An event 60 years ago celebrating the rich ethnic heritage of McKeesport has evolved into a three-day festival of food and entertainment that continues to pay tribute to the city's melting pot of traditions.
This year's International Village is from 3-9 p.m. Aug. 13-15 at Stephen Barry Field in McKeesport’s Renziehausen Park along Eden Park Boulevard. Admission is a $2 donation.
Traditional ethnic food and entertainment has been a mainstay of the festival since its beginning as part of McKeesport’s Old Home Week in 1960. That tradition continues this year when 19 nationalities — Austria, China, Croatia, Egypt, France, Ghana, Greece, Hawaii, Hungary, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Turkey, and Vietnam — will share their heritage with Village-goers.
One difference this year will be where to get water or soda. In the past, there have been several locations throughout the festival to get something cold to drink. This year there will be only one booth located at the walkway between the front and back portions of the grounds.
Ethnic entertainment is showcased each night on two stages — the main stage beginning at 6 p.m. and under the Jakomas Blue Top Pavilion starting at 5 p.m. A patriotic program featuring Judi Figel is planned Aug. 13 at 8:45 p.m. followed by fireworks; in case of rain, the fireworks will be Wednesday evening.
Other festival favorites will return including the Ethnic Marketplace (see vendor list below under Ethnic Marketplace), a children’s area with inflatables, and a diaper changing area hosted by McKeesport Alliance Church. Handicapped parking is available at Gate 4 behind the Blue Top Pavilion.
Seating will be available under the Blue Top Pavilion and behind the food booths near Gate 3. Chairs will be set up around the main stage for watching the entertainment.
Not only are there food and craft booths, there are numerous informational booths/tables including Carnegie Library of McKeesport (used book sale); McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center (books and souvenirs); McKeesport Area Ministerium (prayer table); McKeesport Police K-9 Unit (T-shirts and hoodies); McKeesport Trail Commission; Striffler Family Funeral Homes; Tube City Media (broadcasting the Village); First Ream 1708 Amp'D Robotics; McKeesport Little Tigers; Penn State Greater Allegheny; Auberle; UPMC East/McKeesport Stroke Awareness; UPMC Trauma Care System; MACM; McKeesport High School Reunion Committee; McKeesport Tigers Football Boosters; Mon Valley Independent; One Person At A Time; Pennsylvania American Water; Pure Penn; Senior Lifestyle Connections; and Ziebert of McKeesport.
The parking lot adjacent to the Blue Top Pavilion (Gate 4) is handicapped parking ONLY. Free parking is available at designated areas in Renzie Park for the festival. Parking also is available for a fee in the parking lot of St. John's Ukrainian Church, 1907 Eden Park Blvd. across from McKeesport Area High School; some of the items sold in the church's booth at the Village will be available in the church social hall.
ABC by JoAnn entertained the crowd with music and dancing from Hawaii. - Photos by Carol Waterloo Frazier
Lebanese bellydancers performed traditional dances to close the Main Stage entertainment Wednesday night.
International Village got its start as part of McKeesport’s Old Home Week in 1960, a 10-day event that celebrated the city’s rich history and ethnic diversity.
The event helped mark the city’s “165 years of Dynamic Progress,” according to a letter from then Mayor Andrew J. Jakomas in an official publication for the occasion. Describing the festival, the publication said it was “an event which will manifest the diverse heritages of the Citizens of McKeesport.”
During Old Home Week, Market Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues was closed and transformed into an International Village with 10 decorated booths manned by folks who made McKeesport home after arriving from their homelands. They served traditional food and displayed original handicrafts.
Not only was there food and handmade items, musical performances were given by each of the nationality groups. Dances were performed in authentic costumes and national songs were sung and played on traditional instruments.
According to the mayor’s letter, “We anticipate that this colorful event will attract thousands to the International Village and accomplish the purpose of demonstrating the makeup of our citizenry.”
According to reports, several thousand people visited the Village making it — and the Old Home Week parade — the most popular part of the celebration.
International Village was only one component of Old Home Week, which started with a beauty queen contest and fireworks on July 1 and concluded with a Soap Box Derby and community religious services in Renziehausen Park on July 10. Various events included a water carnival on the Monongahela River, a tour of the city, McKeesport Boys Club’s Olympics at the White Street playground, a symphony concert at the bandshell in Renziehausen Park, “tavern specialties” with 5-cent beer, an art show, photo displays, baby contest, and a dog show. The chairman was Zoran Popovich.
