Laurel Festival this week in Wellsboro

Local girls among queen candidates

WELLSBORO — The 78th Annual Pennsylvania State Laurel Festival with activities for all ages, continues all this week, ending Saturday with a gigantic parade and the crowning of the 2019 Laurel Queen.

Three local young ladies are among those vying for the queen title and will participate in the activities through the week, ending with the crowning ceremony on Saturday.

They are Aaliyah McGowan, representing Bucktail High School, Taylor Zerby representing Central Mountain High School and Trinity Miller of Lock Haven, representing Miss St. John Neuman Regional Academy High School

Friday at noon is the welcome for the Laurel Queen candidates on the Tioga County Courthouse steps.

At 4:30 p.m. Friday, the band 3D will open the Pennsylvania Laurel Queen’s Preview on the Deane Center’s outdoor stage at 104 Main Street. The Laurel Queen candidates will be introduced at 5 p.m. and the band will close the event with musical fun that includes the audience and queen candidates joining in on spoons, shakers and drums.

The Laurel Festival 10K at 9 a.m. and Two-Mile Fun Run at 9:05 a.m. will start events on Saturday. Both will begin at Packer Park on Queen Street. Packet pick-up and registration for the 10K and Fun Run will be from 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. at the park. The 10K entry fee is $25 and Fun Run, $5.

At 2 p.m., the Laurel Festival Parade, themed “Find Your Adventure” will reach Main Street. Waving to the crowd from floats will be Laurel Queen Katelyn Loss and the 28 Laurel Queen candidates. Top-notch drum and bugle corps, bagpipers and high school marching bands and special units, such as the Bucktails and the Jaffa Shrine Lil Vettes will perform during the parade.

Downbeat Percussion, the official drumline of the Buffalo Bills, will play at 3 p.m. on The Green.

Capping off Saturday will be the 6:30 p.m. coronation ceremonies during which the 2019 Pennsylvania State Laurel Queen will be crowned in the Deane Center’s Coolidge Theatre.

For the annual Arts & Crafts Fair, 97 artisans, 20 of them new will be on The Green with unique, handcrafted items on Friday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 15 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The 28 vendors on the International Street of Foods on Pearl Street along The Green will offer delectable delights from gyros and tacos to strawberry shortcake and crepes.

On Sunday, June 16 at 10:30 a.m., the festival will end with the Union Church Service on The Green.



Aaliyah McGowan is representing Bucktail Area High School and her community as a Pennsylvania Laurel Queen candidate.

She is the granddaughter of Rose and Francis Winkelman with whom she lives.

All four years of high school, Miss McGowan was on high honor roll, a cheerleader (captain as a senior), a forward on the basketball team, a left fielder on the softball team and member of student council and the Environmental Club (vice president as a senior). She was a three-year member of the Interact Club (vice president as a senior) and prom committee and a blood drive volunteer for three years. As a senior she was Yearbook Club president.

Miss McGowan has worked throughout high school as a waitress at Yesterday’s Restaurant in Renovo.

This fall, she will attend Lock Haven University with a double major in biomedical sciences and Spanish. Her goal is to be a cardiologist.



Taylor Zerby is representing Central Mountain High School and her community as a Pennsylvania Laurel Queen candidate.

She is the daughter of Stephanie Zerby of Bald Eagle Township and Gerald Zerby of Castanea Township.

All four years of high school, Miss Zerby was on high honor roll. As a freshman, sophomore and senior, she was the manager of her school’s wrestling team. In her senior year, Miss Zerby was in business club and led a Rally for Recovery Walk as her senior project. As a freshman and sophomore, she was a football cheerleader and, as a sophomore, junior and senior, danced for Twinkle Toes Dance Studio.

This fall, Miss Zerby will attend the Penn State Altoona campus and major in early childhood education and minor in psychology. Her career goal is to become a child psychologist.



Trinity Miller of Lock Haven is representing St. John Neumann Regional Academy High School and her community as a Pennsylvania Laurel Queen candidate.

She is the daughter of Jennifer Miller of Lock Haven and Jeffrey Miller of Sunbury.

All four years of high school, Miss Miller was a featured or lead actress in school musicals and sang in her school and church choirs. As a sophomore, junior and senior, she was chosen to participate in PMEA district and regional choir festivals and placed 7th in the state for the soprano 1 section.

As a senior, Miss Miller was on the yearbook committee, did an internship with the Montour County Coroner’s office and wrote, directed and performed a cabaret style show for charity; as a junior and senior was a member of the National Honor Society; as a freshman, junior and senior was on honor roll and a member of student council (treasurer as a freshman and junior, secretary as a senior); and, as a freshman, sophomore and junior served as drama club vice president.

Miss Miller took vocal and piano lessons for eight years; song writing for three years; performed with the Millbrook Playhouse Summer Stock Theatre for three years, was in playhouse winter productions for one year and participated in its Teen Performing Arts Academy for two years.

This fall, she plans to attend Indiana University of Pennsylvania, major in criminology with a minor in cyber security and Russian. Her goal is to become a behavioral profiler and field agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


For more information about festival events, contact the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce by stopping in at 114 Main St. in Wellsboro, by calling 570-724-1926, emailing or visiting