Mother of Sorrows in Murrysville preps for annual community festival |
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Patrick Varine

This weekend’s Mother of Sorrows Community Festival in Murrysville will feature food from local chefs and music from area polka artists.

“The whole idea behind the festival is bringing the community together,” said Karen Munson, one of the festival co-chairs.

This year’s event is set for 5-10 p.m. Aug. 2 and Aug. 3 on the church grounds at 4202 William Penn Highway.

In addition to the traditional carnival games and kids’ activities, the festival will also feature its signature staple: a massive basket raffle.

“That’s one thing we’ve kind of become known for,” Munson said. “We have about 130 large baskets this year.”

Whether prepared and donated by a local business, or a group of residents from a neighborhood coming together to create one, Munson said there’s a basket to pique just about anyone’s interest.

“A lot revolved around a particular event, like tickets and a bottle of wine,” she said. “We have one basket with a full set of tires, and another with a very nice set of tools.”

Live entertainment is on the menu: Friday night will feature performances by PKSA Karate students, Mother of Sorrows and Franklin Regional cheerleaders, and music from DJ John Wiggins.

Saturday night will feature polka by local family group the Kosmix Band.

“My daughters play in the band, my nieces and nephews are part of it, and seeing them all play together and develop is really neat,” said Randy Koslosky of Plum, who plays accordion and bass in the group.

“We like to do a variety of styles,” Koslosky said. “There’s definitely a focus on polka, but we like to mix it up.”

Below, see the band’s video for an original song, “Everything’s Better at the Beach”:

The band started out performing at local church festivals and senior centers, but its current gig schedule includes polka festivals and other venues throughout the Northeast, including a September gig at the International Polka Association Convention in Buffalo, N.Y. Koslosky is a member of the association’s Hall of Fame.

“For their age, they’ve come so far and it’s great to see the progress,” Koslosky said.

The festival will also bring back its “Taste of Murrysville,” showcasing local culinary talent.

“We invite local restaurants to come and make one or two of their signature dishes,” Munson said. “It’s just a great way for them to get some exposure to the community.”

Free shuttle service will run from Franklin Regional Senior High School, where parking is available.

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