Part of the celebration included the streets adorned with flags from all the nations of the world. Ten nationalities were represented in that first International Village — Greek, Polish, Ukrainian, Serbian, Hungarian, Italian, Croatian, Romanian, Irish, and Jewish.
The popularity of the International Village component prompted the chairman to continue the Village the following year in August at what would become its new home — Stephen Barry Field in Renziehausen Park.
August 15, 2019
Opening ceremonies, postponed from Tuesday night, started with the playing of the National Anthem and the presentation of American flag. Fireworks closed the second night of the 60th International Village.
During band breaks under the Jakomis Blue Top Pavilion, representatives from the various food booths took a few minutes to talk about their nationality. Alexis Rach talks about Serbian food, including the apple strudel available at her booth.
VILLAGE FOR KIDS
The 11th annual Village for Kids will be Monday, Aug. 12 from 12-4 p.m. at the Lions Band Shell in Renziehausen Park. This is a free event. Adult supervision is recommended for children younger than 6.
Festivities will include food, crafts, games, music, finger painting, inflatable rides, and friends from "Toy Story." There will be a variety of performances on stage throughout the day.
A Prince and Princess will be crowned at 3 p.m. and must be there to win. Each will receive a 20-inch bike donated by the McKeesport Trail Commission and helmet donated by the McKeesport Police Department. The bikes will be presented to the recipients Aug. 13 at 8 p.m. at International Village.
Following is the agenda:
DJ at the bandshell
Food Gallery (Freeze pops, hot dogs, chips, fruit, drinks, fruit snacks; nachos and pop will be available to purchase from the Kiwanis Club
Activity Zone by Family Tent Rental
Screenings, information, crafts, game tables, activities, fingerprinting by police, fire smokehouse
Venture Outdoors will ahve a geochache activity at the ball field
Registration table for "A Village Kids" Day Prince and Princess. Children 12 and younger are eligible.
1-2:30 p.m. at the stage
Meet and Greet with favorite friends from "Toy Story" (Woody made possible by Nuttall Public Safety Equipment LLC, and Buzz Lightyear made possible by P.G.H. Party Creations)
3 p.m. at the stage
Announcements/Pictures and crowing of the Prince and Princess
The following groups will be part of this year's event:
MHCP Youth Logic Model
State Sen. Jim Brewster
Human Services Corp.
McKeesport Hospital Foundation
McKeesport International Village
Allegheny County Health Department - Chronic Disease Prevention Program
Allegheny County Health Department - Maternal Child Health Program
Allegheny County Health Department - Dental Program
Cash for Kids
Celebrity Kid's Kitchen
REWIND Behavior and Stimulation Center LLC
McKeesport Family Center/First Steps
CCP White Oak
City of McKeesport
McKeesport Kiwanis Club
TCV Community Services
McKeesport High School Cheerleaders
Altrusa International of McKeesport
Penn State Greater Allegheny
Carnegie Library of McKeesport
Latterman Family Health Center
Angora Gardens Junior Gardeners
UPMC For You - Public Health Dental Hygienists
McKeesport Area School District
State Rep. Austin Davis
Mon Yough Community Services
Faith Lutheran Church in White Oak
McKeesport Fire Department
McKeesport Police Department
McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center
Century Heritage Federal Credit Union
McKeesport Message Committee
Goodwill of SWPA
Fund My Future
McKeesport Community Fund
McKeesport Lions Club
Mon Valley Independent
Pittsburgh Gymnastics Club
Restore to Grace
Women for a Healthy Environment
Making their Village debut, Corned Beef and Curry, above, started the entertainment on the Main Stage with a lively offering of Irish tunes.
At right, entertainment coordinator Mikey Dee introduced renowned tamburitza player Jerry Grcevich to the crowd.
- Photos by Carol Waterloo Frazier
After waiting a year, folks were eager to get their favorite nationality food, such as the traditional offerings at the Polish booth hosted by Holy Family Parish.
Good weather brought out the crowds for the second night of the Village, filling just about every chair and picnic table on Stephen Barry Field.
For many years, a popular part of the festival have been the crafts. A couple years ago, the name was changed to Ethnic Marketplace and the location moved from under the Jakomas Blue Top Pavilion to the grassy area adjacent to the pavilion.
