Scottdale, Mt. Pleasant welcome fall with annual festivals
Autumn heralds festival season for several local communities, and Scottdale and Mt. Pleasant will host their popular versions back-to-back over the next two weekends.
The Scottdale Fall Festival, set for Sept. 20-22, offers visitors the opportunity to stroll along its downtown and browse the offerings of vendors featuring a wide variety of handmade crafts, local and ethnic foods, enjoy live entertainment and children’s activities.
Festival highlights and favorites this weekend are likely to include the 9 a.m. Saturday 5K/10K run and walk, followed by the noon parade with a theme this year of “All Roads Lead to Scottdale.”
This year marks the festival’s 45th anniversary, says committee chairman Tom Szczygiel.
Community group involvement is one accomplishment the committee is excited about this year, he says.
“One thing that stands out is the Scottdale Parks Commission will hold cornhole. The Lions Club is (sponsoring) cotton candy. This is kind of my intention when I came in, to get more community participation. We hope additional groups will reach out,” Szczgiel says.
For the second year, members of the Scottdale Volunteer Fire Department will hold a meet and greet from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. “They will set their ladder truck up in town and accept donations. It’s so the community sees who is there, who supports the community,” he adds.
Crowds will line the street for the Bigfoot Car Crush, sponsored by Mongell Tire and Raygor Auto Inc. at 2 p.m. Sunday on Pioneer Way, Szczgiel says. “Three cars are set up in the middle of the street and the monster truck goes at it. It’s lots of fun.”
Children in grades kindergarten to third, fourth to eighth and ninth to 12th can compete in the 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday chalk contest, which must include a fall theme, in front of Elks Lodge No. 777 along Pittsburgh Street.
The festival will hold its 15th annual dog show at 3:20 p.m. Sunday, preceded by a dog parade at 3 p.m. around the gazebo.
Proud parents can send their fur babies (costumes required) down the red carpet to compete for prizes including top “Diva,” “Stud” and “Mixed Breed.” Dogs can also win prizes for categories including best tricks, most patriotic, longest ears and shortest tail. All leashed dogs welcome.
The children’s area, with locations on Stoner Street for games, vendors and shows, and in the grassy area beside Manor Apartments, with an inflatable obstacle course, includes balloon twisting and caricature artists.
New this year is a magic show, movie night (7:30 p.m. Saturday) and character meet and greet by the Geyer Performing Arts Center.
A festival’s musical entertainment provides a soundtrack to the festivities, and the Scottdale Fall Festival has a busy lineup.
Irwin native and “American Idol” contestant Aubrey Burchell will perform on the gazebo stage from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 20, followed from 6 to 7:30 p.m. by The Bricks and from 8:30 to 10 p.m. by House of Soul.
Country singer Katelyn Rose will perform at 7 p.m. Friday on JJ’s Pizza stage at the top of Pittsburgh Street.
On Sept. 21, Stage Right will perform from 1 to 2 p.m.
At 2:30 p.m., Jacobs Creek Watershed Association will present a Rain Drops Perspective. Visitors can learn about borough engineering devices including “bump-outs,” porous concrete, silva cells, bioswales and more.
Music returns to the stage at 3:30 p.m. with Street Level Band, at 6 p.m. with The 80’s & 90’s Band, and at 8:30 p.m. with Jumpin’ Jack Flash.
Drew Bentley will entertain the crowd from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, followed at 4 p.m. by Near The Edge and at 6:30 p.m. by The Fabulous Gemtones.
Celebrating its history of sparkle
As the name suggests, the Mt. Pleasant Glass & Ethnic Festival celebrates the town’s history of glass making.
Demonstrations from professional glass cutters always draw a crowd.
According to co-chairs Mt. Pleasant borough manager Jeff Landy and Mayor Jerry Lucia, the downtown intersection of Washington and Diamond streets, along with the gazebo area, will fill with visitors enjoying the Sept. 27-29 event.
The festival’s mascot is Sparky the Sparkle, named in honor of small crystal glass pieces given men going off to war to remind them of home.
Established in 1986, the festival offers three stages of performing acts, along with strolling musicians.
Friday’s entertainment includes Fuzion Dance, 3 p.m.; Antolena, 4:30 p.m.; Tres Lads, 5:30 p.m., Pendulum (Credence Clearwater Revival tribute), 8 p.m., all on the gazebo stage.
On the Washington Street stage, enjoy The Barons-Lite (German music) at noon; Frank & Friends (Dixie Land), 2 p.m.; Three of Hearts (party dance), 4:30 p.m. and Andy Davis Band (country rock), 8 p.m.
The Old Town area will offer kids’ old-fashioned games and crafts at 1 p.m., Eric Harris (Johhny Cash tribute) at 3 p.m.; Shadows of the Blue & Gray, 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, the popular queen pageant will be held at 11 a.m., open to girls ages 4 to 18 (three divisions), Mt. Pleasant residents and out of town “ambassadors.” Visit the festival website for registration date/information.
Head to Main Street at 2 p.m. on Saturday for the always popular parade. This year’s parade marshal is Col. Bill Lozier of the American Legion Post 446.
Also on Saturday, the gazebo stage will feature Beatelmania Magic, 3:30 p.m.; and Johnny Angel & the Halos, 8 p.m.
The Washington Street stage will offer Mon Valley Community Band at noon; a pizza eating contest (Vikings vs. Scotties) at 4 p.m.; match game show at 6 p.m. and Switch (rock) at 8 p.m.
At the Old Town, visit the Wide World of Animals, located in Eighty-Four, at noon.
At 5:30 p.m., Bill and Cara Elder will assume the personas of George and Martha Washington.
Sunday offers the Baby Contest at 2 p.m. and Cutest Pet Photo Contest at 2:15 p.m., with Full Moon Fever (Tom Petty tribute) at 5:30 p.m., all on the gazebo stage.
Joe Porembka Polka will perform at 11 a.m. on Washington Street stage, followed at 2 p.m. by Velveeta (Penn State party band), and Davisson Brothers (country) at 5 p.m. “Joe Porembka Polka is new this year, as is Full Moon Fever. Velveeta is very popular. And the Davisson Brothers played at Jamboree in the Hills,” according to Landy.
Old Town area will host the Pioneer Cloggers at noon and 3:30 p.m., the Westmoreland Square Dancers at 1:30 p.m. and Copper Watch (old time music) at 5 p.m.
On Diamond Street, enjoy Kidsfest beginning at noon, a (decorated) stroller parade at 1:30 p.m. and, strolling along the midway, comedy by improv team Jabberscotch at 2 p.m. and the Pittsburgh Ceili Club (Irish dance) at 5 p.m.
When hunger strikes, head to the lineup of ethnic food booths and dig into everything from Italian to Greek, Polish to Chinese, along with American fare. Sweet treats include funnel cakes, pies and pastries.
Entertainment also includes pumpkin carving and strolling musicians. Lantern launches are scheduled each night, Landy says, weather permitting.
The festival concludes with fireworks at 7:20 p.m. Sunday.
Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .