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Crafton Celebrates to be held weekend before the holiday

| Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9:03 p.m.
File photo
Steve Tancraitor of Sheridan works the siren as his granddaughter Elana Tancraitor tosses candy to the crowd during Crafton Celebrates' parade in 2010. The parade has always kicked off the festivities and will do so again this year as the event is shortened to three days.

Crafton Celebrates will be two days shorter this year than in the past, but organizers say the event will be just as enjoyable.

Rather than running for five days leading up to a fireworks celebration on the Fourth of July, this year's festival will cover three days on the weekend before the holiday — June 28, 29 and 30.

“The weekend gives people more time to be together,” Crafton Celebrates chairwoman Pam Palchowski said. “There's more time for reunions, seeing old neighbors who are back, coming to the park.”

Palchowski said the festival will kick off with a parade, as always, starting at 6:30 p.m. on June 28 on Bradford Avenue.

The festival also will include favorites such as the petting zoo, stage entertainment, food booths, games, bounce house and crafters, all in the park.

One new twist will be a flea market area. Anyone wishing to operate a food booth, or sell items as a crafter or at the flea market must call the borough office or contact craftoncelebrates@gmail.com.

Organizers also hope to generate more involvement in Crafton Celebrates. “This is a community event that needs community support,” Palchowski said.

Becky Heffner, an event co-chairwoman who also handles publicity, said the decision to cut the length of the festival comes partly from the need to be more economical.

“We want to manage our resources wisely,” she said. “We want to be wise about this community and its resources.”

She doesn't expect the shortened festival to take away from atmosphere. “We will still have a fantastic festival with what we have,” she said.

Palchowski said while there has been disappointment, the committee's goal is to restore the festival to five days next year. “But we need community support, and we need financial support,” she said.

While the festival won't lead up to the July 4 celebration this year, fireworks still will end the three-day festival at dusk June 30 in the park. Sunday also will include the traditional 5K run usually scheduled for the Fourth of July.

“It's still Crafton Celebrates,” Palchowski said. “It's still about the town, the people, and the relationships made through the decades.”

In addition to Palchowski and Heffner, another recently named leader of the Crafton Celebrates committee is co-chairman Rick Kraemer.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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