This year's vendors include:
Richard Maldonado - Native American crafts
Designs by Laris - Austrian crystals
Pitttsburgh Area Slovak Folk Ensemble - Slovak Christmas ornaments
Herminia Lees - Peruvian crafts
Eveleen Coope - Irish, Scottish and Welsh heritage gifts
Ilona Ralston - Polish painted glass, face painting
Betty Jean McClirk - Fudge
Teresa Trich, the newly hired community liaison at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center, shows off the Murphy's t-shirts available at the center's booth.
Alpine Duo provided music from Austria to start the second night of the festival.
PAS Slovak Folk Ensemble was the last group to perform at this year's Village. Relaxing before the performance are PAS musicians Bob Hildenbrand, left, and John Lipchick.
August 13, 2019
Even rain couldn't keep die-hard Village-goers from sitting at a picnic table to enjoy their favorite foods from around the world.
It was a Polka Night under the Blue Top Thursday night with the Eddie Rodick Orchestra. This marked the group's debut performance at the Village.
Fireworks a perfect ending to second night of Village
After rain dampened the opening night of International Village, Mother Nature was more than cooperative Wednesday night and Renziehausen Park was bustling with the sights and sounds of McKeesport's 60th ethnic food and entertainment festival.
For three hours, the Main Stage was home to songs and dances from around the world as performers wearing traditional attire entertained an enthusiastic crowd. Villager-goers showed off their dancing abilities as they took advantage of the dance floor while Mikey Dee played a variety of music under the Jakomas Blue Top Pavilion.
Fireworks, which were postponed from Tuesday night because of the weather, were a hit with the crowd. City, county and state officials were recognized during the evening's festivities and the Prince and Princess from Village for Kids received their bicycles and locks provided by the McKeesport Trail Council and helmets provided by the McKeesport Police.
To commemorate the 60th year of the event, which started as part of Old Home Week in 1960, Village-goers receive a cup with the official festival logo as they leave the park. The city received a proclamation from Allegheny County Council in recognition of the milestone anniversary of International Village. T-shirts and hats commemorating 60 years can be purchased at the Village booth.
The entertainment schedule for Thursday night begins on the Main Stage at 6 p.m. and will feature Corned Beef and Curry, the Lajkoniki Dancers (Polish), FAAP Dancers (Phillipines), songs from Turkey, and the PAS Slovak Folk Ensemble. It will be a Polka Night under the Blue Top from 5-9 p.m. with the Eddie Rodick Orchestra.
There is one more opportunity to take an international culinary journey and enjoy traditional foods from 20 different booths. Cold drinks - water and soda - are available from one booth this year located at the entrance to the back portion of the festival grounds, and the Lions Club is selling Turner's iced tea.
For those who enjoy crafts and maybe want to start some Christmas shopping, the Ethnic Marketplace located near the Blue Top offers a variety of gifts. The McKeesport Police are selling t-shirts and sweatshirts, the Carnegie Library of McKeesport is having a used book sale, and the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center is selling t-shirts, candles, and other items as well as the opportunity join the center. There are numerous informational booths, a diaper changing area, and a prayer booth.
As in the past, the Casturo Family Education Achievement Awards will be presented to two students enrolled in post-high school education. In a random drawing Thursday night, there will be one award for $500 and another for $250. Recipients do not have to be present to win. Applications for the awards are available at the Carnegie Library booth and the Lions Club iced tea booth. - By Carol Waterloo Frazier
The FAAP Dancers gave an energetic performance of traditional dances from the Phillipines, including the cane dance.
Two-year-old Grace Kovalcin of Delmont met a unique visitor to the festival - Alister, a bearded dragon owned by Diane Weber of North Versailles Twp.
The weather kept the numerous inflatables for children deflated. Weather permitting, they will be operational Wednesday and Thursday.
The Main Stage was quiet Tuesday night but Zabava, left, entertained folks under the Jakomas Blue Top Pavilion for an evening of kolo dancing. Entertainment coordinator Mikey Dee joined a group of dancers doing a basic kolo six-step or sest, right.
Members of the Otets Paiisi Bulgarian Dancers, above, performed high-energy traditional dances to a receptive audience. At left, the youngest members of the dance troupe watch their mentors as they wait their turn to perform on the Village stage.
