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Crafton Celebrates might be abbreviated version this year

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

Crafton Celebrates looks to happen again this summer in the borough.

Whether it keeps its usual five-day format remains in question.

The event planning committee held a reorganization meeting Feb. 7 after the resignation of former chairman Jim Christman. Acting chairman John Billigen said the committee is re-evaluating the event, traditionally a five-day celebration at Crafton Park that spans the Fourth of July.

Billigen said the committee is considering shortening Crafton Celebrates to three days and moving it to the weekend before the Fourth of July.

“(Finding volunteers) has always been an issue, especially in recent times,” Billigen said. “It's tough to do five days. I've been working it a long time, since I was a young boy in the Boy Scouts. It's always been a part of my life, (but) five days is rough.”

Billigen said many of the traditional elements of Crafton Celebrates — games, bands and the culminating fireworks show — would still be a part of the festival, just in a more condensed format.

The committee also is looking to design more family-friendly activities for the festival.

“(We want to make sure) there's something for everybody, something to really engage everybody,” said Jamie Beechey, the new director of borough services. “I think that's probably more of a mission for this year's committee.”

The final decision about shortening the event and moving it to the weekend hasn't been made yet, Billigen said. He hopes to make a final decision about a shorter Crafton Celebrates at the committee's next meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. March 7 in the Crafton Community Center.

For now, the committee still is seeking volunteers.

“We have every intention of having Crafton Celebrates again,” Beechey said. “It's just which format would work best for everybody and what makes the most sense financially.”

The next Crafton Celebrates would be the 38th.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or dgulasy@tribweb.com.

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