Delmont Pilgrimage officials seeking more volunteers, sponsorships |

Delmont Pilgrimage officials seeking more volunteers, sponsorships

Patrick Varine
Tribune-Review file
Jeremy Ivcic of the Barnyard Petting Zoo in Eighty-Four portrays one of the three wise men, along with a camel the zoo provided for the Delmont Pilgrimage on Nov. 30, 2018, in Delmont.

Clancey the camel doesn’t come cheap.

“It’s about $1,000 per night for the camel and the donkeys,” said Denni Grassel, a member of the group that took over the former Christmas in Salem Crossroads Pilgrimage and is seeking sponsorships to help fund the annual holiday event.

Rechristened the Delmont Pilgrimage in 2017, the event regularly draws thousands of people to the borough for a celebration of the Christmas season.

Having rescued the event from disappearing two years ago, Grassel and the pilgrimage committee are looking to bring more volunteers aboard and continue improving each year.

“The biggest need we have is for volunteers, especially ones who are familiar with technology,” Grassel said. “A lot of (the narration and music for) our scenes are run off of iPods, and we’d like to get a little more high-tech.”

At the pilgrimage itself, which takes place at Shields Farm, about 75 volunteers are needed for the evening to run smoothly. An additional 75 are necessary to serve as greeters, bus drivers and perform other functions.

“We’re looking for bus drivers who aren’t afraid to sing a few Christmas carols, because we try to get everyone in the holiday spirit aboard the shuttles,” Grassel said.

For the 2019 pilgrimage, individuals or businesses can sponsor a shuttle bus, with their name or business emblazoned on it, for $300.

And, while most of the roles involved in the story of Jesus’ birth are filled, Grassel is hoping to find someone with a horse who can serve as a Roman soldier, riding onto the grounds to issue a census decree.

The committee will meet next on Tuesday, at 6:30 p.m. in the Delmont Public Library at 77 Greensburg St. After taking a break over the summer, committee meetings will resume on the fourth Tuesday in September, at 6:30 p.m. at the library.

Grassel said she is hoping to bring some younger volunteers and organizers on board.

“We spent the (past) two years rebuilding,” she said. “I don’t want to be running it five years from now. We want to get some young people to help keep this going, so that in five years, I’m the one buying a ticket!”

Anyone interested in volunteering or sponsoring an aspect of the Delmont Pilgrimage can email Grassel at [email protected].

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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