Latrobe’s Mister Rogers Family Day expands with car cruise, pony rides
Adults who grew up watching episodes of Latrobe native Fred Rogers’ children’s television series and kids who are fans of the animated Daniel Tiger character that carries on that tradition will find something of interest at Saturday’s fourth-annual Mister Rogers Family Day.
“It’s a tremendous tribute to Fred, a great day for families and an opportunity to showcase the city,” Mayor Rosie Wolford said of the festival, set for 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in downtown Latrobe.
Pony rides will be available from noon to 2 p.m. in the Latrobe Medicine Shoppe parking lot while a car cruise is planned from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the lot between Rite Aid pharmacy and Marco’s Pizza.
Parking on downtown streets and lots will be free, as will be most festival activities. There is a $5 charge for a horse-drawn hay wagon ride offered by Misty Haven Carriage of Somerset County.
Festival committee member Laurie Corbett organized the car cruise “to try to get more adult activities, to have something for the entire family.”
The cruise has been dubbed a “collector’s car show” because it won’t be limited to antique or classic cars.
“We’ll have everything from a 1935 Chevy street rod to a brand new 2018 Chevy Corvette Carbon 65,” Corbett said.
Students from the Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center collaborated with the Latrobe Art Center to create an oversize replica of Daniel Tiger that will wave to motorists as they arrive in town via Lloyd Avenue. Tech center students also will help kids silkscreen designs on tote bags, limited to the first 300 at James H. Rogers Park.
The Daniel Tiger character also will be on hand, as will Katerina Kittycat and Saint Vincent College’s trolley — inspired by the one on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
New acts will be included in the entertainment lineup, including Ground Zero Pittsburgh, with a self-defense demonstration, singer-songwriter Kynzie Webb and Greensburg’s Stage Right! theatrical company, featuring Princess Ariel from “The Little Mermaid.”
The Latrobe Art Center will offer arts and crafts and a display of items on loan from the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent — “Neighborhood” tie-in merchandise and photos documenting Rogers’ life and career from the 1980s through the new millennium.
Adams Memorial Library and WQED-TV will offer additional activities for kids. Latrobe-GLSD Parks and Recreation will sponsor a climbing wall, obstacle course and bouncy house.
Visitors can browse among farmers market and food vendors. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors can complete the Fred Rogers trivia stroll by stopping at eight participating merchants, which will have a trivia question about Fred Rogers.
“If you can answer the question correctly, you’ll get some Mardi Gras beads,” said Lauren Buches, art center director and festival committee member. With beads from all eight stores, a visitor can enter a drawing to win a raffle basket.
Throughout the day, visitors can stop at the Quatrini Rafferty Building, 816 Ligonier St., to view a continuous slide show with images of Fred Rogers in Latrobe and of the town’s appearance in the 1950s. It was created by the Latrobe Area Historical Society, which will display Rogers memorabilia and have merchandise for sale there.
The local McFeely-Rogers Foundation is among organizations and businesses that are combining efforts to make the Family Day happen.
“Everybody’s pulling together to make it a special day in downtown Latrobe filled with magical memories,” said Annette Couch, who chairs the event committee.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .