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Longtime volunteer Harris to be honored Sunday morning
Killarney Cline, 8, and Hailey Fasiska, 7, both of Versailles, celebrate after a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Thursday night at McKeesport’s Festival of Trees. The event continues through Monday. (Photo special to Tube City Almanac)
McKeesport’s 34th Annual Festival of Trees continues from 12 noon to 9 p.m. through Monday, with more than 90 specially decorated Christmas trees on display. But before the doors open Sunday, volunteers will pause to honor the memory of a longtime volunteer.
At 11:45 a.m. Sunday, a live tree outside of Jacob Woll Pavilion in Renziehausen Park will be dedicated in memory of the late Pat Harris, who died in July at age 87.
Many in McKeesport knew Harris for the countless hours of effort she put into various volunteer organizations, including McKeesport International Village, the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center and the Festival of Trees, for which she served as co-coordinator.
Harris was retired from Penn State University’s Continuing Education Program, where she had worked for 40 years.
Organizers of this year’s Festival of Trees thanked Strifflers Family Funeral Homes, Design Monuments Co. and Lee Insurance Agency for their donations to make the tree dedication possible.
This year’s festival is being led by Co-Coordinators Cheryl Cotter and Janet Zosack with volunteer coordinator Dee Conner, under the auspices of the McKeesport Recreation Board, which includes Harold Allen, Cheryl Cotter, Chuck Jarrel, Ernie Oatneal, Jennifer Shields and Keith Soles
Volunteers at this year’s Festival of Trees include Marsha Turner, Carol Reed, Sonni Cherepko, Alex Ernst, Nancy Merriman, Thad Merriman, Charlene Graham, Mary Johnson, Cathy Kuhns, Don Kuhns, Lissa Heinz Ludinich, Joann Wakefield and Billie May Vranka.
More than 90 trees are on display this year at Jacob Woll Pavilion, with additional displays at the nearby Heritage Center and Garden Club of McKeesport. Sunday’s entertainment lineup includes the Park Baptist Church choir, Mon Yough Chorale, Miss Vickie’s Stringed Instruments and the LoveTones, Larry and Judy Walker.
On Monday, Chalice will perform at 6:30 p.m.
Admission to the Festival of Trees is a $2 donation.
At Jacob Woll Pavilion, members of the Semper Fidelis Club are holding a bake sale, while McKeesport Area High School culinary students are providing refreshments until 8:15 p.m. each day.
The Heritage Center will be open to the public from 12 noon to 8 p.m. Sunday and 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, while the Garden Club will be open 12 noon to 7 p.m. Sunday and closed Monday.
(All photos: Special to Tube City Almanac)
Originally published December 06, 2019.