Photo by Justin Criado
The annual Northside Summer Celebration gives everyone an opportunity to take part in a variety of festivities, including amusement park rides. Seen here are youth from the nearby North Hills cheerleading association enjoying the swings ride.
By Justin Criado
The annual Northside Summer Celebration organized by the Holy Wisdom Parish at St. Boniface Church kicked-off Wednesday night as the community looks to enjoy four nights of fun-filled entertainment.
In 20 years with the parish, Father Lawrence DiNardo says the response from the surrounding Northside neighborhoods has continued to be outstanding every year.
“The community response is very, very large,” DiNardo said. “There will be a lot of people. A lot of the people will be people from the Northside. People from all the different locales around here come out and enjoy it.”
DiNardo and parish manager Bill Drywal expect upwards of 3,000 people to attend the festivities each night throughout the weekend.
This year’s schedule of events includes performances by three local acts, a classic car cruise and even skydiving.
“We have skydiver lottery on Friday night,” DiNardo said. “We have skydivers who jump out of an airplane and land on squares.”
The fair, which runs until Saturday, also features numerous game and entertainment tents, amusement park rides in the ball field adjacent to the church, a variety of food and drinks, and raffles.
“We’re giving away a 1961 Corvette this year,” DiNardo said of one of the raffles.
About 200 people are needed to put on such an event, which takes 11 months to plan, according to DiNardo.
“We don’t hire anybody,” congregation member and volunteer Rich Kielar said. “They’re all volunteers.”
Kielar has helped organize the food portion of the event for the past 19 years, and as a resident of Perry Hilltop he enjoys seeing so many familiar faces.
“I live on the Northside so I see people that are my neighbors,” Kielar said. “They spread the word. As the week goes by, day-by-day, the crowds get bigger.”
The full schedule of events is as follows:
Thursday– Holyday Mass at 6 p.m. Classic Car Cruise. Performance by Fabulous Gunslingers.
Friday– Chicken dinner from 4-7 p.m. with Skydiver Lottery immediately following. Holyday Latin Mass at 6 p.m. Performance by Dancing Queen.
Saturday– Festival Mass at 4 p.m. Spaghetti dinner from 4-7 p.m. Performance by Johnny Angel and the Halos.
Other than the scheduled events, guests will be treated to games, amusement park rides, a photo booth, music from a DJ, a variety of food, beer & wine and a bakery every night.
The parish encourages everyone to come and enjoy “the biggest thing to come through the East Street Valley since I-279.”
For more information call 412-231-1116 or go to the parish’s official website.