South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Next 3 Days will highlight Allentown, Mount Washington

 


An April 28 community meeting about a weekend summer festival to highlight the Hilltop – its rich history and offerings today and more -- met its organizers’ goal of infusing neighborhood input into the planning process.

The first ever Allentown/Mt. Washington Next 3 Days (N3D) Festival will be held June 17-19.

Friday, June 17, will be a kick-off party; Saturday, June 18, will be a community festival; and Sunday, June 19, will feature a home buyer workshop and house tours. There is no cost to participate.

The event is an initiative of the Mayor’s Office, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), and NEXTPittsburgh online magazine to showcase emerging Pittsburgh neighborhoods and promote affordable housing.

It will be funded by the URA.

The community meeting was held to share information as well as to solicit feedback and input on potential art, food, entertainment, and tours for the event.

Brainstorming sessions yielded ideas from attendees like: popcorn machines, corn on the cob, sweet peaches, and a hot dog stand on Warrington Ave. among food choices; Bigbee Park (where Johnny Unitas played), Emerald View Park trails, the former Castle Shannon incline and former Grandview Park carousel as historical memories to share; and entertainment alternatives like jugglers, caricaturists, balloon art, and more.

Josette Fitzgibbons of the URA, who kicked off the meeting, said the N3D was designed to showcase neighborhoods that don’t always get a lot of attention. Representatives of the Mt. Washington CDC and Hilltop Alliance were also present.

Last year’s pilot program was held in Troy Hill.

Ms. Fitzgibbons said following that successful event, the call went out for other neighborhoods to apply, which Mt. Washington and Allentown did.

“The idea was to do something that focuses on those areas and the ones nearby,” she said.

She said the goal is for people “to see the Hilltop area,” and realize it is affordable for first-time home buyers.

Next, Eileen French of the Revive Marketing Group said she and colleague Jack Bellas visited Hilltop businesses that day to encourage their participation in the event, such as promoting and selling their products at tables on June 17-18.

In an overview of the festivities, she said the Hilltop N3D Kick-Off Party would be held from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, June 17, inside and outside the RE360 building on Manton Way between Asteroid and Arlington. The street will be closed.

The over-21 event will feature live music, food, drink, and more.

Participants are needed to showcase their businesses and talents through musical or other artistic performance; displaying and selling local art; live art demonstrations; photography displays; creative activities; product sampling; and more.

Benefits for participants include mentions in NEXTPittsburgh articles; inclusion on posters; inclusion in press releases; meeting new customers/patrons; business signage; and more.

The community festival will be staged from noon to 4 p.m. on Sat., June 18. While the main event will be held in Grandview Park with music, vendors, and food, there will be activities on Shiloh St. and Warrington Ave.

Businesses will be featured at tables at the festival. There is no cost to the business owner, and items may be sold at the tables, like merchandise, food, beverages.

“It is a really good opportunity to showcase your business,” Ms. French said. Nonprofits may also have tables.

If you are unable to participate outside of your storefront, contact Ms. French or Mr. Bellas at Revive Marketing Group, at no cost, for other ways to highlight your business during N3D.

From 1-2 p.m. on Sunday, June 19, there will be a home buyer workshop at a site to be determined between Mt. Washington and Allentown. Afterwards, there will be home tours via free pedicabs. Maps of the properties will be provided by the URA.

If, say, a church has a bake sale every Sunday, the event can be incorporated into programming for visitors to go for refreshments, Ms. French said.

Anyone interested in volunteering or performing, or for questions, email Siena Kane at siena@pghhilltopalliance.org, or call 412-712-3306.

The next step in planning the N3D will be putting a schedule together.

“We will design programming around the neighborhood’s desires,” Ms. Fitzgibbons said.

 

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