BCRAC to host Water Lantern Remembrance event on October 24

BCRAC to host Water Lantern Remembrance event on October 24Pictured, are lanterns from the Sayre float. Provided photo.

The Bradford County Regional Arts Council (BCRAC) and the Keystone Theatre will host a community celebration on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Tom Fairchild Memorial Park (formerly the Riverside Park) in Towanda beginning at 5 p.m. 

The celebration will include a water lantern float on the Susquehanna River, music by Kevin Doupe, concessions, and a free community outdoor movie in memory of Karen Beirne-Getz, principal of Towanda’s J. Andrew Morrow school, who passed away in August after a lengthy battle with breast cancer.

Water lantern events are a way for communities to gather together to acknowledge friendships, express loss, and celebrate the peace and beauty that the world has to offer. 

October is a transitional month between summer and winter; it is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

“We have been planning to bring this event to the community and decided that this was a perfect time to do so.” said BCRAC Executive Director, Elaine Poost.  

“We added the outdoor movie to the event in memory of Karen, who was the sister of Kelly Wilhelm, principal at St. Agnes School and a longtime employee of the Keystone Theatre.” Poost added.

The event is also a fundraiser for the BCRAC Theater that has been closed since March due to the COVID pandemic. Water lanterns may be purchased for $12, with $2 dollars of each lantern going to breast cancer research through the Relay of Life event held annually in Wyalusing in October.  

Lanterns will be available at the event and during Keystone Theatre’s Curbside Popcorn sales every Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. You may also contact the BCRAC office at (570) 268-2787 to purchase a lantern.  

Lanterns should be decorated and personalized, and returned to the Keystone Theatre by Friday, Oct. 23, or brought to the event on Saturday, Oct. 24. A tea light will be affixed inside each lantern at the event, and at dusk the lanterns will be placed in the river upstream from the park.  The lanterns will float down river and will be collected by the BCRAC staff once they have passed under the Veterans Memorial Bridge, just south of the park.

The floating of the lanterns can be viewed from the Riverwalk along the Susquehanna River in Towanda, the Veterans Memorial Bridge, and from the park at the event. The event in the park will observe social distancing guidelines in effect on Oct. 24. 

BCRAC to host Water Lantern Remembrance event on October 24

Pictured, is Kevin Doupe, who will perform at the Oct. 24 celebration in Towanda. Provided photo.

Kevin Doupe will be performing from 5:30 to 7 p.m., followed by the free community movie, which will begin at about 7:15 p.m. Movie watchers will be able to watch from their vehicles or on the grass at the park. Blankets and lawn chairs are recommended. 

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