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Huge crowd expected at Bushy Run observance

| Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 11:54 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Native American reenactors( from left) Tom Anke,of Jeannette; Tim Haller of Covington, Ky.; Tom Hinkelman of Mt. Laurel, N.J.; and Dennis Nightwolf McKibben, of Jersey Shore, stand in a field to be photographed by fellow reenactors during a visit to Historic Hannastown on Friday, Aug. 2, 2013. The reenactors, who represent the Lenape and Shawnee tribe, will participate in the battle reenactments at Bushy Run Battlefield.

Visitors to three days of events during the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Bushy Run will be required to take shuttle buses to the site, which officials expect to be jammed during the commemoration.

No parking will be allowed at the battlefield site in Penn Township, partly because attendance is expected to be up to four times more than average re-enactments, said Kelly Ruoff, treasurer of Battlefield Heritage Society and co-chairwoman of the anniversary committee.

“We're estimating 8,000 to 10,000 people, depending on the weather,” Ruoff said.

Buses will shuttle visitors for free from one of three sites — Penn-Trafford High School on Route 130 in Harrison City, Living Word Congregation Church at 2003 Ridge Road and the north lot of Elliott Co. on North Fourth Street in Jeannette.

On Aug. 5-6, 1763, British soldiers and Indians from several tribes clashed on Edge Hill. The battle helped decide control of the Ohio frontier and had a lasting impact on the development of America.

“We're really glad we reached this (anniversary),” Ruoff said. “We almost closed in 2009 (because of funding cuts). We're really glad we got this far."

The three-day anniversary event began Friday.

Organizers will dedicate a new monument at 11 a.m. Saturday in the amphitheater, unless it rains, Ruoff said. In that case, the dedication will be rescheduled for noon Sunday.

The battle will be reenacted from 2-4 p.m. each day.

Elders, veterans and families from across the Seneca Nation will attend and take part in the unveiling of the monument that commemorates the men who gave their lives at Bushy Run.

The past president of the Seneca Tribal Council, Maurice John (Bear Clan), will be among dignitaries taking part in the anniversary.

Descendants of Chief Pontiac and Andrew Byerly, whose family owned the Bushy Run post, also will attend.

Organizers have planned a peace ceremony under the “tree of peace,” a white pine.

Admission is $5 per person; only cash will be accepted. Children younger than 3 are admitted free.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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