Organizers: Westmoreland Arts and Heritage festival sees lower attendance |

Organizers: Westmoreland Arts and Heritage festival sees lower attendance

Megan Tomasic
Artist Bob Weaver, of West Newton, works on a pen and ink drawing of Penn State wrestling, during the Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival at Twin Lakes Park in Unity Township, on Friday, July 5, 2019.

Attendance was down during the 45th annual Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival this last weekend, according to its Executive Director Diane Shrader.

The festival, which brings food and craft vendors to Twin Lakes Park east of Greensburg, typically draws around 125,000 people over four days.

This year, however, heavy rains and wind gusts up to 60 mph caused the event to close early Saturday.

Closing around 5 p.m., around 20,000 visitors were evacuated in about 20 minutes by walking to their vehicles or taking shuttle buses, Shrader said. Dancing Dream, an ABBA tribute band, was slated to take the stage Saturday night, but were unable due to the weather, she said.

But on Sunday, the crowds came back, despite overcast skies and some rain in the morning.

“The vendors and visitors that I spoke with enjoyed the festival in spite of the rain,” Shrader said.

More than 200 vendors fill the festival each year, with nearly half coming from out of state, organizers said last week. This year’s festival started Thursday, running 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Shrader, who did not immediately have a total number of guests at the recent event, said organizers use crowd counting, drink sales, shuttle bus ticket sales and a professional photographer’s photos to determine the number of attendees.

Admission is free, so organizers are unable to count ticket sales, she added.

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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