by Jonathan Weaver
Before local families enjoy the extra day off Monday in lieu of Labor Day, two Ford City non-profit groups encourage residents to celebrate the last weekend of summer during a community festival.
The third-annual “Old-Fashioned Community Festival” will continue support for Ford City firefighters and the Ford City Renaissance Community Partnership.
The parking lot behind the fire station will be the epicenter for games, entertainers and food booths, while in the middle of Fourth Avenue, four local bands –two per night – will allow guests to go “dancing in the streets” each evening – on a stage built this past week by Renaissance co-chairman Paul Klukan, firefighters and volunteers.
Paul said about $1,200-worth of lumber and materials were donated by West Kittanning 84 Lumber to make the stage possible at the intersection of 4th Avenue and 10th Street. It will also be used this fall.
“We’re building a stage this year. It’s going to be used here at the fireman’s event and come November, we have The Fabulous Hubcaps coming to 10th Street Station, so it’ll be used over there,” Paul said.
Fundraisers earlier this year helped secure funding for the four bands –which include “Houseband” – which performed during the Ford City Summerfest on Fourth of July – and “Casual Affair” – which performed during the Orphans of the Storm “Riders for the Storm” benefit motorcycle ride.
The grant application for materials was submitted through the fire department since Ford City Community Renaissance had not yet received their 501 c (3) non-profit status. Paul’s wife, Barb, completed that application and hopes the entire community stops by.
“Now, people are starting to realize we are here for the weekend, so hopefully more people do stay in town,” Barb said.
Renaissance volunteers are responsible for food booths while firefighters handle games.
Ford City Firefighter Ray Klukan – Paul’s brother – said more crafters are also scheduled for this weekend’s activities and a “Battle of the Barrel” should be held Sunday.
Dr. Michele Oleksak coordinated the Chinese auction this year, made up of products both donated by local and regional businesses.
“There’s going to be over 20 baskets. We get local areas to donate a gift certificate and then we do a basket around it – a bottle of wine, some pasta,” Oleksak said.
Some baskets include one filled with nearly two dozen scratch-off lottery tickets, one with four different golf packages or one with four different pizza gift cards
Donations were received by firefighters.
The street fair will be open from noon until 11PM each day.