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Tarentum festival celebrates 'Everyday Heroes'

Mary Ann Thomas
| Friday, Aug. 13, 2010

TARENTUM — A dancing chicken and a cast of other characters from the Abundant Joy Fellowship church kicked off a free, four-day festival last night at Riverview Memorial Park.

The Tarentum-based church is sponsoring the free public festival, "Celebrating Everyday Heroes," until Sunday offering entertainment, arts and crafts for children, and free food for the public including a pizza-eating contest on Saturday and a pig and corn roast on Sunday.

Local heroes will be honored on Saturday with officials from Tarentum Borough and volunteer firefighters from Summit Hose, Highlands Hose and Eureka.

Church officials are expecting between 350-400 attendees for the pig roast alone.

"We just want people to celebrate," said Cathy Blythe of Tarentum, wife of Greg Blythe, the pastor of Abundant Joy Fellowship.

"It's not about promoting our church," she said, adding, "but we are a church."

Thursday night's event was like a "mini-vacation Bible school," according to Blythe.

Face-painting and free romps on the inflatables entertained local youths while members of the fellowship's youth group took the stage for "Kidz Superhero Celebration" and sang religious songs.

Snacks such as popcorn and apples were offered for free.

More than 100 people attended the festival Thursday evening and more are expected as the weekend continues.

On tap for tonight, "Team Xtreme" will perform strength demonstrations from 6 to 8 p.m. The team's website describes the international troupe as a "Christian power team."

Organizers say that they hope the free event brings the community together, especially residents from west and east Tarentum.

Local artist Wendy Thimons and her husband, Brian Snyder, of West Tarentum contributed their artistic services for the backdrop of the stage.

"It's a community event," Thimons said. "West Tarentum is left out of the loop, and we wanted to do something to connect."

Cindy Hatajik of Harrison, who heads up the church's fundraising, said local merchants were generous in their donations.

"We just want to bring back the old-style fairs that are free and bring everyone together," Hatajik said, "and I just hope that it gets bigger next year."

Additional Information:

Celebration

Celebrating Everyday Heroes is taking place at Riverview Memorial Park in Tarentum through Sunday.

For more information call: 724-224-4715.

Here's a sampling of events:

• Friday, 6-8 p.m.: Inflatables, crafts, entertainment, food, plus a special appearance by Team Xtreme (Christian strongmen/stunt men).

• Saturday, 1-6 p.m.: Pizza-eating contest sponsored by Steel City Pizza, free massages, blood-pressure screenings and a scavenger hunt.

• Sunday, 11 a.m-4 p.m.: Church service in the park followed by free pig and corn roast, and rides through Tarentum on the Big Silver Train.

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