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Greensburg is heating up the fun

| Thursday, July 3, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Westmoreland County residents will get a chance to eat, drink, be merry and maybe buy an early Christmas present during the Summer in the City festival in Greensburg.

The Greensburg Business Association sponsors the event July 24 through July 26 at various sites throughout the city.

“Our goal is to bring people into Greensburg and have an event where everybody can enjoy the day,” said Terrie Barill, association president.

“They want to get people into town and have a great experience,” said Steve Gifford, a festival organizer and executive director of the Greensburg Community Development Corp.

The festival kicks off on July 24 with the Thank Goodness It's Summer! happy hour at The Palace Theatre courtyard on West Otterman Street.

On July 25, the Glenn Miller Orchestra will perform at 7 p.m. in St. Clair Park on North Maple Avenue as part of the annual SummerSounds concert series.

Getting orchestra is a “coup,” said Gene James, a Greensburg resident who helps pick the bands that play during the free concert series.

The 20-member band, of course, plays Big Band songs and operates under “the overture of the Glenn Miller estate,” James said. Miller was lost during a flight over the English Channel in 1944, after enlisting and forming a service orchestra to entertain troops during World War II.

Miller and his orchestra recorded numerous hits, including “In The Mood” and “Moonlight Serenade.”

They appeared in Greensburg in 1939 at The Coliseum (where Pershing Square now stands), according to the SummerSounds website.

On July 26, the summer festivities will continue between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. at three different sites in the city.

Local performers will fill the air with music on stages set up in the U.S. Post Office parking lot off South Pennsylvania Avenue and in the parking lot behind Mr. Toad's on East Otterman Street.

Children and those young at heart will have a chance to paint on a 16-foot dragon at the post office parking lot, organizers said. Various craft and artists' booths will be stationed in the area.

Throughout the day, visitors can watch 14 different dance and fitness groups perform at the Westmoreland County Courthouse Square on North Main Street.

Scheduled plaza performers come from such groups as the Greensburg YMCA, Greensburg Aerobics Center, Stage Right!, Seton Hill University Dance Department, Lena Irwin and Laurel Ballet.

Instructional sessions for such activities as yoga and ballroom dancing will also be offered at the plaza site.

Disc jockey Larry Hornyak will provide music during the courthouse plaza festivities.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or