The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


June 10, 2013

Festive weekend on tap in Windber

— The Windber community will celebrate its heritage with a weekend full of music, food and fun.

The 2013 Miners’ Memorial Day Weekend will be held Friday through Sunday along Graham Avenue in downtown Windber.

Events include a parade, antique car show, motorcycle show, street dances each night featuring area bands, craft vendors, children’s activities area and petting zoo.

“The Miners’ Memorial Weekend honors the coal miners who died in the mines as well as saluting those many nationalities that helped mold Windber into a true melting pot community,” said festival Chairman Dave Petrunak of Windber. “The weekend simply offers people of all ages some good old-fashioned family fun.”

The celebration, which is spearheaded by the Windber Coal Heritage Foundation, opens Friday with a performance by Johnstown Button Box from 5 to 7 p.m. at the gazebo.

The Diamonds, whose members have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Vocal Group Hall of Fame and Doo-Wop Hall of Fame, will perform at 7:30 p.m. at Arcadia Theater, 1418 Graham Ave. The performance will be followed by a street dance from 9 to 11 with Thorn Bush.

Saturday will begin with an opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m., followed by a parade at 11.

Guest speaker at the opening will be retired Army officer Robert Portante of Windber.

Tom Geiger of Windber, the architect behind Windber’s Veteran’s Park, will serve as the parade’s grand marshal.

“The parade will feature floats, marching units, twirlers and members of Somerset County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse,” Petrunak said. “As an added attraction, we will welcome members of a female roller derby team, who will also give a demonstration of their skills at 1 o’clock at the Windber Community Building.”

The Legendary Hucklebucks will perform from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., and a night of comedy will be presented from 8 to 10 at the Windber American Legion. Admission is $15.

A motorcycle show from 5 to 7:30 will be a competitive, judged contest. As many as 100 motorcycles are expected to be on display.

A street dance featuring The Runaways will be held from  8:30 to 11.

Saturday’s events will be highlighted by a fireworks display at 9:30.

“No matter where people are standing during the festival, they will have a clear view of the fireworks,” Petrunak said.

Sandra Pritt, a committee member and event patron, said children have not been forgotten.

A special Kid’s Area will be located at Miner’s Park where youngsters may enjoy face painting, balloons, games and other activities.

“We also have a cruise-in Sunday featuring as many as 500 antique and classic cars lining Graham Avenue from noon to 4 p.m.,” Pritt said. “Attendance has grown and last year, we had so many respond that we had to expand the parking area by two blocks.”

Also Sunday, Full Kilt will perform from 12:30 to 3:30 at the gazebo.

“We were told that Full Kilt may be bringing some Irish step dancers to join in the fun,” Pritt said.

A Chinese auction and basket party will be held beneath a tent located at the old fire hall on 15th Street.

“We will have no less than 50 oversized baskets, which are larger than baskets people may find at similar events,” Pritt said.

Prizes will be awarded Sunday afternoon.

The food will located at the community building and will feature selections that reflect the the diverse nationalities that represent the Windber community.

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