Thousands turn out in Leechburg for Pink Day street fair benefiting cancer research
Leechburg knows how to “go pink” to fight breast cancer.
Market Street was shut down to vehicle traffic Saturday to allow the street to be used for Pink Day 2019.
The annual cancer fundraiser celebrated its eighth year. It raised $20,000 last year, which was an increase of $5,000 from 2017, according to event organizer Sherry Price. The total for Saturday’s event was not immediately available.
Proceeds benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Thousands came out under sunny skies, with more than 80 merchandise vendors and 20 food vendors participating, making this year’s event the biggest yet.
“We had no idea this event would ever become the huge success it has,” Price said. “This community comes together as a whole and rallies around us, volunteering, businesses sponsoring and, of course, everyone attending.”
Miss Freddye of Ross Township beat breast cancer twice. She volunteers annually at Pink Day, singing her blues-inspired original and traditional songs.
“I’ve been given a second chance, a do-over.
“I’m a nurse, and I deal with cancer patients every day at UPMC Presbyterian,” Miss Freddye said. “My motto is: ‘What I do is not for me to keep.’ And being at Pink Day makes me feel alive, vibrant, grateful and humble at the same time.”
An expanded outdoor food court offered eats such as barbecue ribs, chicken, tacos, Italian sweet sausage, specialty fries and more.
First-time Pink Day participant Del Vecchio’s Sausage and Fries food truck owner Tommy Scanga said making a stop in Leechburg to support Pink Day was important.
“Our family is so excited to be part of such a great charity event. We love using family recipes to help a great group of people raise money for such a good cause,” Scanga said.
Leechburg Mayor Wayne Dobos said Pink Day has brought positive attention to the little borough.
“Pink Day is important to Leechburg because it brings people into town who normally wouldn’t come to Leechburg,” Dobos said. “After they see how nice ‘the Jewel of the Valley’ is, they may be more likely to come back and shop our stores and eat at one of our fine eateries.”
New this year was a one-hour exotic animal show hosted by Wild World of Animals.
“We always look for ways to make Pink Day better each year,” Price said.
Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.