Holiday Offers Lots of Ways to Usher out Summer

By Hofmockel, Mandy | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 1, 2011 | Go to article overview
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Holiday Offers Lots of Ways to Usher out Summer

Hofmockel, Mandy, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Western Pennsylvanians have plenty of things to celebrate this Labor Day weekend. Gas prices are down from a month ago; food and music events are plentiful; the annual Labor Day parade steps off at 10 a.m. Monday at Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena, and even the threat of rain is only a slight and scattered possibility.

Weather forecasters say the region should avoid the hot, humid weather than can sock it at this time of year.

The National Weather Service predicts highs in the upper 80s for Saturday, highs in the lower 80s for Sunday and, on Labor Day, the thermometer shouldn't go above the mid-70s.

Although there's a 40 percent chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday, precipitation should be scattered and not enough to inhibit outdoor activities, said Lee Hendricks, Pittsburgh National Weather Service meteorologist.

"Monday's going to be a really nice day," Hendricks said. "Maybe a little too cool to go swimming."

But meandering through the 18th annual Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts Colonial Festival at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds is doable.

Starting Friday, crafters from 20 states will offer handmade jewelry, holiday ornaments, pet collars and treats, candles, stained glass, flags, drink and dip mixes, specialty foods and many other items backdropped by the historical atmosphere complete with living- history re-enactors and more than 500 participants dressed in period costume. More than a dozen food vendors will offer hot sausage, gyros, cheese steaks, haluski, pierogies, stuffed cabbage, Amish ham sandwiches, kielbasa, fish, Chinese food, homemade potato chips, strudel, pitas and other treats.

The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Monday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $6, $5.50 for those 65 and older, $1 for ages 6 to12, and those younger than 5 will be admitted free.

Featured at the 32nd annual Labor United Celebration are food, carnival rides, arts and crafts, horse-drawn trolley rides, bingo and a flea market. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday in Northmoreland Park, off Route 356 in Allegheny Township. Entertainment includes the Alain Zerbini Circus, the Vogues, Gary Racan and the Studio E Band, the Pop Rocks, On the Ridge and Earl Schriver's Birds of Prey. Admission is free; all-day ride pass is $3.

Pittsburgh's Labor Day wouldn't be complete without eating ribs. World-renowned rib vendors will bring their recipes to Heinz Field to complement concerts and events on the North Shore.

"There aren't any excuses for you not to get out and enjoy the city," said Beverly Morrow-Jones, executive director of VisitPittsburgh. "This weekend is just another reason to be proud of the fact that you live in America's most livable city."

An early start occurs today at noon, when the annual Coors Light Kickoff and Rib Festival at Heinz Field begins. Football, food and concerts are scheduled throughout the weekend.

Concerts include Styx at Stage AE, near Heinz Field, ($30 per ticket) and the Clarks (free) at the field.

"A lot of families are excited for these shows because they are all famous acts while remaining family friendly at the same time," said Amy Cooper, marketing director for Stage AE. "I can't think of a better way to end the summer than enjoying the nice weather, eating some tasty food and enjoying great music."

Ethnic and other foods will tantalize attendees' taste buds at the 46th annual Labor Day festival, which will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday and 3 to 10 p.m. Sunday in All Saints Church, 101 W. Church Ave., Masontown, Fayette County. Other attractions include live music, bingo, games of chance, a cash raffle and Kiddie Corner.

Additionally, the visitor center at Bushy Run Battlefield, off Route 993 in Penn Township, will be open from 9 a.

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