inside indiana TOP STORY

To whom it may concern —

JAZZ/BLUES FEST

The Delaney Chevrolet Westsylvania Jazz and Blues Festival is set to offer a day of outdoor performances on Saturday at IRMC Park, North Seventh Street, Indiana.

It is free to attend the festival, which begins at 10 a.m. with a performance by The Dad Band.

Performers include local, regional and national and international acts.

The jazz headliner, Dwayne Dolphin, will perform at 5:45 p.m., and the blues headliner, Vanessa Collier, will perform at 7:30 p.m.

This year, Downtown Indiana will also offer a pop-up marketplace with artists and vendors.

While the festival is Saturday, a kickoff concert with Left Lane Cruiser and Post Traumatic will begin at 7 p.m. today.

The Funniest Business in Town contest will also be Friday at IRMC Park, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Indiana Borough Parking Garage will offer $5 flat rate event parking 5 p.m. Friday through midnight Saturday.

DRIVE-IN SEASON

The Palace Gardens Drive-In will open for the season over the Memorial Day weekend, with “Avengers: Endgame” showing Friday, Saturday and Sunday at dusk. Prices remain $8 per person (cash only), with children 11 and younger free.

FISH FOR FREE

The first of two “Fish For Free” days happens Sunday on Pennsylvania waters.

The state Fish and Boat Commission opens the waterways of the commonwealth to fishing fans who might not have a license, or even live in Pennsylvania.

Both residents and non-residents are eligible to take part in the “Fish For Free” Sunday event, so long as they follow all other fishing regulations.

In Indiana County, would-be participants can “Borrow a Rod and Reel” to fish at Yellow Creek State Park.

Equipment also will be lent out at other locations, including the Army Corps of Engineers’ Outdoor Discovery Center at Crooked Creek and Mahoning Creek Lake in Armstrong County, Keystone State Park in Westmoreland County, and Prince Gallitzin State Park in Cambria County.

The second “Fish For Free” day will be the Fourth of July.

CONDOLENCES

Word this week of the death of Bill Balint, of Indiana, brought reflections in the Gazette newsroom of his frequent contributions to the paper, both as a sitting and retired member of the Indiana Area School District board of directors. Balint was a fixture on the Viewpoint page for his relentless campaign for reconfiguration of Indiana’s elementary schools for cost savings and tax control.

Even more as a board member than an author of letters to the editor, Balint was remembered by former board members for his passion.

“He brought his ideas, his thoughts and his beliefs, and we didn’t always agree, but when we walked out of that board room he was charming and friendly to me all the time,” former director Diana Paccapaniccia told the Gazette. “He worked hard in that board room, but he didn’t take it with him.”

Sports staffers shared Balint memories as well. As a storied player on Indiana High School football teams of the 1940s and later at the U.S. Naval Academy, his name often surfaced at Indiana County Sports Hall of Fame time — not as a nominee, but as a frequent advocate for enshrinement of accomplished local athletes, especially those with whom he shared the Navy alma mater.

Condolences are extended from the staff to Balint’s son, Bill Balint III, a former Gazette sports writer, and his family.

BETTER TO GIVE

A spaghetti dinner/basket raffle to benefit the family of the late Michael Fennell is set for 4 to 9 p.m. June 1 at the Indiana Eagles Club.

Fennell passed away earlier this year from injuries suffered in an accident. Cost for the dinner is $10 per person, and takeout is available.  There will be a cash bar.

Tickets are on sale now. Contact Jennifer McQuiston at (724) 549-4891.

ON DISPLAY

To celebrate what would have been Jimmy Stewart’s 111th birthday at the Jimmy Stewart Museum this week, a beautiful display of quilts that represent many of the actor’s movies. These quilts are sized for display by framing. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the museum. The museum will accept silent auction bids on these quilts at The Jimmy Stewart Museum, 835 Philadelphia St. Call (724) 349-6112 for further information.

SAVE THE DATE

Mark your calendars for the Family Nature Palooza, set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 1 at Blue Spruce Park near Ernest.

Sponsored by the Children’s Advisory Commission of Indiana County, the event is free to attend and appropriate for all ages.

Reconnect your family to the natural world through a variety of demonstrations, activities and more.

Highlights include a mountain bike stunt/safety show at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., as well as a Teen Takeover obstacle course challenge, rocket launching from 10 to 11 a.m. with Indiana County 4-H, Bug Bingo, Lanternfly Scavenger Hunt and much more.

Registration at www.CACfamilyEvents.com is encouraged but not required.

And over at Mack Park, an Active Faith Summer Fest is set for June 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

All are welcome to enjoy live music, food, a kids’ bounce house and more.

A chip-timed 5K race is available, with registration opening at 9:15 a.m.

For more information or to register, visit wgfellowship.org.

The event will raise funds for Celebrate Recovery Indiana, Search for Me Ministries, New Horizons Foundation and Word of Grace Activate Youth Program.

SPRING SALES

Sally’s Bazaar, an indoor and craft show, is set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 8 at 635 Water St., Indiana.

There will be more than 30 vendors. Admission is free, and there will be basket giveaways, a bake sale and food for purchase.

All proceeds benefit The Salvation Army.

SHOP TALK AT SIX

Gas prices in the Indiana area today were hovering at $3.05 a gallon, compared with $2.99 statewide and $2.86 nationwide (www.pennsylvaniagasprices.com). … Willie, our ex-shoeshine boy, says he will remember the words of writer Joseph Campbell this Memorial Day weekend: “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”

Good evening!

This column is compiled by Gazette staff writer Margaret Weaver. Email items for submission to mweaver@indianagazette.net.