Jeannette fest celebrates ethnic traditions, town’s resurgence | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Jeannette fest celebrates ethnic traditions, town’s resurgence

Jeff Himler
1830316_web1_GTR-JeannetteFest-1-102019
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Pryce Perdue, 5, of Jeannette, gets a look in the mirror at a shark character painted on his face by artist Michelle Byers, of Jeannette, on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 during the 6th annual Jeannette Business Association’s Ethnic Food and Fall Festival along Clay Avenue in downtown Jeannette.
1830316_web1_GTR-JeannetteFest-3-102019
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Tony Sedunov, of Latrobe, volunteers dishing out cabbage rolls for customers at the SS. Cyril & Methodius Orthodox Church’s ethnic food booth on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 during the 6th annual Jeannette Business Association’s Ethnic Food and Fall Festival along Clay Avenue in downtown Jeannette. Church members from SS. Cyril & Methodius Orthodox Church were serving perogies and Haluski, a traditional Czech dish made from noodles, along with the cabbage rolls.
1830316_web1_GTR-JeannetteFest-2-102019
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Crowds gather along Clay Avenue in Jeannette for food, vendors, games and a basket raffle, among other activities, on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 during the 6th annual Jeannette Business Association’s Ethnic Food and Fall Festival along Clay Avenue in downtown Jeannette.
1830316_web1_GTR-JeannetteFest-4-102019
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Siblings Landon Trnavsky, 10, left, and Kiersten Trnavsky, 7, middle, of Eighty Four, Pa., place their painted pumpkins on the table to dry while with their step-grandmother, Stacy Trnavsky, background, of Jeannette, at the pumpkin painting booth on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 during the 6th annual Jeannette Business Association’s Ethnic Food and Fall Festival along Clay Avenue in downtown Jeannette.
1830316_web1_GTR-JeannetteFest-5-102019
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Judy Soles, of Jeannette, a church deacon at First Presbyterian Church of Jeannette, prepares roast beef sandwiches for visitors on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 during the 6th annual Jeannette Business Association’s Ethnic Food and Fall Festival along Clay Avenue in downtown Jeannette.

Visitors to Saturday’s fourth annual Ethnic Food and Fall Festival in Jeannette got a sampling of what the town has to offer gastronomically and culturally.

“Part of our mission is to build awareness of our town,” said Donna McCullough, secretary of the Jeannette Business Association, which organized the festival. “We’re trying to bring it back. Slowly but surely, there are businesses coming into our town.”

A recent addition on Clay Avenue, the town’s main drag, is art gallery called You Are Here, which welcomed people to browse. Crafters, food and activities also lined two blocks of the street.

“It’s nice to see something going on in town,” said Jim Pacelli of Penn Township, who checked out the gallery with his wife, Mary, and their son, Joey.

Josh Gross, 16, a 10th-grade Jeannette student, stopped at the nearby Jeannette Historical Society museum to check out a display about the town’s former Palace movie theater, which now houses the local American Legion post.

“I’ve always wanted to come in here, to see what Jeannette used to look like,” he said.

Bob Musser of Harrison City brought along his 3-year-old grandson, Lincoln Alayon of Cranberry, as he ordered pierogies and kielbasa at the food booth of Jeannette’s SS. Cyril & Methodius Orthodox Church.

Parishioner Elena Ribarevski, drawing on her family’s Macedonian heritage, prepared several treats including Russian tea cakes, dusted with powdered sugar, and shepherd salad, a traditional mix of vegetables including tomatoes and cucumbers with a vinaigrette dressing.

“We’re trying to keep a lot of our ethnic traditions alive and well,” she said. “We consider them comfort foods now, but a lot of these dishes came out of necessity with the difficulties that the immigrants faced in the old country.”

Jeannette’s festivities have begun to grow along with the town. This year’s fall festival reinstated a scarecrow contest, suspended last year to accommodate sidewalk improvements, and added wine and beer for adults.

Food Truck Thursdays were introduced this past summer, McCullough said, noting, “It was a huge success every time.”

The town expanded its Sparkle Christmas holiday parade to 80 units last year and wants to continue that trend, she said. She’s hoping to work with the art gallery proprietors to broaden the scope of the 2020 fall festival, to celebrate Jeannette’s history as a center of glass production.

“There’s a lot going on here,” she said, pointing to an amphitheater under construction at Clay Avenue and Fifth Street.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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.