Late afternoon rain and a call for rain on and off through early evening resulted in the cancelation of all entertainment on the Main Stage, left. But the wet conditions did not keep die-hard festival enthusiasts from waiting in line for their favorite food, right. - Photos by Carol Waterloo Frazier
In conjunction with the 60th anniversary of International Village, a new commemorative sign for Andrew Jakomas was unveiled and will be placed at the pavilion named for him.
August 14, 2019
60th annual Village comes to a close
The food booths are empty, the stage is quiet and the aroma of handmade ethnic food is gone. McKeesport's 60th annual International Village came to an end Thursday night but planners are already looking ahead to next year's festival.
As has become an unwanted tradition, the fireworks and Main Stage entertainment for Tuesday were canceled because of the weather. It looked like there may be an encore weather performance Thursday, but after a stormy start, the rain stopped and by 6 p.m. the sun was shining. Folks came out to take in the sights, sounds and flavors that only happen once a year for three days. Many booths were sold out of popular items early and Village-goers took advantage of seating at the Main Stage and under the Blue Top to enjoy the entertainment while savoring their favorite foods.
Recipients of the Casturo Family Education Achievement Awards were chosen in a random drawing at the close of the festival. Jacob Holleran, a 2019 Serra Catholic High School graduate and a freshman at St. Vincent College, received the $500 award and Emma Nilson, a 2019 Serra Catholic High School graduate and a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University, received the $250 award. This is the 27th year the family has offered the awards to those enrolled in post-high school education.
Entertainment coordinator Mikey Dee and stage manager Patrick Fisher took a few minutes together on the Main Stage to thank the people for the continued support of the Village. "Thank you so much for being here tonight," Fisher said. "Be sure to take home some of the wonderful food to help support the local churches."
"Patrick and I are the longest tenured members of the International Village Committee," Dee said. "I've been on the committee for 20 years and Patrick has been on for 23 years. As I look out (into the crowd), I see a lot of people are are not here anymore. I used to walk around here with my grandfather eating honey balls. Lynn Wolfe and Jack Squires are no longer here. Jack was the master of ceremonies for more than 40 years. I want to keep this tradition going as long as we can."
For six decades, International Village has been a place were memories are made. It's a place to meet people you may not have seen since the last Village and a place to make new friends. For some, attending the Village is a family tradition that started 60 years ago during McKeesport's Old Week and has continued each year since.
International Village is a place to keep the rich ethnic heritage of food, music and dance, and traditions alive. When the gates open next year for the 61st festival, the friendships and traditions nurtured at the festival will come to life once more. Until next year... - By Carol Waterloo Frazier
Folks sitting under the Blue Top Pavilion were treated to Variety Night with Mikey Dee.
INTERNATIONAL VILLAGE 2019
This site will offer information about the annual ethnic food and entertainment festival Aug. 13-15 at Renziehausen Park in McKeesport. Information will be updated as it becomes available. Stories and photos will be posted of the event. If you have memories of International Village, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for possible posting on the site.
Roza Karkmaz told the crowd a little bit about Turkey before playing a song on a traditional stringged instrument.
Village for Kids Prince, Isaiah Johnson, 9, of White Oak, and Princess, Jaivonna Daniels, 8 of McKeesport received their bicycles during the opening ceremony.
Entertainment from around the world will be presented each day at two locations - the main stage beginning at 6 p.m. and the Jakomas Blue Top Pavilion from 5-9 p.m. Entertainment coordinator is Mikey Dee. This year's schedule features:
TUESDAY, AUG. 13 — Main Stage
William Penn Magyar Folk Dancers (Hungarian) - 6 p.m.
The Joe and Jackie Show (Italian) - 6:30 p.m.
Trafford Junior Tamburitzans (Slovak) - 7 p.m.
Grecian Odyssey Dancers (Greek) - 7:30 p.m.
Introduction of City Officials
St. Nicholas Junior Tamburitzans (Serbian) - 8:15 p.m.
Patriotic Show with Judi Figel - 8:45 p.m.
BLUE TOP: Kolo with Zabava (Swedish Booth)
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 14 — Main Stage
Alpine Duo (Austrian) - 6 p.m.
ABC by JoAnn (Hawaiian) - 6:30 p.m.
Rankin Junior Tamburitzans (Croatian) - 7 p.m.
Christ Temple AME (Ghana) - 7:30 p.m.
