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Pleasant Hills Community Day set for this weekend

| Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Three years ago, the rumor was that Pleasant Hills wouldn't have its annual Community Day, as Joe Esper sought volunteers.

It wasn't true, though, and now the event is even one week ahead of what it once was. This year, it will be Aug. 9.

“What happened the first year I was on council was I was assigned to be on committee affairs, but there was no Community Day committee, so a rumor started that it was canceled,” Esper, the event co-chairman, said. “I got some people to volunteer, but our office had given away our pavilion, so we had to push it up a week.”

Esper said holding the event a week earlier has been convenient for more residents.

“It's worked for us because it's been more positive for some people like kids who are about to go to college,” Esper said. “They can go now because the community day isn't in conflict with them leaving for school.”

Esper said this year's event is so popular that he has had to turn away booth seekers.

“We're out of booth space,” Esper said.

Edward Cunningham, the borough's former police chief, will serve as the grand marshal.

Cunningham served on the borough's police force for 37 years before retiring in 2013. He also was responsible for starting the borough's Dare Abuse Resistance Education, or DARE, program in 1994.

The community day will kick off at 11 a.m. with a parade that will line up at Pleasant Hills Presbyterian Church, 199 Old Clairton Road.

The 1.1-mile parade will start on Audrey Drive, turn left on Old Clairton Road and turn right on Gill Hall Road before ending at Mowry Park.

Entertainment after the parade will feature talent such as Girlz in Black Hats, a country band from Southwestern Pennsylvania, along with the Lisa DiGorio School of Dance.

Attractions for children, such as the petting zoo and inflatable slide, will return.

Esper has volunteered himself to be part of a police-dog demonstration.

He'll have to suit up to be taken down by officer Ron Porupsky's dog, Scrapi, who will retire from the police force soon.

“Oh, no, I'm not nervous,” Esper said. “Maybe I will be when I get in the suit.”

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Shawn Annarelli is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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