2017 Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival - Smail Cars in the Community


The 43rd Annual Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival is going on this weekend at Twin Lakes Park, June 29th - July 2nd. This family-friendly event features arts and crafts vendors, educational activities, live performance artists, and a wide variety of foods that you can enjoy while being surrounded by the beautiful woods and lakes of Western Pennsylvania.


For Smail Auto Group’s “Cars in the Community” program, I was able to spend a few hours at Twin Lakes on the opening day of the festival. With limited time ourselves, my cameraman Brian and I set off around the festival, interacting with as many of the artists, vendors and foods as possible. When you go, get there early in the morning and be ready for a full day of fun!


“That Guy with the Birds” is there with several of his exotic bird friends, some of which you can get up close with and even hold. This was a rather memorable experience for me, [as you can tell in the video!] and what makes it special is the special mission of “That Guy” and his team, a legacy of education about these birds from around the world. Find them on Facebook, and learn more at ThatGuyWithTheBirds.com.


I awkwardly bantered with the fine realm folk from the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival. We couldn’t come to a consensus on which group of us was dressed oddly and displaced in time. This will be something we need to look into further at a later date… or an earlier one? You can visit their kingdom on weekends in August and September.


For years, local UFO researcher Stan Gordon has been investigating UFOs, Bigfoot sightings, and all things strange in the area, and has become one of the country’s most renowned researcher. He has published several books and documentaries and has a particularly special interest in the legendary Kecksburg Incident. Check out his page, Stan Gordon’s UFO Anomalies Zone.


The folks at Time-Line Enterprises are a group of veterans who conduct educational outreach about veterans and their sacrifices through discussions, presentations and reenactments at schools and veteran groups. When you visit their tent, be sure to say hi to their mascot, “Timeline Teddy!” You can learn more about this group at TimeLineEnterprises.com.


Deep-fried Oreos have become a staple at fairs and festivals in recent years, and at this festival I finally tried this delicious treat myself for the first time! From Greensburg’s own The Funnel Cake Men, this decadent dessert served as my lunch and fuel for walking around the festival. And of course they have traditional funnel cakes too! Check them out!


The Westmoreland Library Network was there, representing public libraries in the area. Spin the wheel and land on blue to win a free book! [I walked home with “Their Life’s Work” about the 70s Era Pittsburgh Steelers.] Support your local libraries, visit the Westmoreland Library Network to find out how.


There are many local artists from all walks of life at the festival. I had the pleasure of meeting Dan Stanley and witness him delicately drawing his latest masterpiece, Malkin and Crosby kissing the Stanley Cup. His work is so detailed and so breathtaking, you must see them up close. Eddie Spaghetti Art was there too, working on amazing woodcut printmaking. You can stop by and even make your own print!


Want to talk to a robot? Stop by and see Don Jones and his collection of one-of-a-kind robot sculptures created from “the discarded scraps of humanity.” His robots are so unique and full of personality, just like Don himself. Check out JonesRobo-Works.com.


And you’ll definitely want to seek out the art of JP Diroll Photography. His pictures of Pittsburgh and wildlife are absolutely breathtaking, and his booth features metal prints where the photographs are melded into the aluminum itself. See his work at JPDirollPhotography.com.


Comic and pop culture art is also represented by a mix of local artists and vendors in “FestivalCon.” There you can purchase art or even get free comics courtesy of Greensburg’s comic book shop, Joy’s Japanimation. You can also get a caricature done by noted editorial cartoonist, the one-and-only Randy Bish.


Diana Perry is there with her Science of Weather Show. Her and her “Cloud Maker” Xayne conduct small scale weather science experiments, creating clouds right before your eyes! [We unfortunately had technical difficulties with the video of our talk with her, our apologies for not getting a chance to include her in our video.] You can find her educational book with examples of experiments you can do at home, The Weather by Heather.


I also got an up-close view of Hanson’s Original Kettle Korn being made right before my eyes! Even with a front row seat, the Hanson Family Secret Recipe was still shrouded with mystery. One thing I can guarantee, however, is that it all adds up to delicious.


Even without spending a dollar, you can walk around the beautiful Twin Lakes Park brimming with excitement, walking along the trails enjoying the scenery of the lakes and trees. There’s plenty of beautiful sights and amazing smelling scents from the festival to add to the experience. There’s something for everyone of all ages!


Visit the 43rd Annual Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival this weekend, June 29th & 30th and July 1st & 2nd at Twin Lakes Park.

Categories: Cars In The Community
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