(VIDEO) SummerFESTT Kicks Off Family Fun at Belmont

The water slide at the Belmont Complex was well used as hundreds of families enjoyed SummerFESTT activities on Saturday, June 8, 2019.

Aaron Young, Museum Educator for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, pauses for a photo with his Spinosaurus, (meaning “spine lizard”), a type of semi-aquatic dinosaur that would have hung out down by the Allegheny River.

“Characters for a Cause” from Lower Burrell has been assisting at charitable events over the past three years. “We are a non-profit group and we volunteer at different charity events,” said group founder Tara Salem. “The girls dress up as super heroes and princesses. They come out to get more kids involved and help raise money for whatever charity we are helping.

Lauren Shirley enjoys the sunshine pool-side at the Belmont Complex with her two sons, Colton Bureau and Grayson Shirley. This is the first year the family has participated in SummerFESTT.

Curtis Bowser from Kittanning spent his 6th birthday with his family and friends at SummerFESTT. He is given a birthday cupcake by DeeJay Steve Heffner.

DeeJay Steve Heffner stops for a photo with Aaliyah McCray 12, Hanna Bracken 13, and Emmaleigh Shaffer 13, and event organizer Kelley Nuttall.

Weird Eric from Pittsburgh has been doing magic for 15 years professionally. “I started doing magic when I was a kid. My mom used to say I was the Weird Al of magic because I used to play poker records during my magic shows. So Weird Eric was the name I got when I was actually 7 years old,” he said. He works between nine and twelve events per week and does dad duties when he isn’t working.

Hundreds of families enjoyed incredibly wonderful weather at the Belmont Complex on Saturday, June 8. Free admission to the pool was just one part of an event that drew children and parents from all of Armstrong County as well as neighboring towns to experience a day of activities designed specifically for them.

“SummerFESTT is sponsored by the Armstrong Indiana Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission (AICDAC) and the Belmont Complex,” explained organizer Kelley Nuttall.  “It’s been an annual event. It’s held in June to start off summer. This year we say “pop into summer” with popsicles as our. SummerFESTT is Families Enjoying Safe Time Together. We promote families being together in a positive environment. Our event is held for the community to get together, to keep families together, and also to provide resources that are available in the community for families. Everything here is free and sponsored by Belmont and AICDAC.

Nuttall didn’t have an exact number for the event, but the total number could be near 800.

“With the weather cooperating, you know it’s definitely helped too,” she added.

Nuttall said that the success over the past 23 years that SummerFESTT has had in Armstrong County may lead to holding this type of event in other counties.

“It’s kind of in the pre-planning stage, but was in discussion to do one in another county as well as continuing to do this in Armstrong County.”

Nuttall said being involved for the first time this year, it has been an overwhelming feeling of success for her personally.

“It’s seeing all the families together and having a good time. All of the positive vendors that are here providing free things for the community. Families that sometimes might not be able to take five or six children out to an event are able to bring their whole family because we don’t charge and we have sponsorship.”