Tarentum Fall Festival features 3 days of fun
The 70-foot Ferris wheel is just one of many fun rides that will be at the annual Tarentum Fall Festival from Sept. 28 to 30 at Riverview Memorial Park, along First Avenue. Held at the end of September since 2012, this year the event features a new carnival company — C&L Shows, based in Mt. Pleasant.
The festival's hosts — Summit Hose Co. and Tarentum Recreation Board — have teamed to bring three days of rides, food, entertainment and shopping.
What's even more special is the event is part of the year-long celebration of Tarentum's 175th anniversary, says Carrie Fox, president of the Tarentum Recreation Board, whose organization helps with the food and entertainment.
Her organization is happy to coordinate with the Summit Fire Co. to bring this festival to the community, Fox says.
“They don't make a lot of money off of it,” Fox says. “They give a lot back to the community. They are wonderful to work with. We work well hand in hand.”
It's definitely a solid partnership, agrees Josh Fox, fire chief at Summit Hose Co.
“We really enjoy doing this for the community,” he says. “We are very excited every year and even more excited this year about the new carnival company. We take pride in this event, and work hard to make it a family-oriented event. It is well attended, because there is something for everyone.”
Homemade foods, games, rides, live music and vendor shopping give this three-day happening a variety of choices, which is why it attracts 2,500-3,500 people, Fox says.
“We try to do some different things every year, while keeping some things the same that the community likes and wants such as our homemade food, including our famous French fries — the best potatoes seasoned to perfection,” he says. “And we are adding desserts this year.”
There will even be a pie-baking contest at 4 p.m. Sept. 30. The event will be capped with a fireworks show at 10:15 p.m.
Organizers believe this time of year is right because the weather most likely will still be good. Each year, they listen to feedback and decide which things to keep the same and which to change, such as the carnival company, the chief says.
“We are so excited about the amusement vendor this year,” says Larry Altman, a former Tarentum resident who now lives in Boalsburg and who made the arrangements with the carnival company. “They've been great to work with — so professional — and they are utilizing the space we have so well. For me, this festival is a wonderful opportunity to see a lot of people I don't normally see. We appreciate everyone who comes to the festival. It's a family-oriented event and a chance to see friends and neighbors … maybe some you haven't seen in a while.”
The planning takes months, says assistant Summit Hose Co. Fire Chief Tarek Masaoud.
“We try to book the bands as soon as we can, and if we like this carnival company we will book them again. It's a lot of work but we enjoy seeing everyone having a good time. This is a wonderful community and we want to keep the tradition of this festival going for a long, long time,” Masaoud says.