Managing EditorIt seemed like the 4th of July all over again, without the fireworks.?Wally Lake Fest 2012 was a resounding success, as noted both by people attending and Keith Williams, representing the Downtown Hawley Partnership that is behind the whole shebang.?With gorgeous weather prevailing, the third annual Wally Lake Fest seemed to make up for last year’s hurricane.?Down at Lake Wallenpaupack, motorcycles en masse roared around its perimeter. Flocks of lake lovers lined its shore, enjoying the bands on the floating barge. A flotilla of pleasure craft surrounded the scene, taking in the vibes and the waves as well. Boats decked out like a pirate ship or a great yellow rubber ducky, and much else, paraded by.?Couples were seen enjoying ice cream cones. Children were making great creations out of the Palmyra Beach sand. Arts and crafts drew a lot of attention at the Visitors Center.?In downtown Hawley, people swarmed the car show at the Dime Bank parking lot. A crowd assembled for the Wallenpaupack Marching band music and free ice cream at Skier’s gazebo.?“We’re really, really happy with how it turned out,” Williams remarked after the three-day event. “The weather was fabulous... we had thousands of people come.”?The manager at the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center, Williams said that just be their door count, they had the busiest day ever on Saturday, with 1,452 people stopping in. There were 1,100 on Sunday. This beat the 4th of July holiday, he noted.?Three years ago, the first Wally Lake Fest and a sunny one, they counted 840 people, Williams said.?For the first time, there was a motorcycle ride tied to tee vent, hosted by Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District. Director Nick Spinelli beamed at the start of the ride that they were so thankful for the turnout. There were 64 motorcycles making the 29-mile ride, carrying 94 people. Proceeds benefit the District’s water quality projects.?About 40 people rode bicycles on the Tour de Towpath, on Sunday.?PPL had their busiest day ever conducting tours of the dam and power house, Williams related, with over 700 people.?Williams elated that it was very rewarding to hear from several visitors here for the first time, who said they were coming back.?Out on the shoreline watching the “Battle of the Bands” was John Kovaleski and his wife Sandy, of Forest City. Enjoying their ice cream, John commented, “This is pretty darn nice. They should’ve done this 10 years ago.”?They have visited the lake before but never saw anything quite like this. They also learned for the first time that there is a public beach here.?Leo Ryan and his wife Krista were also watching the boat flotilla and listening to the music. The Lancaster County residents have a house on the lake. Leo commented, “I love the atmosphere. The scenery is beautiful. The people [here] are great.”?Williams said they are evaluating the weekend and will assess what needs to be done better. Various businesses were said to have been very busy with all the people around. Williams said he and his wife had dinner at the Hawley Diner at 8 p.m. and it was packed.?On the other hand, Williams was disturbed to see several businesses in Hawley that were not open. Despite all the promotion for Wally Lake Fest, they were still closed and missed the crowds, Williams remarked. Downtown Hawley Partnership is trying to encourage business, and merchants to work together.?Some people at Tafton Dike wondered why the boat parade came by at 4:45 p.m. when the brochure said 4 p.m. Williams noted that the parade started at Shuman Point at 4, and followed a couple mile route shown on the map, before it came by the dike.?Winners of the boat parade are to be found at www.wallylakefest.com and on Facebook.?Williams credited the great weekend to all the effort of many volunteers.?“Most importantly, I saw a lot of smiles in the Lake Region,” Williams added.