Talk about jumping for joy — Mercersburg’s Townfest on Sept. 24 may have some participants leaping as high as 15 feet off the ground.
OK, it’s part of the entertainment, but you’ve got to admit — watching pole vault competitors leaping in the street is a soul-heightening experience.
It’s called street vaulting, and it’s among the latest festival entertainment.
“I don’t know of any place around here that’s done it,” said Jason Cotton, James Buchanan High School’s pole vaulting coach who leaped at the chance to display his students’ skill.
This is no trick jumping — it’s just like pole vaulting at a track and field event, Cotton said. The big foam mats will be stretched out under the posts and spotters will be in place. Anyone who brings their own pole may compete, he said, but mostly, you’ll be seeing be trained competitors.
The event will also be a chance for Cotton to promote Vertical Elite Jumpers, a new jumping club he organized locally this year. Composed mostly of high school and college age students, Cotton would like to promote the sport, and how to perform it safely, to middle school-aged youth.
“We have about 50 to 100 competitors registered,” said Cotton. “Some of them will be coming from Delaware. There are a couple guys who can jump 17 feet.”