The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

July 20, 2013

Visitors dance to Somerfest music

Randy Griffith

SOMERSET — Their jazz, tap, ballet and hip-hop performances completed on the main stage, members of the Laurel Arts Dancers moved into the Somerfest children’s area for a little line dance demonstration.

“We had a summer dance camp,” said Tracey Dunmyer, dance center administrator. “They learned this with the whole intention of performing at Somerfest.”

Like the sponsoring Laurel Arts Inc. nonprofit, Somerfest is built around the arts. Two stages keep live music wafting over the festival mainstays: pulled pork, funnel cakes and craft booths.  

But the community festival is also about relaxation and having fun, Dunmyer said, using her dancers as the example.

“This is one of the most relaxing performances they do all year,” she said. “They really have fun with it.”

A little rain in the morning delayed the influx of visitors Saturday, but Laurel Arts Executive Director Mike Oliver expected a full house for Saturday night’s Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band, Tuesday’s Gone.

Somerfest got of to a rocking start Friday evening with another reunion of Nixon Pit Crew, Oliver said.

The band had a strong following when it performed regularly in the region a few years ago, Oliver said.

The members got back together for last year’s Somerfest.

“They had so much fun they came back this year,” Oliver said. “They don’t perform regularly anymore, but they get together for Somerfest and have a blast.”

Today’s Somerfest activities begin at 1 p.m. with the Kiwanis talent show winners.

Music starts at 2 p..m. with Somerset Community Band and a youth musician showcase.

Later Laurel Highlands Chorale, Ramblin’ Ray’s Wild West Show, Randy Myers and Gizmo Guys will keep the tunes pumping.

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