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Festival benefits Light Up Night, fire department in Ford City

| Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, 12:26 a.m.

Two volunteer organizations are teaming up to bring a fun-filled festival to Ford City this holiday weekend.

A variety of food will be available to buy under cheerful red and white striped tents set up in the parking lot behind the borough building at 10th Street and Fourth Avenue.

There will be craft booths and live music spilling out onto the blocked-off streets. Attractions include a wildlife animal show and a visit from service dogs. There will be pony rides, games of chance and street performances by a magician, ventriloquist and balloon artist. Kids can get their faces painted and take turns on inflatable slides and a bungee bounce.

“It's a great way to bring people together,” said Paul Klukan, co-chairman of Ford City Renaissance Community Partnership.

The Ford City Volunteer Fire Department and the Renaissance group are sponsoring the third annual Old Fashioned Street Festival from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Renaissance Community Partnership's Light Up Night, a holiday kickoff program on Nov. 29, and will pay for equipment purchases for the fire department.

“Everything we make goes back into the town for Light Up Night,” said Paul Klukan.

Last year's festival raised about $1,500 for Light Up Night and about $5,000 for the fire department.

“This is what we wear into a fire,” Raymond Klukan, Paul's brother and a firefighter, said while holding up an air pack and breathing mask. “They're not cheap.”

On Thursday, a handful of volunteers worked alongside the Klukans at the fire department to begin setting up the wooden stage and food tents for the festival.

Paul recalled helping out the fire department as a kid. At that time, firefighters held a weeklong carnival along Third Avenue. He said the desire to volunteer is something he had then and is something he wants to foster within the community.

“What we're trying to do is pass it on to the youth,” he said. “When I was a kid — you had to know someone to become a volunteer firefighter. Now, the fire department is hanging out a sign for help.”

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

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