By Danielle Nelson
*This article is posted on The Express Times website
The annual Heritage Day celebration returns Sunday to downtown Easton. (Express-Times File Photo)
Easton’s Heritage Day will be a lot greener this year.
The organizing committee has decided to do away with tokens, instead allowing vendors to accept cash and in some cases credit and debit cards at the 37th annual Heritage Day on Sunday.
“The reactions have been very positive from the food vendors and the public,” committee Chairwoman Diane Bower said Monday.
There will be no more long token lines as individuals can now go directly to the vendors to purchase their items at the festival, which Mayor Sal Panto Jr. said is beneficial because it will require less labor. In years past, there were four or five token lines with three or five volunteers managing the lines, he said.
The Heritage Day festival is a non-profit event, which celebrates the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence in Easton, Philadelphia and Trenton on July 8, 1776.
The festival, which is not put on by the city, is organized annually by volunteers and paid for through sponsorships. As a result, Bower said the committee pays for everything.
“We pay for the bands, vendors, the tents, and the fireworks,” she said.
During previous festivals, the committee charged vendors a small space fee and collected a percentage of the profits to pay its expenses.
Bower said committee members would arrive in Centre Square as early as 6:30 a.m. the day of the festival and would not leave until 1:30 a.m. the next morning because volunteers needed to count the money from the tokens and pay out the vendors’ earnings.
In the absence of tokens, the organizing committee will charge vendors a larger space fee. Bower said vendors will no longer have to stay into the wee hours of the night either.
“Whatever they take in that day is theirs so at the end of the day they can just pack up and leave and will not have to wait to be paid,” Bower said.
The Declaration of Independence will be read in Centre Square at noon. The reading will be preceded at 11 a.m. with a re-enactment by town criers, who will argue in favor of independence from Great Britain or continued loyalty to King George.
The day will include three stages of live music and beers from Easton-based Weyerbacher Brewing Co., Yuengling and Yard’s Brewing Co.’s “Ales of the Revolution.” Also available are trolley tours of historic Easton and College Hill, and the Sigal Museum and Third Street Alliance will be open for tours until 4 p.m.
The day will be capped with the annual fireworks display, which is slated for 9:30 p.m.
© Herculean Stars, Inc. All rights reserved.