Otets Paiisi Bulgarian Dancers - 8 p.m.
Lebanese Bellydancer - 8:30 p.m.
BLUE TOP: Variety night with Mikey Dee (Mexican booth)
THURSDAY, AUG. 15 — Main Stage
Corned Beef and Curry - 6 p.m.
Lajkoniki Dancers (Polish) - 7 p.m.
FAAP Dancers (Phillipines) - 7:40 p.m.
Songs from Turkey - 8:10 p.m.
PAS Slovak Folk Ensemble - 8:30 p.m.
BLUE TOP: Polka Night with Eddie Rodick Orchestra
Pastor Jeff Tate of Christ Temple AME Church inspired the crowd with several gospel songs.
The Rankin Junior Tamburitzans entertained an enthusiastic audience with a variety of Croatian songs and dances.
For many people who attend International Village, the food is the main attraction. This year, 20 booths will offer some of their traditional food to this year's festival goers.
AUSTRIA (K&J Concession): Funnel cakes, corn dogs, pretzels, strudel, lemonade
CHINESE: General Tso chicken with rice, sweet and sour chicken with rice, orange chicken with rice, chicken-on-a-stick with rice or lomein, shrimp rice or lomein, egg roll, lemonade
CROATIAN (Rankin Junior Tamburitzans): Lamb, sarma (stuffed cabbage), kielbasa with sauerkraut, hot dogs, pirogies, haluski, Croatian potato salad (with oil and vinegar), chicken noodle soup, sauerkraut and bean soup, palacinka (crepe - apricot, rasberry, cheese), medenjaci (honey cake), bajadera (chocolate nut candy), cherry tart, cupavci (sponge cake - chocolate, coconut), kolacic sezam (sesame cookies)
EGYPTIAN: Chicken schwarma sandwich, falafel sandwich, lamb pie, spinach with feta pie, stuffed grapeleaves, hummous dip, baba ganouj dip, tabbouleh salad, baklava, chocolate covered almond roll, lemonade, coffee
FRENCH: French fries, fried vegetables, funnel cakes, lemonade
GHANA (Christ Temple AME): Southern fried chicken dinner, barbecue rib dinner, barbecue rib sandwich, rib slabs and half rib slabs, barbecue pigs feet, southern fried chicken wings, southern tenders (collard greens), red rice, hoppin johns, cornbread or white bread, sweet potato pie
GREEK (Greek Orthodox Annuncition Church): Gyro, pastistio, moussaka, stuffed grape leaves, lamb shank with orzo pasta, stuffed eggplant, spanakopita, strifto, tiropita, buffalo chicken pita, kreatopita (meat pie), baklava, finikia (melomakarona), lady locks, kourambiethes, loukoumades (honey balls)
HAWAIIAN (Beck Concessions): Hawaiian shaved ice, fruit smoothies, pig wings, pulled pork, deep fried cheesecake, grilled pineapple, deep fried Oreos, Hawaiian chicken sandwich, giant fish sandwich
HUNGARIAN (Free Hungarian Reformed Church): Chicken paprikash and dumpling, cabbage and noodles, kobalsz sandwich, stuffed cabbage, palacsinta, kiffles, cheese pockets, csoroge, puff pastries, apple squares, apricot rolls, nut rolls poppyseed rolls, bacon bread
ITALIAN (St. Patrick Parish): Gnocchi, rigatoni, lasagna, stuffed banana peppers, Italian roast beef hoagie, meatball hoagie, hot sausage hoagie with onions and green peppers, pizza (plain and pepperoni), cannoli, Italian geloto
LIONS CLUB: Assorted hand-dipped ice cream, Turner's tea
LEBANESE: Gyro sandwich, falafel sandwich, baked kibbee, stuffed grapesleaves, spinach pie, spinach pie with feta, meat pie, hummous dip, baba gannouj dip, tabbouleh salad, baklava, apricot roll, pita bread (plain or wheat), lemonade, coffee
MEXICAN (Christ United Methodist Church): Giant stuffed burrito, giant burrito dinner, chicken fajita, taco (hard or soft), chicken taco, walking taco, taco fajita dinner, chicken quesadilla, cheese quesadilla, Spanish rice, stuffed hot peppers, chicken taco salad, beef taco salad, churro (cinnamon stick), nachos, nachos supreme
PHILIPPINES: Inihaw na manok (chicken stick), pancit bihon (stir fried noodles), lumpiang shanghai (spring roll), lumpiang gulay (vegetable spring roll, empanada de manila (beef turnover), adobo rice bowl (braised chicken on rice), bistek rice bowl (Philippine-style steak on rice), kanin (rice), combo platter (inlhaw na manok, pancit and 2 pieces lumpiang shanghai), leche flan, mango cheesecake, turon (fried banana wrap), and cantaloupe drink, calamansi juice with honey (Filipino lemonade)
