Brethren celebrate heritage

Annual festival includes worship, food, games

The Middle Pennsylvania District of the Church of the Brethren will hold its 38th annual Heritage Fair on Sept. 22 at Camp Blue Diamond.

The fair begins with a diner-style breakfast served from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. in the lodge.

A 5K run/walk will begin at

7 a.m. at the director’s house, and food and craft booths will open at 8:30 a.m.

During the day, there will be a variety of demonstrations, displays, activities and entertainment for youth and adults of all ages.

An auction featuring baskets, handmade items and quilts begins at 11 a.m. and concludes about 1 p.m.

A children’s area includes scarecrow making, face painting, cookie painting, a bounce house, saw dust pile, balloon animals, games and activities.

The camp grounds will be filled with music, food and craft booths sponsored by churches, the Brethren Ministries Center, ‘Dunk the Dunker’ tank, a

4-square tournament and historical demonstrations. Dr. Jeff Bach, a leading historian on Brethren history, will also be on hand.

About 30 church-sponsored booths will offer many regional and traditional favorites including apple cider, apple dumplings, candy and caramel apples, potato soup, beef and noodles, bean soup, apple butter, haluska, kettle corn, apple butter pies, varieties of fudge, varieties of pies and assorted desserts.

On Sunday, Sept. 23, a free continental breakfast will be served at 9:30 a.m. in the main lodge, followed by morning worship with David Banaszak, District Executive Minister.

The public is invited to attend the fair, which will be held rain or shine. Parking and admission are free. Shuttles are available from the parking lots.

The annual event is sponsored by the 55 congregations in Middle Pennsylvania District and is held at Camp Blue Diamond, 7 miles northwest of Petersburg. Signs will be posted along Routes 22, 26 and 305 leading to the camp.

Originally organized in 1981, the fair has been held each year since, with the proceeds split between Camp Blue Diamond and Middle Pennsylvania District Church of the Brethren ministries. These ministries support summer camp programs, calling and credentialing ministers, youth events and training workshops.

Located within Rothrock State Forest, the camp is on 238 acres of hemlock, pine and oak forest, with a clean and clear stream-fed lake running through the center of the property.

Heritage Fair visitors are welcome to explore the lake, cabins and surroundings.

For more information, visit