Plan B for Penn Twp. festival organizers: Homecoming fireworks?

| Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Though inclement weather caused the cancellation of Saturday events for the Penn Township Fall Festival for the second straight year, organizers are trying to salvage one of the main attractions — the fireworks display — to use at another public gathering.

One of the possibilities is incorporating the fireworks into Penn-Trafford's homecoming activities in early October, said Mike Ginsburg, a festival organizer and township recreation commission board member.

The committee will have to get a permit, coordinate with emergency-services groups and update insurance coverage before being able to move forward with the idea, Ginsburg said.

“We're still leaning toward setting them off, but they're not set in stone,” he said.

Penn-Trafford Athletic Director Kerry Hetrick said district officials are interested in working with the festival organizers to include fireworks as part of the Oct. 4 events, but nothing is finalized yet.

Connellsville Area's band is scheduled to perform at halftime, with Penn-Trafford's band planning to play after the game.

“Obviously, we'd be glad to have (fireworks) incorporated, but we have some things we have to work out,” Hetrick said.

Last year, a windstorm cut short the annual festival's Saturday activities. This year, a deluge of raindrops forced festival organizers to call off Saturday's full day of activities.

It was the first time in the festival's seven-year history that a day was canceled.

Fireworks — a Saturday night staple on the festival agenda — also were canceled last year after strong winds collapsed a tent.

The fireworks that were to have been set off last year were repackaged for this year's festival, but organizers aren't sure if they could do that a second time to save them until 2014, Ginsburg said.

The festival committee waited until midday Saturday to cancel the day's activities, including bands that were scheduled to play that evening.

Despite the gloomy weather conditions Saturday, attendance seemed higher than usual the night before, Ginsburg said. About 300 cars were parked at Penn Township Municipal Park.

“I think a lot of people showed up anticipating it was going to be rained out on Saturday,” Ginsburg said.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or

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