Smithton fair will feature Chris Higbee concert, celebrate Legion centennial |

Smithton fair will feature Chris Higbee concert, celebrate Legion centennial

Jeff Himler
Tribune-Review file
Country artist Chris Higbee is seen in a 2011 file photo.
Members of the Smithton Volunteer Fire Department and Smithton American Legion finalize plans for their joint street fair on July 13, 2019. From left are: Smithton Sons of the American Legion Commander Chad Kitz; Smithton VFD Assistant Chiefs Michael DeSimone and Marty Ponebshek, who is chairing the fair; Smithton American Legion Commander Robert Prah Jr.

Smithton’s American Legion and volunteer fire department are joining forces to put on a community street fair July 13 that will feature a free concert by local country artist Chris Higbee.

The outdoor concert, tentatively set for 7:30 p.m., is part of an enhanced fair the two organizations are planning that day in honor of the national American Legion’s centennial.

“This is a great way to continue the legacy of what the American Legion is really about and how our mission after military service is to continue to support our community and fellow veterans and their families,” said Robert Prah, an Army Reserve captain and commander of the American Legion Post 790 in Smithton.

Higbee, originally from Dawson, first came to prominence in 2000 as co-founder of the Poverty Neck Hillbillies, whose popular video “Mr. Right Now” featured Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. A singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his high-energy fiddling, Higbee is now touring with his own band.

His song “Write to Me” was written for his wife, who was deployed to Iraq immediately after they married.

The Smithton Volunteer Fire Department reintroduced the town’s annual street fair and parade in 2013. Most of the fair activities, slated from 2 to 10 p.m., will occur on First Street. A free fireworks display will follow.

The parade will take place on Center Street, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Third Street and proceeding to First Street.

“We will have plenty of vendors, nonprofits, food trucks and a very robust parade,” said Assistant Fire Chief Marty Ponebshek Jr., who is chairing the fair.

Reed Kruper, who was mayor of Smithton from 1992 to 2000 and is a longtime past commander of the town’s Legion post, will participate as grand marshal of the parade. He served with the Air Force from 1964-68, assigned as a jet engine mechanic, and completed a tour in Thailand.

The Smithton Legion post will be open to the public from 2 to 9:30 p.m. at 137 First St. Chartered in 1945, the post is named in memory of Lt. Wayne S. Forsythe, a pilot who was preparing for deployment to the European Theater of World War II when he was killed in the line of duty during a training event in the Midwest.

Area Legion posts and affiliated units that would like to participate in the parade may contact Prah at [email protected]

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

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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