The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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August 24, 2013

Westmont festival opens with cookout

JOHNSTOWN — Dogs and burgers were cookin’ on the grill.

Somerset Trust Co. hosted Friday night’s cookout that was the opening event for the third annual Hilltop Days – Craft and Cruise Show.

The Westmont Hilltop Recreation Commission, West Hills Community Team and the bank are sponsoring the event, which continues today and Sunday at the Ridge, 3984 Menoher Blvd. (Route 271), near Pickin’ Chicken.

The event is free and open to the public. There is a $1 parking fee.

It is the first year for the cookout.

“We decided to try something to kick off the Craft and Cruise,” said Donna Meinecke, manager of the Somerset Trust Westwood branch, as she served hot dogs and hamburgers, chips and drinks.

“One of the board members and myself were sitting around my office and came up with the picnic,” she said.

Events include live music, crafts, food, pony rides, petting zoo, a DJ and a large basket raffle.

The Johnstown police K-9 unit will assist with fingerprinting youngsters  in case they go missing.

Joseph Veranese, chairman of the recreation commission, said last year’s event attracted an estimated 10,000 people.

“We would like to see more than that,” Veranese said. “We have alumni who come back and booster clubs from the schools set up tables to sell their crafts.”

There is a $5 registration fee to enter a vehicle in the cruises held both days.

“Hilltop Days is a nice way to end the summer,” Veranese said.

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