organizing the history homecoming, which developed from his Rimersburg history Facebook page.
“We’ll share old pictures of the town,” Burkett said. “People are encouraged to bring photos and memorabilia.”
Saturday evening marks the return of the parade to Rimersburg.
“The parade was always a big part of Cookie Daze,” Burkett said. He explained that for many years, the parade was directed by the late Susan Barger. Her sister, Pat Stewart, is taking the helm this year, with the parade being held in memory of Barger.
The parade steps off from the Rimersburg Fairgrounds at 6 p.m., and will make its way down Lawsonham Street and Main Street through the center of town.
“To follow the parade, we’re going to have an Ugly Truck Contest,” Burkett said, inviting any people with street-worthy, but ugly trucks to take part. Prize money will be awarded to the ugliest truck.
Festival-goers can check out the trucks along Main Street after the parade, and enjoy a street dance from 7 to 9 p.m. with music provided by a DJ.
“We’ll have food vendors too,” he said, noting that the vendors will also be on hand on Sunday. He explained that a number of local organizations will have booths with food, drinks and other goodies for sale.
The car cruise will officially be held along Main Street on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., but Burkett noted that the cars begin arriving in town much earlier.
“In the past, the Cookie Daze cruise brought 200 to 400 cars to town, and we hope to get that again,” he said.
Dash plaques will be given to participating cruisers while supplies last, and door prizes will be awarded.
For registration forms and more information about this weekend’s festivities, visit the SCPA website at scpoliceassociation.org and the group’s Facebook page.