Just a few hours into the first Utz Summer Bash, event organizers were already thinking about expanding next year's event.
The five-hour bash, which offered food and kids' entertainment, attracted about 1,000 children and adults, said Steph Glatfelter, an Utz marketing service manager.
"We didn't really know what to expect because this is the first time we've done this," she said.
Utz sponsored the event, which ran from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., as a way to bring together the local community and give kids and their parents something to do while school is out, Glatfelter said.
With many families falling on hard economic times, she said, Utz wanted to offer the event free-of-charge so people of all economic background could enjoy it.
Several families at the event said they appreciated the company's efforts.
Jeff Trone, who has worked in Utz's shipping warehouse for 14 years, attended the event with his wife, Laura; 4-year-old son, Benny; and niece, Arlene Sandoval.
As they stood in line for a bowling game sponsored by Utz and the Baltimore Ravens, Trone said the event gave him and his family a chance to enjoy something with each other and the community.
Another guest, Brent Auchey, said he drove from Abbottstown to enjoy the bash with his 10-year-old daughter, Neve. When asked about her favorite part of the bash, Neve paused and, with a shy smile, said, "The puppies!"
Several animals delighted guests during the event, including dogs from local therapy groups, and a few brightly-striped snakes showcased by Bob the Critter Guy, a local entertainer.
In total, more than a dozen local vendors, from businesses to nonprofits, offered their services.
Participants like Guthrie Memorial Library and the Hanover fire and police departments had the opportunity to educate the public about their services, with the fire department offering a fire engine tour. Area businesses, like Hickory Farms Family Entertainment and Balloonables, were able to show off some of their wares to the public.
While many of the vendors handed out literatures about their services, each had to also offer something free for the kids to do, Glatfelter said.
Next year, she said, Utz might expand the event to other area around the building to accommodate the large crowds.
Looking for more summer activities? Check out these other Hanover-area events.