Wayne Bear of Manchester, left, and his grandson Joshua Lauer, 15, pose for a photo with a large carp Joshua caught during the annual Labor Day fishing
Wayne Bear of Manchester, left, and his grandson Joshua Lauer, 15, pose for a photo with a large carp Joshua caught during the annual Labor Day fishing derby and parade in York City on Monday. (John A. Pavoncello — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)
Related Stories

Joshua Lauer, 15, took home three trophies and inspired his sisters during the youth fishing derby at the 25th annual York Labor Day Festival in York City.

In the last year he was eligible for the contest at Kiwanis Lake, the East Manchester Township resident caught the biggest fish of the day — a 28-inch carp — and also earned an award for catching a 13.5-inch catfish.

"I think I did good," he said.

Joshua, who's fished in the derby for about 13 years, said he also managed to catch a snapping turtle on his line, but he let it go.

Family: His sisters Rachael, 9, and Rebekah Wertz, 7, earned their first trophies on Monday after participating for a couple years.

Rachael caught 11 fish, and Rebekah snagged eight.

"It's exciting when you pull something out that's alive," Rachael said, adding that she likes throwing the fish back in the water so they don't suffer.

The derby, which was started by the Boys Club of York more than 50 years ago, is sponsored by the York/Adams County Central Labor Council. The council also works with York City to coordinate the festival each year.

The free fishing derby is a nice activity that brings the family together each Labor Day, said mother Kim Wertz, 47.

"It's a fun, family event," she said.

Young fisherman: Raymond J. Weaver, 5, of York City caught 10 fish and earned first place in his age division.


Advertisement

"I work hard and never give up," he said after collecting his trophy.

With some help from his parents, Raymond said he caught eight sunfish and two catfish.

"Yeah, I reeled in some fish," he said.

Raymond has now earned a total of four fishing derby trophies, which his parents display in a hutch in their dining room.

He said he likes wearing a fishing hat and throwing his fish back — but he doesn't like to touch the "catties."

Parade: Organizers said at least 1,000 people attended the Labor Day parade, which featured about 50 participants.

As the White Rose Clown Club cars drove by, a red-headed clown gave high-fives to kids.

"I know him — he's from McDonald's," shouted James Stevens, 5.

The Stony Brook Elementary kindergartner said he likes to come to the parade because of the sweets he collects.

"It's fun 'cause it has candy," James said.

After wiggling a cicada off his thumb, he added that he likes to explore the lake and its wildlife during the festival.

There was even a big frog that was "this long," James said as he stretched out his hands in front of him.

"We're trying to catch it," he said.

— Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.