by Jonathan Weaver
Trick-or-treaters might have roamed the streets last night, but more Halloween events are scheduled for this weekend.
Those activities begin tonight, as Halloween parades in both Ford City and Kittanning are scheduled to begin at 7PM.
Also this weekend, the Ford City Renaissance Community Partnership – a new organization which aims to gain community interest into holiday activities – will host a ‘Boo Cruise’ and Doo Wop/Oldies dance.
The fun continues Saturday, October 29 starting at 1PM with the “Boo” Cruise in downtown Ford City.
Partnership Member Steve Heffner identified the goal of the new organization.
“It’s a bunch of volunteers that want to see something happen,” Heffner said. “You’re getting people that realize Ford City still has people that want it to be a nice community, where you can come home and look forward for holidays, as well as throughout the year.”
Organizer Paul Klukan also saw lack of cooperation from local businesses during holiday activities last year, which prompted him to spearhead the organization.
“Steve and I were involved last year in the Christmas Light-Up in Ford City, we saw that businesses weren’t open and things weren’t right,” Klukan said. “It hasn’t been for awhile, and both of us as Ford City boys said ‘We have to do something.’ So, we talked with some people, formed this committee and want to bring the community back to where it was.”
Starting at 1PM, as many as 300 cars will line Ford Street and 3rd and 4th Avenues for owners to show-off their hot wheels to local residents and newcomers. The day is being held with assistance by the Ford City Area Business and Professional Association, the Ford City Public Library and the Ford City Fire Department.
“The biggest thing we ask is for the community to support it,” Heffner said. “It’s going to take the community to support it, and we’ve been getting that.”
Local businesses have also supported the cause by decorating straw and cornstalks outside of their establishments, which Klukan said owners are having fun with.
“It’s unbelievable how they are decorating – it’s just taking off,” Klukan said. “It’s getting some excitement in Ford City.
“Everybody sees what we’re doing and its starting to bring the community back together, and we’re hoping to do a lot of other things,” Klukan said.
He hopes the decorations and events could also lead to new businesses in Ford City.
“Just trying to bring people back into Ford City,” Klukan said. “Possibly by doing that, we may bring someone in that sees an empty storefront and say ‘Hey, this may be a good place to set up shop.’”
Pumpkin carving and pumpkin pie contests are also being planned, as well as ghost stories being read at the clock tower. The men hope weather this weekend cooperates.
“With any event outside, the weather has a lot to do with how successful it’s going to be,” Heffner said.
An event that adults can attend rain-or-shine will be held at 10th Street Station that night starting at 8PM, when ‘Hiram & The Walkers’ perform oldies hits. There is a $5 admission charge and costumes are welcomed.
Participants are welcome to dance till midnight.
The committee also hopes to have events during the quasquicentennial next year.
The event is also seen as a fundraiser to generate money for Light-Up Ford City November 19.