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Ford City readies for SummerFest this week

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Thursday: Opening ceremonies at 5 p.m.; Murphy's Music Center Big Band from 6-9 p.m.; Ben Valasek and the Growlers from 9-11 p.m.

Friday: Houseband from 4-6 p.m.; Armstrong Festival Choir from 6:30 -7:30 p.m.; Acoustic Jam featuring Ryan Balla and Jason Cirrincione from 8-11 p.m.

Saturday: 5K race at 9 a.m.; fireman's parade at 5 p.m.; Stonehouse band from 8-10 p.m.

Sunday: Polka Mass, celebrated by Fr. John Gribik and featuring the Jack Tady Band at 12:30 p.m.; Armstrong County Theater from 4-5 p.m.; First Church of Ford City Worship Team from 5-6 p.m.; Battle of the Barrel at 5:30 p.m.; Slant 6 from 8-10 p.m.; fireworks by Glory on High at the PPG field at 10 p.m.

Festival hours: 4-11 p.m, Thursday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m, Sunday.

Children's area hours: 6-8 p.m., Thursday: noon - 6 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Saturday; 2-8 p.m., Sunday.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Organizers are poised to give Ford City a full run of family entertainment that includes plenty of food, music, a parade and fireworks when the inaugural SummerFest kicks off on Thursday in the borough's Memorial Park.

“These folks scrambled to get on the schedule, and all of them gave deep discounts to help us out in our first year,” Ben Dinus said about performers lined up for the event. “We would really like people coming to the park to show their support.”

Dinus, chairman of the Ford City Legacy group that organized the event that runs through Sunday, said the musicians lined up span several genres, from big band to rock and Christian to country.

Other events on tap include a 5K race and fireman's parade on Saturday and a polka Mass on Sunday. More than 40 food and craft vendors will be at the park throughout the event.

Dinus and other volunteers stepped up in the fall to plan SummerFest after a former group responsible for hosting three decades of the town's annual Heritage Days festival disbanded.

Because Ford City Legacy is new, it won't be able to host events such as bingo, which was offered during previous festivals.

“We can't do it because we aren't able to get the license until next year. Other groups have considered it, but don't think they can get the manpower to cover it,” Dinus said. “It has always been a popular aspect of the festival and generates a lot of revenue for the group holding it.”

But, he said, it's not too late for someone with a license to step in and contact the Ford City Legacy group to set up shop at the event.

“We just want to make sure people get to do the things they want to do and keep the good traditions going,” Dinus said.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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