ShareThis Page
News

Washington Township event draws with entertainers, games, activities

| Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Isabella Sackett, 7, of Bell Township looks at her parents and jumps for joy as she and siblings Matthew, 5, and Ava, 2, win a prize from spinning the wheel at a booth set up by Mary Jo Riddle of State Farm at the Fort Hand Festival in Washington Township's Kunkle Park on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012.
Bill Shirley  |  For the Valley News Dispatch
Valley News Dispatch
Isabella Sackett, 7, of Bell Township looks at her parents and jumps for joy as she and siblings Matthew, 5, and Ava, 2, win a prize from spinning the wheel at a booth set up by Mary Jo Riddle of State Farm at the Fort Hand Festival in Washington Township's Kunkle Park on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. Bill Shirley | For the Valley News Dispatch
Reilly Sullivan (left) and her sister, Payton, both of Washington Township, look over the hula hoops at the Fort Hand Festival in Washington Township's Kunkle Park on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012.
Bill Shirley  |  For the Valley News Dispatch
Valley News Dispatch
Reilly Sullivan (left) and her sister, Payton, both of Washington Township, look over the hula hoops at the Fort Hand Festival in Washington Township's Kunkle Park on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. Bill Shirley | For the Valley News Dispatch
Hannah Getty, 7, and her brother Jack, 5, of Washington Township enjoy cotton candy at the Fort Hand Festival in Washington Township's Kunkle Park on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012.
Bill Shirley  |  For the Valley News Dispatch
Valley News Dispatch
Hannah Getty, 7, and her brother Jack, 5, of Washington Township enjoy cotton candy at the Fort Hand Festival in Washington Township's Kunkle Park on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. Bill Shirley | For the Valley News Dispatch
Accordion player Ed Kolakowski of North Apollo plays to a crowd gathered at the Fort Hand Festival at Kunkle Park in Washington Township on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012.
Bill Shirley  |  For the Valley News Dispatch
Valley News Dispatch
Accordion player Ed Kolakowski of North Apollo plays to a crowd gathered at the Fort Hand Festival at Kunkle Park in Washington Township on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. Bill Shirley | For the Valley News Dispatch

WASHINGTON TWP. — Organizers of the Fort Hand Festival said on Sunday that they were pleased with the growing interest in the annual event and its base at Kunkle Park.

Festival organizer Lisa Carnahan of Washington Township said she had to turn away vendors this year, meaning Kunkle Park was full of food, carnival games, entertainers and activities for children and adults during the festival's three-day run, which started Friday.

Carnahan said the event raises money for the township-owned park. It has helped to pay for new pavilions, a concession stand, playground equipment and a volleyball court.

Carnahan said the next task is improving a walking trail.

Township Supervisor Joe Olszewski, also a festival organizer, said part of the trail has a steep grade that should be made more accessible to walkers. It is in a less developed portion of the 40-acre park. Depending on the amount raised, work could begin next spring.

Olszewski said the group would like to add pavilions because the three existing shelters often are occupied every summer weekend.

The festival is named for Fort Hand, a late 1700s stockade once located nearby on Pine Run Church Road. The fort was used to protect pioneers from Indians; it was destroyed in an attack in 1779.

Carnahan said the festival includes re-enactments of the battle every three years; 2011 was the last re-enactment.

But even without a mock battle, visitors had plenty to experience. Sunday's entertainment included music by the Kiski Valley Community Band, Christian rocker Kurt Shirey, accordion player Ed Kolakowski and a clown.

Carnahan said the festival benefitted from good weather this year. The exception was a brief storm Saturday night that chased away some people waiting for a fireworks display, which was set to music for the first time.

She said the festival also helps attract visitors to the park year-round and inform people of the area's history. She said many people aren't aware of the park or the fort.

“Fort Hand — it's right in your backyard,” Carnahan said.

Ann Getty of Washington Township said she often brings her children, Hannah, 7, and Jack, 5, to the park, which they often find to be empty.

“We can walk here from our house,” Getty said. “It's a beautiful park.”

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com.

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.

click me