Cranberry Community Days to be 'biggest and the best'
With a mini-arts festival, expanded carnival, yarn-decorated trees and even a preview of next month's giant fireworks conference, Cranberry's 2013 Community Days promises to top previous celebrations, organizers said.
“We keep saying it's going to be the biggest and the best every year, and it keeps happening,” said Cindy Marzock, township spokeswoman. “This one is really going to put our celebration on the map.”
More than 25,000 people are expected in the township's Community Park off Route 19 between Thursday and Saturday night.
Township supervisor Bruce Mazzoni said the event is “a celebration of our nonprofit and civic groups.” He expects more than 700 volunteers to help out.
About 400 vendor booths are expected, Marzock said, and everything has been condensed into two areas of the park, eliminating displays and booths on the upper park level.
“The event was a little bit too spread out,” Marzock said. “Now it will be more walkable, and easier to get to.”
Capitalizing on a relatively recent craze, several local knitting circles, including St. Ferdinand's “God's Precious Preemies” group and the Butler County Spinners and Weavers Guild, will “yarn bomb” 10 trees, enveloping them in knit coverings.
Also new this year is the musical revue “Broadway in the Park,” directed and produced by Cranberry's Chris Saunders. It will be held at the Community Park Rotary amphitheater at 7 p.m. Thursday and again at 5 p.m. Saturday, featuring local performers. If successful, the revue may help start a local theater group.
Art will play a big role this year. The Associated Artists of Butler County will make a mural, using nearly 600 chalk drawings made by park visitors. Once the drawings are done, the group will scan the pictures and make a mosaic out of them, one that will become a permanent addition to the township's public art collection.
The end of the celebration Saturday will feature the biggest fireworks display ever in Cranberry, a sneak peek for the 2013 Pyrotechnics Guild International conference that will be held in mid-August at Cooper's Lake in Worth, adjacent to Moraine State Park.
Some proceeds from Community Days will go toward the township's Community Project of the Year.
Past projects have included a community information board at routes 228 and 19 and the Kids Castle Playground, now under construction.
Community Days is free, though several civic groups will ask for a $5 parking donation that will benefit the 2014 Cranberry Township Community Chest project.
For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.ctcchest.org/content/community-days/2013-community-days.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-380-5621.