WAYNE COUNTY, Pa. — Joe Regenski remembers when the water remained calm on Lake Wallenpaupack during the last weekend of August.
"It was kind of like everyone's preparing to go back to school, back to normal reality after the summer."
But then, Wally Lake Fest was born.
"It turned what was the quietest weekend of the summer to the busiest weekend of the summer."
Regenski owns Gresham's Chop House right by the lake in the Hawley area. He'll host live music and lively crowds all weekend long.
Wally Lake Fest takes everything people love about summers on the lake and packs it into a three-day festival.
"Every year, between the three days, we can draw, depending on weather, anywhere from 25,000 to upwards of 50,000 people," said Debbie Gillette, an official with the Chamber of the Northern Poconos.
Many will take to the lake for sailboat rides, kayaking, or listening to live bands on a floating stage.
Others will stick to the land for vendor fairs, boat and car shows, and events at local businesses.
"You can really enjoy the 52 miles of shoreline here on the lake or off the lake. It doesn't matter if it's restaurants, breweries, downtown Hawley. Really there's something for everyone there. So it's great to experience little bits each and every day. Make a three-day weekend out of it," said Jim Hamill with the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.
Some of the dollars you spend will go back into the community, benefitting nonprofits like the Victims Intervention Program and the Wallenpaupack Watershed.
Melissa DeChellis coordinates the summer art project for the Downtown Hawley Partnership. She's auctioning off painted fish to raise money for the organization.
"All the proceeds go to support free community events like Hoedown, Winterfest. We sponsor the lights that go up in the wintertime, the banners, the bike share, a whole bunch of fun things that we like to keep free," DeChellis said.
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