Fort Ligonier Days make everything old new again
By Cynthia Bombach Helzel
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, 7:29 p.m.
At Fort Ligonier Days, everything old — and not so old — is new again. In addition to the re-enactments of the historic Battle of Fort Ligonier and an appearance by “George Washington,” a 5K run/walk will be held Sunday morning after being absent from the festival schedule for nearly 10 years.
This year, the festival Saturday falls on the 255th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Ligonier, which occurred on Oct. 12, 1758.
“That makes it very special for us,” says Annie Urban, the fort's executive director. “The reason we have Fort Ligonier Days every year is so that we can commemorate this battle.”
The 18th century will come to life at the fort with living-history encampments of British and French military, Native Americans, Scottish Highlanders and musicians.
“We'll have close to 100 re-enactors camped at the fort,” Urban says.
George Washington portrayer Dean Malissa will be at the museum from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 11, after he participates in the opening ceremonies at noon on the Diamond. Battle re-enactments will take place at 2 and 4 p.m. Oct. 12 and 13, with artillery demonstrations beginning half an hour before each battle. There also will be demonstrations of blacksmithing and outdoor bread-baking.
Festival attendance, which has topped 100,000 over the three days, peaks for the parade at 11 a.m. Oct. 12.
“The parade is typically the highlight of the event,” says longtime event co-Chair Bill Stablein. With more than 125 units, the parade lasts about an hour and a half and will make its way down Main Street and around the Diamond. Parade watchers can expect to see historic re-enactors, Shriners, equestrian units, antique cars, local TV personalities, 19 bands, half a dozen floats and more.
A vast array of carefully screened artists and craftspeople will be selling paintings, prints, jewelry, pottery, metalwork, woodcrafts, furniture, dried flowers, artisan foods and much more. The 150 craft booths are divided among four locations, all linked by shuttle-bus service. Ligonier's merchants also will have sidewalk sales during the festival.
A Kids Korner in the side yard of the Ligonier Valley YMCA on West Church Street will feature a bounce house, trampoline, fish pond, face painting, pastel and charcoal portraits and other fun activities and crafts for kids.
Dozens of food booths will offer everything from turkey legs, quesadillas, burgers, pizza and crab cakes to funnel cakes, crepes, apple dumplings and cobblers. In addition, three local churches will offer sit-down meals, including a pancake breakfast, hot dogs, sauerkraut, pulled pork and desserts.
Throughout the weekend, visitors will be treated to free outdoor concerts by bands playing in a variety of genres, including Full Kilt (Celtic rock), Sydney Hutchko (country rock), Arrival Band (Journey tribute) and River City Brass. A fireworks display will begin at 8:45 p.m. Oct. 12, following a concert by Beatlemania Magic. The full entertainment schedule is posted at www.visitligonier.com.
Parking for the festival is available only in designated areas. Free shuttle bus service will run from Ligonier Valley High School and Laurel Valley Golf Club to the festival and back. Because of health and safety concerns, no dogs or backpacks will be permitted in the festival areas.
Cynthia Bombach Helzel is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Westmoreland County Controller Balzer, IRS at odds
- Hempfield couple charged in thefts
- Ligonier man charged with harassing estranged wife
- No apology from Greensburg driver in DUI death
- Mt. Pleasant Area School District looks to hire assistant superintendent
- Donegal American Legion Post 941 helps nonprofits
- Latrobe will join county land bank
- Mt. Pleasant Rotary makes donations to community organizations
- Man charged with pointing gun at woman in Rostraver
- Glenn Miller Orchestra, Chris Smither among headliners for Greensburg’s SummerSounds series
- Yukon Pet Adoption League, founder settle spat