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Summer in Ligonier celebrates 15th season

| Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:04 p.m.

The 15th Summer in Ligonier Arts and Crafts Show — a weekend event on the Diamond that highlights some of the artists, vendors and activities that Ligonier has to offer — is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 19 and 20.

“We are truly excited about this year's Summer in Ligonier,” said co-chair of the event, Ruth Knobel, who co-owns Merjo on Main Street. “It's coming together to be one of the best shows — something the community will not want to miss.”

Organized by the Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce, the rain-or-shine event will feature craft demonstrations and children's activities. Live music will be played from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. from the bandstand. Local artisans will be on the Diamond displaying their wares and many of the merchant shops will set up sidewalk sales.

Pottery, jewelry, soy candles, bird houses, honey, hand-spun yarn, paper beads, sports figure drawings and prints, vegetable and pasta sauces, stained-glass, penny rugs and glass plate flowers are only some of the unique hand-crafted products that will be featured.

“Each year we see some new crafters. It's really nice to have such a variety,” said Holly Mowrey, Ligonier Chamber of Commerce director.

The Main Exhibit Gallery is demonstrating Woodturning both days and Glassblowing on July 20. Merjo on Main Street is demonstrating the process of turning wood into pens and handcrafted jewelry. Artisans will be in action at some of the store fronts and local artists will be painting en Plein Air on the Diamond.

“Ligonier has a lot to offer in the world of artists,” said Debbie Sarault, co-chair and owner of Betsy's of Ligonier.

Crafters and artisans participating in the two-day event are: Roger Young – pottery, Crimson Creek Apiaries – honey assortment and hive woodenwares, Linda Halchak – bird houses, Donna Allen – paper beads/paper tole, Susan Falbo – hand-spun yarn, Susan Hill – jewelry, Bob Weaver – sports figures drawings/prints, Julie Zito – pottery, Susan Mawhinney – jewelry, Sugar Creek Candle Co – handmade soy candles, Laurel Vista Farms – jar products/vegetables and pasta sauce, Treasures in Glass – stained glass, Fantastic Fotographica – Western Pa photos, Billie Humberger – jewelry, Chris Rush Designer Notes – Handmade notes and money cards, Screaming Moon Designs – Penny rugs and glass plate flowers and Philip Farm Backyard Goods – decorated woodworking.

Face painting, a caricature artist, balloonists and The Popcorn Man will provide entertainment throughout the weekend and Uncle Sam will be making an appearance from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 19. Horse and wagon rides will be available both days on the Diamond. Also on Saturday, the Ligonier Valley Library is holding Summer Tales story hour at 2 p.m.

“Each year we try to include something new — to keep it fresh and exciting,” Knobel said.

One new experience at this year's event will be local, high school art students conducting chalk art demonstrations noon to 4 p.m. July 20 outside the Library.

“Around 15 students will work in shifts drawing murals and pictures on the sidewalk,” Knobel said. “They may even pull some of the children in to interact with. We've wanted to make this happen for awhile now and we've finally been able to coordinate it for this year. It's an addition we're really excited about.”

In other areas of the Valley, Fort Ligonier is playing host to ‘A Taste of History' 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. July 19, featuring bread baking demonstrations, entertainment and refreshments, Cost is $8 for members, $12 for non-members.

The Compass Inn Museum is featuring a Native American theme on July 20 for its living history weekend from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Ligonier Country Market is open from 8 a.m. to noon.

“We try to incorporate what's going on here with the beginning of the day at the Country Market,” said Sarault. “We're hoping people will come to the area and shop at the market and then stay to enjoy Summer in Ligonier — come see what the town has to offer.”

For more information, the Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce can be contacted at: 724-238-4200 or www.visitligonier.com.

“Summer in Ligonier is a wonderful opportunity for our local artists, retail businesses and restaurants,” said Mowrey. “It's a fun thing to bring the family to.”

Cami DiBattista is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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