Live music, antique automobiles to highlight Old Economy event
People of all ages will have a chance Saturday to attend a celebration 50 years in the making.
In honor of the 50-year anniversary of the Beatles' first performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” Beatlemania Magic — a Beatles tribute band from New Castle — will headline a string of musical performances Saturday at Old Economy Village's An American Celebration.
The event will be held at the National Historic Landmark on 16th Street in Ambridge and will serve as a combination of two past events: an antique car show and summer concert.
“We have two very good audiences at both events, but we thought it would make more sense to do one larger event than two smaller events back to back,” site administrator Michael Knecht said. “With the antique car show we had a lot of activity that brought a lot of people out, but we didn't have a lot of music tied to the event. We thought if we brought the music in it would make it a real event for us.”
Last summer the antique car show had an audience of about 900 people with the River City Brass concert drawing around 300 people.
By combining the events, Knecht is expecting more than 1,000 attendees Saturday, he said, adding that the addition of Beatlemania Magic to the schedule should help draw a crowd.
The group has been together for the last seven years, recreating what it would have been like to see the Beatles perform live. A typical performance includes at least two costume changes as the crowd is taken on a journey through the various Beatles eras.
“You want to touch every age group, and that's what we do,” said Bill Kropinak, who plays the role of John Lennon in the group. “It's definitely a family show. “
The event figures to have something for all ages, featuring pre-1950 antique cars, a magic show, an old-fashioned spelling bee with a cash prize and artisan demonstrations.
In years past, the antique car show had been run in conjunction with the Fourth of July, but Old Economy Village leaders said they saw merit in moving the event back a weekend.
“We know a lot of people have a lot of celebrations and events going on that day, so we thought moving the event to the week after the (July Fourth) would allow people to enjoy their own plans as well as our event,” Knecht said.