Reporting Rick Bergman
Celebrate America Days
Pavilion 23 and the Kennyville Stage areas
4800 Kennywood Blvd.
West Mifflin, PA 15222
With an eating contest, dachshund race, fireworks every night and an overall festival, Celebrate America Days take over Kennywood Park every year. Special entertainment includes mimes, jugglers, stilt walkers, unicyclists, ice carving, arts and crafts, face painting, jewelry making, antique cars, and musical, dance and theater groups. Don’t miss out on the park itself, from potato patch french fries to world-famous roller coasters, water rides, thrill and classic rides, and a Kiddie Land, which offers a variety of rides and games for younger children. Keep an ear open for announcements each evening as some rides and stands close earlier than others.
There is ample parking across Kennywood Boulevard at lots of various levels. Shuttle buses and a ski lift may be utilized at the third levels, which are free to the public. Paid parking near the front gate is available for $6.
East End Kids
Hours: July 1 – 2 p.m.
One of Pittsburgh’s premier teen song and dance ensembles, East End Kids offers entertainment for all ages at any event, but the Celebrate America Days show will be one to rave about. Bring the kids for fully staged, choreographed performances sung in three-part harmony by local vocalists. Professionally designed props, sets and musical accompaniment bring more than a little Broadway to each performance.
Pittsburgh Banjo Club
Hours: July 4 – 3 p.m.
To encourage and preserve families’ love of the banjo, this club, a non-profit organization, brings men and women of all walks of life together to play. The band also features tubas, trumpets, bass and, of course, banjos. Colorful uniforms and killer performances awe audiences of all ages every time. The program consists of a sing-along, music from the ’20s and ’30s, vocals, banjo solos, polkas, vocals, banjo solos and Dixieland.
East Winds Symphonic Band
Hours: June 30 – 7 p.m.
The eastern Pittsburgh-based band performs everything from concert symphonies to marches and all-around hits. This highly awarded group also plays rock and jazz favorites while bringing classy symphony tunes to audiences of all ages. With roughly 70 members, expect a passionate crowd of musicians playing to spread the love.
Hot Dog Eating Contest and Weiner 100
Hours: June 30 – 2 p.m.; July 1 – 3 p.m.
Sponsored by Silver Star Meats, these events are for the whole family. True to American tradition, this hot dog eating contest has been a qualifier for the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Finals in past years. No less glorious this year, it promises competitors trained in scarfing hot dogs professionally. If that doesn’t fill your need for dogs, watch one of the most awkward races around as dachshunds dash 100 meters to the finish line July 1 in the Weiner 100.
Skyvue Restaurant & Lounge
3230 Lebanon Church Rd.
West Mifflin, PA 15122
The Skyvue offers American cuisine, sandwiches, seafood, appetizers, and soups and salads in a kid-friendly atmosphere appropriate for the perfect casual, romantic or business dinner. Enjoy both imported and domestic beers and wines, some of the best desserts in town, and delicious, classic dishes.
Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery
171 E. Bridge St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15120
The Rock Bottom is a friendly and upbeat establishment that offers a lovely and casual experience. Seasonal and specialty beers are crafted by brewmaster Steve Panos to go perfectly with a medley of house-made items featuring cod fish and chips, lobster and shrimp mac and cheese, and filet mignon. Enjoy a variety of starters, sandwiches, steakburgers, sides, salads and pizza.
Gerry Cernicky is a retired health and physical education teacher with 36 years of experience. He is a former teacher of the year and a sports writer for the Vandergrift News. He delivers podcasts, and maintains a website and blog. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. His work can be found at Examiner.com.