Residents, out-of-towners flock to Wilmerding festival
Wilmerding Community Days brings residents and visitors from nearby towns together for games, food and fun.
“I heard about it on Facebook and we came with our very good friends and brought our two boys,” Monroeville resident Nikki Tiani-Moroney said on Friday evening. “It's nice. We used to come all the time when I was younger. It's a lot smaller than I remember, but the kids are having a great time. It's still magic for them.”
Tiani-Moroney's sons, Hayden, 5, and Drexyl, 2, enjoyed games and a car ride.
“We were here last year,” Turtle Creek resident Megan Cain said after her daughter Nevada Toomey, 5, rode a ride. “We like it. The rides are really nice.”
The 30th annual installment of the June festival kicked off on Wednesday with a giant parade — and rain.
“People still came out and sat on the streets to watch the parade. It was amazing,” council vice president Sandy Smith said. “We thought we could get in and get out before (showers began), but once it started to drizzle it was constant all night long. It never let up, but people stayed.”
Friday's activities were cloaked in sunshine and blue skies.
Smith said attendance has been steady.
“It's been pretty busy. It's been an even flow,” she said. “They've brought in more rides, and they've brought in more games (than previous years), but they've held the cost of the ticket the same as last year. Bingo had an exceptional night (on Thursday). We're hoping Friday and Saturday surpass that.”
Each ride costs one ticket. Tickets are $2.50 each or $20 for 10.
“I think it's going pretty good. Everyone seems pretty happy and excited,” council president and event chairman Stephen Shurgot said. “I think it's pretty similar (to previous years). A couple times over the past 25 years they had an all-class reunion for people who went to the (former Westinghouse Memorial High School) and we had really huge crowds the years that they did that. Other than that, we're comparable or a little bit ahead (in attendance). A lot of people come for the entertainment, the bands and a couple other local foods ... The kids come for the rides and the games.”
Those on the event committee are Shurgot, Smith and Councilmen John Thomas and Bill Pricener.
Wilmerding Community Days replaced George Westinghouse Days, which was organized by former mayor and George Westinghouse Castle operations manager Geraldine Homitz.
Westinghouse Days ran for 28 years, ending in 2012. Activities were moved inside the Castle in 2012 because of electrical problems. The borough took over the event in 2013 and changed the name to Community Days.
“The first year was a little bit rough because we didn't have any contacts,” Shurgot said of organizing the festival. “This year wasn't that bad at all. You line up your entertainment, and you have your booth and fair vendors. The hard part was finding a ride guy to come in. Some ride vendors want a guarantee of ‘x' amount of dollars or they won't come. With a small budget you can't do that. This is Lam Enterprises' second year here and they've been great.”
Foods include funnel cakes, candy apples, shaved ice and other fair essentials. A variety of games include a money wheel from the Wilmerding Volunteer Fire Department.
Holy Angels Parish and its Polish/American kitchens were the most popular food booths.
“The crew is good because they donate so much of their time and energy,” the Rev. Michael Reed said. “The food is good because everything's made from scratch. We don't buy any processed food. We make the pierogies. We make the stuffed cabbage. We make the haluski all from scratch. We buy chicken and marinate it ourselves. The fries we cut fresh from the potatoes pretty much as fast as we sell them.”
Holy Angels Parish has been involved in the event for the past 12 years.
“It's really fun. It's a way to meet the people in the community,” Reed said. “It's a way to have fellowship amongst ourselves. I think we enjoy one another's company and get to meet new people each year.”
Community Days concludes Saturday. Final activities begin with a pancake breakfast by the Lions Club from 8-11 a.m. The event ends with a performance by 8th Street Rox at 7:30 p.m.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 9-month probe leads to major heroin bust in McKeesport
- McKeesport Area student leadership group donates Halloween costumes
- McKeesport leaders sign pledge to be part of solution to violence
- Wolf pays another vist to the Mon Valley as Corbett remains absent
- West Mifflin Area adjusts solicitor duties
- Protestants preparing for Reformation Sunday observances; Protestants, Catholics plan for 2017
- Propels leave the lights on to showcase their after-school activities
- Elizabeth Forward team honored for playoff berth
- ‘Wonderland Jr.’ tries to be its own production
- West Mifflin school board vote turns in favor of union workers
- 7 McKeesport letter carriers earn Million Mile status