The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 19, 2013

Rendezvous attracts diverse crowd

TIRE HILL — A few grandparents watched their little loved ones inspect the beautiful nature – grass, rocks, trees and bugs – at Greenhouse Park on Saturday. Some young men and women strolled throughout the grounds with cold beers in their hands on a sun-splashed spring day. Other campers sat around fires, playing guitars, telling stories and sharing laughs.

But no matter how the individuals passed some spare time, they were all drawn to the park in Tire Hill for one main reason: paddling on the Stonycreek River.

Hundreds of individuals dropped their kayaks and other crafts into the water as part of the Benscreek Canoe Club’s annual Stonycreek Rendezvous, which started Friday and concludes today. Some went down the river at their own leisurely pace.

Others preferred to get a little competitive by participating in the Kayak Rodeo race.

“The Stonycreek is a great river for everybody to come out and paddle,” said Joe Potoczak, a resident of White Haven, Luzerne County. “It’s a great resource.”

Along with providing recreation, the rendezvous gives a financial boost to restaurants, bars, gas stations, shopping centers and outdoors stores.

“It’s awesome,” said Bedford County resident Greg Lipps. “It brings money to the area. It’s great for the area because you get all of the outside money coming into the local community.

“It’s really good. I just love coming out. You get the releases. You get the joy of the river, camping, music.”

Some vendors, such as Rodney Ott, sold goods right on the ground. Ott, who lives a few miles from the park, offered homemade jerky and jewelry.

“I just do this for fun,” Ott said. “This is a nice event to come to. The grandkids were here. They got to see the festivities

“I just make these things for fun: my jerky and my jewelry.”

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