SALTSBURG — Saltsburg is gearing up for the 32nd annual Canal Days Festival with its offering of food, music and fun for the whole family.
“Everything is pretty much set to go. I guess it would have to be since it’s next weekend,” laughed Tracey Ramsden, Saltsburg Canal Days treasurer.
Canal Days begins Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., and continues from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Attendees can look forward to a variety of entertainment, from country, rock and polka music to clowns and face-painting for kids.
Canal Days staple DJ Jammin’ Jim returns to entertain the crowd, and people can look forward to the annual parade and fireworks show as well.
In honor of Saltsburg’s 175th anniversary, the fireworks show Saturday at 10 p.m. has been extended to 30 minutes from its usual 20 minutes, according to Ramsden. She also said she has high hopes for the parade.
“We actually have a couple of the folks from the volunteer fire department working on the parade for us,” she said. “And from what I understand, they’re trying to make it larger than it has been in the past. They’ve had a pretty good response with that.”
The parade at noon on Saturday will feature the Clymer Firettes drill team, the Saltsburg High School band, a “handful” of fire departments from around the area, the sheriff’s department, the Pennsylvania State Police and others, according to parade organizer Justin Johnson.
Ramsden also hopes attendance is better than last year, which unfortunately was not as dry as she would have wished.
“I’m hoping (attendance) is a little better than last year. One of the days got rained out, so attendance was a little low because one day it stormed really badly,” she said. “But according to the extended forecast, it’s supposed to be in the mid-70s next weekend, so that’s perfect temperature.”
All weekend attendees will be able to take Stone House Museum tours and receive a commemorative 175th anniversary pin. Other daily activities include the Herb Society garden sale, “Bobber” the Safety Dog from Loyalhanna Dam, Civil War re-enactors and mechanical bull riding.
Entertainment for children include Spangles the clown, free face-painting by Kimba and an under-18 karaoke contest on Saturday. Registration must be done at the information booth by 2 p.m.
An adult karaoke contest is also slated for Saturday. Registration must be done at the information booth by 5 p.m.
Musical entertainment includes singer Kevin Dale and Old 97, a Johnny Cash tribute band on Friday; The Drums of the Native Sisters, the Joe Patrick Band and The Fabulous Gunslingers on Saturday; and the Brenda Mischler Gospel Group, a church choir “sing off” competition, an Elvis impersonator and polka music by Ray Skovenski on Sunday.
Visitors can park downtown wherever spots are available and at the high school throughout the weekend festival. Free shuttle rides will be offered Saturday from 1 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. The shuttle loop stops at Saltsburg High School, corner of Cathedral and Washington Streets, Salt Center, Saltsburg Playground, and the corner of Salt and Point Streets.
Canal Days is funded by fundraising as well as vendor fees and local donations. More than 20 businesses donated to this year’s event
“We’re hoping we have the good turnout, and people come out to celebrate Saltsburg’s 175th year,” Ramsden said.