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Borough residents invited to help Celebrate Oakmont 125

| Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, 1:11 a.m.

Oakmont celebrates its 125th birthday this year.

To commemorate the landmark occasion, the borough, the Oakmont Chamber of Commerce, the Oakmont Historical Society and other organizations in town have planned a year-long party.

“The important thing in celebrating the 125th is we want to celebrate Oakmont, but we also want to celebrate the community organizations and what they do,” said Summer Tissue, the chamber director who has guided planning for the celebration.

“All these groups that have activities; we just got together and coordinated them so that there would be something every month,” said Gary Rogers, Historical Society president. “ It looks like it comes out to be about every other week, and we had to make sure that we didn't have two things going on at the same time.”

“We call it ‘Celebrate Oakmont 125,' ” he said.

Tissue said for example, the Riverside Women's Association, which raises money to help the Oakmont and Verona volunteer fire departments, the Oakmont Library and other community causes, has incorporated some of the celebration activities into its major fundraising event, the Snow Ball.

“Their Snow Ball raises over $10,000 that they distribute,” Tissue said. “This year – the 10th year – in honor of the 125th anniversary, they are moving it back to the Oakmont Country Club.”

She said the Riverside association will sponsor a new activity later this year – a scarecrow contest.

Being sold are 2014 calendars listing all of the activities. Included are historical photos of Oakmont. Proceeds help to support the celebration, Tissue said.

At 11 a.m. on March 4, any Oakmont resident who isn't aware of the celebration will likely hear about it.

“March 4 is actually the date of the anniversary,” Tissue said. “We're going to do something on that date where the church bells are going to ring in celebration. The fire siren may sound also, but we have to make sure that the firemen don't respond to that because they use that as a back-up to their pages. We haven't gotten permission for that yet.”

She said the Riverview School District has joined in the spirit. Tissue said the high school will have Red and Black Theme Nights, the colors of the former Oakmont High School, for various athletic events. In addition, the high school bands and chorus will wear black and red for various performances throughout the year, and the high school students will be putting on a show this spring in honor of Oakmont's 125th birthday, Tissue said.

Another major event will occur in the fall and will revive an old tradition.

“On Sunday, Sept. 7, we are going to have a communitywide picnic at the park. I think it will cost $1.25 to attend,”Tissue said. “It will be a huge picnic with a carnival atmosphere. Dr. Thomas Kerr used to do the community picnic years ago and someone said ‘Why don't we do the picnic?' So we did.”

Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4675 or tyerace@tribweb.com.

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