Waiting for the shoe to drop again Popular event returns after a one-year hiatus; moves to park and will feature street hockey tournament, new activities

By on December 28, 2011

By: ROCHELLE A. SHENK Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

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Ephrata

Review The

Ephrata

Review Thanks to some key individuals stepping up to volunteer, the Akron "Shoe-In" New Year’s Eve event is back after just a one-year hiatus.

Just as Mayor John McBeth had promised last December when he announced there would be no event on New Year’s Eve 2010, the event is back and ready to move forward from a new location.

Akron will indeed be hosting its fifth New Year’s eve celebration this year and this time Broad Street Park will be the hub of activities for the event.

"We want people to spend New Year’s Eve in their local community; to gather together with their friends and neighbors to welcome the new year," said new chairperson Barb McMinn.

The Shoe-In kicks off at 8 p.m. with a street hockey tournament in the park. McMinn said that the tournament is new to the event and provides children, teens and young adults with some fun. Following that the community is invited to attend a 9:30 p.m. New Year’s eve service at Akron Grace E.C.C Church, located at the corner of N. Seventh (Route 272) and Fulton streets. Since it’s coordinated by the Akron Ministerium, the service will be non-denominational.

Activities then begin to heat up at the park starting at 10 p.m. with music from a DJ; a bonfire; children’s face painting; tractor-drawn hay rides; and free hot dogs, cookies and hot chocolate. Members of the Akron Borough Police Department will distribute stickers.

Then the big moment will arrive when the Shoe-In’s signature piece, a large shoe, will make its descent as the countdown begins for the new year.

Akron mayor John McBeth explains that the Shoe-In pays tribute to the town’s history. Shoe manufacturing was a key industry in Akron; not only were there several shoe factories, but there was also a heel factory.

"The Shoe-In has become a great gathering where townspeople welcome in the New Year-it’s a hometown celebration. What’s really exciting is that people from other communities come to celebrate with us," he said.

Last year the event came to a temporary halt due to a lack of volunteers — but many stepped forward to ensure this tradition continues.

While the Shoe-In is a community celebration, it has a charitable aspect. Members of the community are encouraged to bring children’s shoes to the event, which will be donated to Ephrata Area Social Services (EASS). EASS serves members of the Akron community, as well as Ephrata, and is always in need of children’s shoes, as is Peters Porch, a community outreach project of Zion Lutheran Church, Akron.

Information on Zion Lutheran Church’s website indicates that this outreach is held on the third Saturday of every month. The community is invited for a free breakfast; donations of clothing for men, women and children are received and distributed along with non-perishable food items. Further information is available at zionakron.org or by contacting the church at 859-2100.

Collection boxes for shoes are in several locations throughout Akron including Weiser’s Market, Akron Borough Municipal Office; Zion Lutheran Church; and the Akron branch of Ephrata National Bank. On the night of the Shoe-In, there will be a donation box at the park. More SHOE-IN, page A5

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