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Arts & Entertainment

North Side festival celebrates area's variety

| Friday, July 25, 2003

Robin Rosemary Miller says the best part of the North Side is how its nature ranges from music clubs to medical research.

And that is what the executive director of the North Side Chamber of Commerce is trying to point out in Saturday's Celebration in the Park in Allegheny Commons East on Cedar Avenue.

"This is our premier event," she says, "and we're thrilled at how people are all coming together."

The event showing off the North Side begins with a parade at 10 a.m. starting at Arch Street, moving down East North Avenue and ending at the park on Cedar.

Events in the park will start at 11 a.m. and include:

  • Music all day, featuring groups such as Johnny Angel and the Halos, the Flo Band and the choir from the Allegheny Center Alliance Church, among others.

  • Autograph signing by former Pittsburgh Steelers Gerry Mullins and Louis Lipps. Miller says they are offered by "those good North Side neighbors, the Rooney family," owners of the football team.

  • A children's activity area with an inflatable playground and an obstacle course, also provided by the Steelers.

  • An information and free medical testing area from Allegheny General Hospital. The hospital also will provide tours of its helipad area and participate in a bicycle helmet giveaway.

  • A basketball tournament for middle-school children.

  • Information stands from 10 the 18 area neighborhoods in the North Side, such as Fineview and Observatory Hill.

  • Performance and display by the North Side's Balmoral Bagpiping Services headed by George Balderose.

  • A Zone One Public Safety Exhibit featuring motorcycle and mounted police, a bicycle rodeo and inkless fingerprint kits for kids.

    "What I really like is that this is so eclectic," says Miller, from Spring Hill. "This is what we're all about. We want people to come back."

    The festival is free and runs 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Details: (412) 231-6500.

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