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Hanover Dutch Festival offers new attractions

If you go

· What: Hanover Dutch Festival
· When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 25
· Where: Hanover's Center Square
· Cost: Free
· Details: For more information, visit

Thousands of locals come together every summer for the Hanover Dutch Festival to relish in the town's history and Pennsylvania Dutch tradition.

This year, the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce's festival, known colloquially as Dutch Days, will have several new attractions to draw the crowds on July 25, said Katy King, Marketing and Public Relations Director for the chamber.

"We have vendors returning, but half are all new," King said of the festival, which is in its 32nd year.

To go with the traditional roots theme of the festival, many of the vendors feature homemade food and crafts for sale.

Some of the new vendors to look out for will be selling homemade dog treats and baked bones, beef jerky, handmade soap and bath products, hand-dyed clothing and artisan grilled cheese, King said.

Veteran vendor Shane Speal will be stepping out of his usual place in a booth full of handmade cigar box guitars to play music on the festival stage in Hanover's square. His band, Shane Speal's Snake Oil Band, is local and will be performing at the festival for the first time this year.

"They are unique because they play all handmade instruments," King said. "I think it's going to draw a slightly different crowd, but they go with the theme."

In addition to the new vendors, several downtown business situated along the square may not have a booth set up but could offer specials and sales for the occasion, King said.

For those still looking for old favorites, the Emil Schanta Band will be at the festival again to perform traditional German Polka music, The Antique and Classic car show will take place in the St. Matthew's church parking lot and the YMCA will host the kid's carnival in Wirt Park.

Another tradition, in which local businesses open to the public for tours the day before the festival, will be held again this year. For more information, visit the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce website.

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