Local Portage resident Joe Vargo came up with the idea in 1986 to form a committee to celebrate the Portage Borough Centennial with a festival at the Crichton-McCormick Park.
Mr. Vargo got a group of volunteers together and they held fund raising events for four years to cover the expenses of the 1990 celebration. The festival went so well that the original organizing committee decided to continue with an annual event and the Portage Area Summerfest was started in 1991. The group decided that the purpose of the festival was to donate the proceeds to the Portage Area Joint Recreation Commission to help maintain the Crichton-McCormick Park. Since then, the festival has provided thousands of dollars each year to help the park.
The Portage Area Summerfest, Inc. continues to be a family-oriented event that brings in top notch entertainment, activities, a car cruise, a large number of craft, food, and commercial vendors, games, and much more for people of all ages to enjoy!
Thank you to Mr. Joe Vargo for starting what became a now 30-year annual festival in Portage Pa and for allowing thousands of people to come and enjoy a weekend together.
The Portage Area Summerfest, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that organizes and runs an annual festival at Crichton-McCormick Park in Portage, PA to benefit the park and community.
The festival has evolved into one of the premier events in the region from its humble beginnings as the Portage Borough Centennial Celebration in 1990.