Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Festival to mark Bolivar's 150th

on July 28, 2013 2:50 AM

Bolivar Borough will celebrate its 150th anniversary with a three-day celebration starting Aug. 16.

The festivities kick off at 5 p.m. at Burkey Park on Lincoln Street with the opening ceremony and announcement of the sesquicentennial queen and trivia contest winner.

Clint Erb and the Erbivores will perform from 7 to 9 p.m.

Vendor booths and games will be available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The historical information center will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The schedule of events follows.

Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at Burkey Park.


• 9 a.m.: Civil War encampment opens, Kelly Field

• 10 a.m. to noon: Brick toss

• 11 a.m.: Signal Corps demonstration, Kelly Field

• Noon to 1 p.m.: Meet the Pirate Parrot

• Noon to 4 p.m.: DJ Tom Hoover

• 2 p.m.: Parade

• 3 to 6 p.m.: Petting zoo

• 4 to 6 p.m.: Johnny Cash impersonator

• 4 p.m.: Artillery demonstration, Kelly Field

• 6 p.m.: Ladies apparel at the Signal Corps tent, Kelly Field

• 6 to 9 p.m.: Off Limits band, current and classic rock

• 10 p.m.: Fireworks and artillery night fire, Kelly Field


• 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Civil War encampment opens, Kelly Field

• 10 a.m.: Multidenominational outdoor church service

• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Kids’ corner with children’s activities and games

• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Indiana Regional Medical Center mobile unit offering blood pressure screenings

• Noon: DJ Wayne Gehring

• Noon to 4 p.m.: Car cruise

• 1 p.m.: Signal Corps demonstration, Kelly Field

• 2 p.m.: Infantry demonstration, Kelly Field

• 3 p.m.: Artillery demonstration, Kelly Field

• 5 p.m.: Closing ceremony

• 5 to 7 p.m.: Blue Shades band, bluegrass


Bolivar Borough was founded by Irish and Scottish immigrants around the time of the building of the Pennsylvania Canal, which allowed settlers to transport goods west to Pittsburgh.

The nearest post office was about 14 miles away in Armagh.

The settlers petitioned the Post Office Department in Washington for a post office and learned they would need a name for the new settlement.

They first chose the name Washington in honor of George Washington but were asked to select a less common name.

They decided to name their town Bolivar in honor of Sim￳n Bol■var, the Venezuelan military leader who helped Latin American countries gain independence from the Spanish empire.

The town of Bolivar was first part of Fairfield Township in Westmoreland County and was incorporated as a borough on Nov. 25, 1863.

The town’s main industry a brickyard, owned by Boyd, McCarthney and Murrow, that manufactured fire bricks for iron furnaces.

Bricks were manufactured from a rich supply of clay deposits along the river and used to construct streets and buildings. The brickyard was located between the Pennsylvania Central and the Pennsylvania Canal.

The coal industry continues to provide employment and has been key to the livelihood of the community.

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