McCandless Community Day kicks off events with a parade
McCandless is going for a lucky 13.
The 13th annual McCandless Community Day will be Saturday and will feature a parade, a car cruise, children's activities, live entertainment, fireworks and more.
Festivities will begin at 12:30 p.m., when the North Allegheny High School Marching Band and NA Alumni Band lead a parade from the Cinemark Pittsburgh North 11, formerly the Rave Cinemas, 9700 McKnight Road, to the town hall at 9955 Grubbs Road, where most of the activities will be held.
The Frank J. Farina Memorial Car Cruise is scheduled from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Trader Horn parking lot at 555 Blazier Drive.
At the town hall, carnival rides, inflatables, arts and crafts, woodworking projects, and games for children will be available throughout the day.
More than 50 exhibitors — including local businesses, churches and charitable organizations — will be on hand to share information, demonstrate products, and distribute freebies and samples, township manager Toby Cordek said.
For the second consecutive year, the township's fire marshal and fire companies will host a Junior Firefighter Combat Challenge for children.
The course mimics the professional Firefighter Combat Challenge, McCandless fire marshal Dan Stack said. It consists of swinging a sledgehammer through wood to simulate chopping a hole in a roof, rescuing a stuffed animal that represents a human fire victim, climbing through obstacles and knocking down simulated targets with a live fire hose.
“We developed the course for the kids so they can, in a way, see some of the tasks that firefighters have to perform,” said Stack, of McCandless. “It also creates a little bit of competition among their friends and helps them gain a little self-confidence while climbing over, under and through the various obstacles.”
Participants will receive a certificate, hat and other firefighter-related keepsakes.
Live music will be offered by the Red-Hot Ramblers, a Dixieland band; guitarist Lenny Smith; the Mandolinisti Italiano string ensemble; and Totally 80s, a rock band.
Joe the Juggler, Michele's Dance Center, the North Hills Dancers, Center Stage Dance Academy and Jazzercise also will provide entertainment.
Food vendors will sell items ranging from kettle corn and pizza to energy smoothies.
A silent auction and 50/50 raffle also will be offered.
In addition to these activities, a traveling museum will be stationed in the town hall's lobby from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. A variety of vintage photographs and historical items related to the North Allegheny School District and the town of McCandless will be on display. The curator, local historian Joe Bullick, will offer information and stories.
The Frank J. Farina Memorial Car Cruise will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. in parking lot of Trader Horn, which is along Blazier Drive. From 150 to 200 antique, classic and sports cars are expected to be on display, Cordek, of McCandless, said.
“It's amazing that we can pack in so much in seemingly so little space in such a short time!” said Cordek, who, though 61, said he feels more like 31 during all the fun and excitement surrounding Community Day.
The Allegheny Brass Band will accompany the Pyrotecnico fireworks that conclude the day.
The 33-member band, led by Stephen Baldanzi, will play Big Band-era favorites, including “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “In The Mood,” “Star Dust” and “Caravan” when its concert begins at 8 p.m.
“The band will also play many familiar Sousa marches for a fantastic fireworks display,” said Baldanzi, 49, of Crafton.
Laurie Rees is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.