POLISH (Holy Family Catholic Church): Potato pierogi, stuffed cabbage, haluski, kielbasa sandwich, stuffed cabbage sandwich, stada babba stew, lazy man pierogi, potato pancakes, platter (2 pierogi, 1 stuffed cabbage, serving of halushki, kielbasa sandwich), kielbasa bites (20) with or without saurkraut, mega bites
SERBIAN (St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church): Lamb sandwich, hot sausage sandwich, kolbassi sandwich, haluski, apple strudel, palachinka, beans and saurkraut soup, hot dog
SLOVAK (Trafford Junior Tamburitzans): Bubba's dinner (1 stuffed cabbage, 3 pierogies, halushki, apple sauce), stuffed cabbage, pierogies (potato cheese, sauerkraut, sweet cabbage, lekvar), halushki, funnel cake, ceregi,
SWEDISH (Beulah Park United Methodist Church): Apple dumplings, hard ice cream, ice cream cones/sundaes, Swedish tarts, Swedish coffee cake, gourmet chocolate apples, gourmet chocolate pretzels.
TURKEY: Turkish gyro (bowl, wrap or pita), eggplant salad, green bean salad, feta cheese stick, vegetable wheat rice, grape leaves, baklava with pistachios or walnut, carrot sliced baklava with pistachios, durum baklava with pistachios, sobiyet with pistachios, kadaifi with pistachios, tulumba (Turkish honey balls), Turkish chocolate cake, Turkish chocolate cookie, Turkish chocolate, Turkish coffee with fortune, orangeaid, lemonade
VIETNAMESE: Chicken-on-a-stick with rice or noodles, shrimp rice, vegetable rice, spring roll/egg roll, lemonade
Rain cancels opening night events for 60th Village
Organizers for the 60th annual International Village had hoped the weather would cooperate for opening night festivities, but that was not the case.
With rain already falling and more on the radar, festival officials made the decision around 4 p.m. to cancel all Main Stage entertainment and reschedule the opening ceremony and fireworks for Wednesday evening. Entertainment continued as scheduled under the Jakomas Blue Top Pavilion and the food booths continued to serve festival-goers their favorite ethnic foods.
"This was a big disappointment," entertainment coordinator Mikey Dee said of having to cancel the performances. "When you plan top entertainment for months all you can do is hope for the best."
The festival continues Wednesday and Thursday with gates opening each day at 3 p.m. Entertainment under the Jakomas Blue Top Pavilion features a variety night with Mikey Dee from 5-9 p.m. Main stage entertainment begins at 6 p.m. and includes Alpine Duo (Austrian), ABC by JoAnn (Hawaiian), Rankin Junion Tamburitzans (Croatian), Christ Temple AME (Ghana), Otets Paiisi Bulgarian Dancers, Lebanese bellydancer, recognition of city officials, and fireworks.
While the number of folks at the Renziehausen Park ethnic food and entertainment may have been lower than normal for opening night, those who braved the weather were able to enjoy their culinary journey without having to wait in long lines. And everyone was given a commemorative cup when leaving to mark the Village's 60th anniversary.
McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko had a positive outlook for the two remaining days of the Village. "What would International Village be without some rain? A lot of people still came out and got their food to go. With the upgrades we did with the asphalt for the main walkway it made it better for the people to walk around."
There are 20 nationality booths and one central booth offering soda and water; the Lions Club is selling Turner's iced tea. Other attractions are the Ethnic Marketplace featuring a variety of arts and crafts vendor; numerous information booths; a diaper changing area near the Blue Top Pavilion; a used book sale by the Carnegie Library of McKeesport; and applications for a chance to win one of two Casturo Family Education Achievement Awards that will be randomly chosen the final night of the Village (applications are available at the library booth and Lions Club booth).
- By Carol Waterloo Frazier