Oakmont Street Sale offers more vendors, activities
More space, more vendors and a more festival-like atmosphere brought in more people to the annual Oakmont Street Sale.
“It was so much better,” said Carol Kinkela, owner of women’s clothing boutique Carabella. “It’s a great sense of community. It gives everybody a chance to explore Oakmont and visit new shops. The merchants themselves do a great job of cross advertising.”
The event was presented by the Oakmont Chamber of Commerce July 27.
“We had so many people. It was a beautiful day,” Chamber Director Karen DeTurk. “The weather couldn’t have been better for this kind of event.”
The street sale traditionally takes place the last weekend in July and results in Allegheny River Boulevard being closed from Pennsylvania to Washington avenues.
Organizers expanded it a few blocks toward College Avenue this year to make it easier for Carabella and fellow Chamber members, the Oaks Theater and Fox’s Pizza Den, to participate.
“It was instrumental in bringing in new people to the store,” Kinkela said.
A car cruise took place near Panera Bread. Mystery Lovers Bookshop held a “Where’s Waldo?” scavenger hunt.
Master ice carver Rich Bubin crafted frozen masterpieces, including a squirrel that poured fruit punch out its mouth. He also sprayed the crowd with ice to cool them off.
Intricate balloon art featuring comic book superheros and animals was made by Pittsburgh magician/balloon artist Weird Eric.
Maj. Jonathon Nagel of Oakmont did a blacksmith demonstration and made and distributed steel keychains with a leaf on one side and a bottle opener on the other.
Nagel is a full-time Army reservist and champion of the History Channel’s “Forged in Fire.”
He said he was happy to show people blacksmithing wasn’t all about making swords and knives.
“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “The crowd was great, a lot of interest (in blacksmithing) from little kids all the way up to retirees, and everything in between. It was pretty cool to see the interest in this area. I would do it (again) in a heartbeat.”
DeTurk was first introduced as chamber director at last year’s street sale. She had a larger role in planning this year’s event.
DeTurk said her only complaint about the street sale was from a woman who said her snow cone had no flavor.
“It was a good event. Everyone said it looked like the chamber had stepped up their game this year,” DeTurk said. “I really wanted it to be more fun than last year (when) I was just along for the ride.”
DeTurk said she plans to attend events in the Pittsburgh area to generate more ideas for Oakmont.
More information about Oakmont Chamber of Commerce activities is available at oakmont-pa.com.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .