Ross community to celebrate special day

| Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, 6:32 p.m.

Eloise Peet sees her hometown as something to celebrate.

The new director of parks and recreation for Ross Township said she is excited about organizing her first community day.

The Allegheny Health Network/Ross Township Community Day will be from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday in and around the grounds of the municipal center at 1000 Ross Municipal Drive.

Peet, 55, said she wants to celebrate the sense of community in Ross, something she found lacking on the West Coast during her 10 years there.

“In California, it doesn't exist,” she said. “People don't talk to people in grocery-store checkout lines.”

Since returning to the area in 1991, she said, she's happy knowing her two children and now two grandchildren understand the importance of family and neighbors.

Community Day headliner Johnny Angel and the Halos will perform from 6 p.m. until fireworks start at 8:30. The entertainment schedule also includes the Mahajibee Blues Band, the North Hills High School Jazz Band, Frank Sinatra impersonator Frank Capri and the North Suburban Symphonic's Dixieband.

To offer more chances for live performances, teenagers will be able to take to the stage inside the municipal center for improv, stand-up comedy, songs or debates. It's a leap of faith on Peet's part, but, she said, she wanted to make room for talented teens.

Inside the gymnasium, professionals from Allegheny Health Network, one of the event's sponsors, will share tips for living well, offer blood-pressure and diabetes screenings; and provide ways to test health knowledge. Ross Township Historical Society members will be on hand to tell the township story.

Various products will be spotlighted at the crafter and business fair, also in the gym.

Local food vendors will entice the crowd to taste items from different nationalities, along with fair favorites, such as cotton candy and funnel cakes.

Plenty of attention has been given to the children with giant inflatables, face painting, crafts and police-dog demonstrations. The Touch-a-Truck exhibit is new this year.

“Kids will be able to put on a department of public works hard hat and sit in a truck,” said township Commissioner Lana Mazur, 56, who has been chairwoman of the township's recreation and parks committee for 12 years. “Any truck a kid would want to drive or touch — a quad, tractor, motorcycle, box truck, etc. — will be on the field.”

Shuttles will take visitors to and from the Big Lots parking lot on McKnight Road. Other overflow parking lots will be listed at the shuttle stop.

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or

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