Duncannon Appalachian Trail community to host annual trail festival

Through hikers, weekend warriors and Duncannon, PA residents alike will show their support for the United States’ first national trail when they gather for Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community’s third annual festival on June 21, 2014.

The celebration, originally called the Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community Festival, got its start when Duncannon was dedicated as an Appalachian Trail Community in 2012, said trail ambassador Paul Smith. “Whenever they’re designated, they usually do a designation ceremony,” he said. “We decided to make that an annual event.”

“Appalachian Trail Communities recognize areas that promote and protect the Appalachian Trail,” community president Sean O’Shell said. Duncannon is one of 32 communities to receive the designation. The trail, boasting a length of more than 2,000 miles, wends its way across the East Coast from Georgia to Maine. High and Cumberland streets in Duncannon actually are part of the trail.

This year’s festival, renamed the Duncannon Blast, will be on a section of High Street between Cumberland and Ann streets from noon to 4 p.m.

“We try to help preserve and promote the Appalachian Trail and have people know that it’s right in town,” O’Shell said, adding that his own trail affiliation changed his life for the better.

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