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September by the River festival celebrating Freeport considered best yet | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

September by the River festival celebrating Freeport considered best yet

Tribune-Review
| Sunday, September 16, 2018 8:15 p.m
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Emily Balser | Tribune-Review
Lyla Smetanick, 2, prepares to take a ride on a train at the September by the River festival in Freeport on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018.
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Emily Balser | Tribune-Review
Singer Nick Fiasco performs hits from Frank Sinatra and other crooners during the September by the River festival in Freeport on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018.
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Emily Balser | Tribune-Review
Giggles the Clown makes balloon animals at the September by the River festival in Freeport on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018.
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Emily Balser | Tribune-Review
Marlowe Jones, 4, tries to stay cool during the September by the River festival in Freeport on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018.

Organizers said this year’s September by the River festival in Freeport may have been the best one yet.

The event has been held each year since 2007 at Riverside Drive Park by the nonprofit Freeport Renaissance Association as a way to bring the community together and draw in outside visitors.

Nick Triveri, association president and event director, said the momentum they have gained over the years combined with good weather to create a perfect weekend.

Triveri estimated that about 1,400 to 1,500 people made their way to the festival over the two days.

“This year’s been a great year,” he said. “We’ve had tremendous foot traffic.”

The two-day festival featured musical acts, food vendors, kids’ games and activities, a chain saw wood sculptor and other local vendors.

Local singer Nick Fiasco drew a crowd on Sunday as he sang hits from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and other classic crooners.

Freeport Area Middle School rock trio Audio Helmet performed on Saturday night. It was only the second time they’d ever performed since becoming a band.

“I think it’s just great they’re doing something for the community and bringing everyone together,” said Stephanie Smetanick, who brought her daughter, Lyla, 2, to the festival.

Springdale resident Lindsay Mal said she’s impressed with all of the activities offered for kids.

Attractions this year included a foam party, train rides, horse rides, balloon animals, and face painting among others.

“This is a tiny town, and this festival grows every year,” she said.

Michelle Lenhart brought her daughters Addison, 6, and Madelyn, 3. She said they like to come out and play the games where the kids can win prizes.

“Usually one of us brings the girls down,” she said. “My husband likes the food.”

As soon as one year’s festival ends it will be time to start planning the next one.

“We gear up, basically, the months of November (and) December,” Triveri said.

He said the Freeport Renaissance Association uses all of its proceeds to hold other events and work on other projects throughout the borough including planting flowers and holding a summer concert series.

“Our objective is to pour the money back into the community,” Triveri said. “We just try to make this borough a nice place.”

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, emilybalser@tribweb.com or via Twitter @emilybalser.

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