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More than 1,000 brave heat to attend Landenberg Day

08/09/2016 11:17AM ● Published by Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

Despite the shade that a large white canopy provided vendors, the food trucks that served as outposts for cold beverages and ice cream, and the refuge of cool that the Borderland Vineyard's tasting room provided, the August sun beat relentlessly down on Landenberg Day on Aug. 6, but still, they kept coming.
In fact, visitors who attended the 12-hour-long festival ranged from newbie transients to third- and fourth generation residents, who enjoyed a full day of food, wine, games and music. Over 40 volunteers, including 14 from the vineyard, helped usher in several vendors early in the morning to set up, and by 9 a.m., the first of many buses filled with attendees began to arrive.
By the middle of the afternoon, event organizer Joseph Birmingham said that the number of visitors was nearing 400. Kurt Kalb, the owner of Borderland Vineyards, admired the festival going on before him, on property that has been in his family since the 1940s.
“It's very exciting, and on top of that, my mother is here,” Kalb said. “She loves the property, and she hasn't been here for over a month, so it gives her the opportunity to enjoy what's going on here. It's a wonderful day, and I expect that the crowds will increase as the sun goes down, and the bands strike up.”
They did, and by evening's end, when the last strains of the band 2uesday Night's sunset performance got the locals up to dance, more than 1,000 had clicked the turnstiles on an event that Birmingham wants to place annually on the town's social calendar.
“I've always kind of had a feeling that Landenberg was different than other places, in that it's fifteen thousand residents scattered among a hundred little developments, with very little connectivity,” he said. “When I was growing up here, my Shangra La was Somerset Lake, and the center of my childhood. You could play, you were safe. You were outside, Everyone was friendly. I moved away and came back, and although that sense of an idyllic life is still here, you have to find it.
“When I started Landenberg Day, my hope was that I would meet several people who felt like me, and that's exactly what happened.”
When Birmingham first began planning Landenberg Day four months ago, he and his fellow organizers created a Facebook page to promote the event, as well as get an early read on estimated attendance. When an early count saw that nearly 1,000 people had expressed interest in coming, someone told Birmingham, “You mean, there are one thousand people who live in Landenberg?”
“People don't realize that you have these 200-house subdivisions that are separated by gorges and hills and woods in Landenberg,” said Birmingham, who will soon begin planning for the second Landenberg Day, scheduled for the first Saturday in August 2017. “You go home. You don't go to the neighborhood next door. This is the opportunity for you to meet your neighbors next door, at a community event.
“Moving forward, we're excited that we will have 12 months to plan next year's Landenberg Day, instead of four months to plan.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail rgaw@chestercounty.com.




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