‘Punxsy’s Got Talent’ returns for annual Appreciation Day Saturday at SS.C.D.

PUNXSUTAWNEY — One of the first signs of autumn is the return of one of the community’s most popular events: The Punxsutawney Spirit’s Appreciation Day.  

Brimming over with talent, food and fun for all ages, The Spirit’s annual tribute to its readers, advertisers and the community runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday at the SS.C.D. auditorium.

And due to popular demand after a successful inaugural event last year, Appreciation Day will again be highlighted by its own “Punxsy’s Got Talent,” with 10 local talents, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday in the SS.C.D. gym.

“Punxsutawney Appreciation Day is a Punxsutawney Spirit community event,” said Spirit Publisher Mary Jude Troupe. “We plan this day for you.”

This year, singers, dancers, gymnasts and more will showcase their skills during “Punxsy’s Got Talent.” Up for grabs is a $100 cash prize for the winner.

Pastor Paul Thompson, who was last year’s winner, is providing sound equipment and will also be performing.

“We invite everyone to come out and enjoy this year’s Appreciation Day,” Troupe said. “We’ve planned entertainment that will spotlight a variety of performers doing their best to wow the judges and ‘bring down the house.’”

The emcee of “Punxsy’s Got Talent” will be The Spirit’s own “Jottings, Too” columnist, Terry A. Fye, and the judges are Jeff Curtis, president of the Punxsutawney Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; Spirit columnist Karyn Kay Farbo, who also judged last year’s event; and Jay Philliber, owner of Johnston Furniture.

Other highlights of Appreciation Day include a pumpkin decorating contest sponsored by Fezell’s County Market, with pumpkins provided by Pine Valley Farms. The contest will be held immediately after the talent show.

“There will be creative kids determined to make their pumpkin the best in the patch,” Troupe said.

The pumpkin decorating contest, open to youngsters ages 11 and under, includes categories for the most original, funniest, ugliest, most beautiful and Spirit favorite. Winners in each category will receive $25 Chamber of Commerce gift certificates.

The pumpkins are free, but there is a limited supply, first-come, first-served. Each child may decorate one pumpkin. Also, there will be 100 free treat bags while supplies last, courtesy of Community First Bank.

Finally, guests can check out the tables and wares of more than 30 vendors, along with crafts and food all day long. 

“With a number of vendors offering tasty food, and others showing their crafts and popular products, we know that Appreciation Day is a wonderful opportunity for people to stop by and visit with their neighbors and friends and to share one of the good-time events that make our town special,” Troupe said.

“Whether you look at Appreciation Day as the last event of the summer or the first of the fall season, come out and enjoy a day of entertainment and fun,” she added.