CLARION - "Anything can happen," said Tracy Becker, executive director at the Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry, and while "all systems are go" for the 2021 Autumn Leaf Festival, Becker isn't taking any chances.
Becker proposed, and Clarion Borough Council Sept. 7 approved, a "Plan B" for ALF. The alternative schedule would be implemented if something happens that makes closing Main Street for ALF events untenable.
PennDOT just gave its approval for a slate of Main Street closings between Oct. 2 and 10 for various events, including major activities like the car show, the kiddies parade, farmers and crafters day and the main parade.
Each day's street closing request was considered as a separate event. The approvals came through from PennDOT Aug. 30.
Anything is possible, anything can change," Becker told council.
Several years ago, a major crash along Interstate 80 just before the kiddies parade was scheduled to start along Main Street forced heavy truck traffic through the borough.
ALF organizers and the borough police department were able to quickly adapt and moved the kiddies parade to Liberty Street.
Becker told the CLARION NEWS while alternative plans have always been at least in the back of event organizers minds, this is the first time a "Plan B" for all the major Main Street events have been committed to paper and presented to council for its approval.
Under the plan, if Main Street is not available, the car and motorcycle show would move to the Clarion Mall parking lot in Monroe Township.
The kiddies parade would move to Liberty Street.
Farmers and Crafters Day vendors would move off the street and onto the sidewalks where possible and also along Third, Fourth and Seventh avenues.
And should the main parade be forced to move, it would begin near Wendy's restaurant move through Clarion University campus along Grand Avenue down to Heidrick Street.
Again, these alternative plans would be used if for some reason, Main Street cannot be closed. There is no indication at this time there will be a need to move the events.
In related action, council approved the addition of two ALF events a corn hole tournament will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 2 in front of the courthouse.
A reception for Autumn Leaf Festive sponsors will be held in a temporary enclosure the evening of Sept. 29 along Seventh Avenue between Main Street and Merle Drive.
Clarion Borough Mayor Brett Whitling read a proclamation during the council meeting declaring September "FoodStock" month in Clarion Borough.
FoodStock is an annual effort during the Autumn Leaf Festival season to collect non-perishable food donations to be distributed to area food banks.
Drop-off locations can be found throughout Clarion County or can be delivered to the chamber office along Main Street in Clarion.
Editor's note: The CLARION NEWS' annual Autumn Leaf Festival special edition, including schedules and event listings, will be included with the Sept. 28 edition of the newspaper. This year's ALF tab will include numerous photos from 2009 and 2011 ALF events.