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‘Virtual’ Festival of Trees Invites Participation

City posts winners of this year’s ‘COVID-friendly’ event

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
December 10, 2020
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport officials have posted a video of this year’s Festival of Trees in Renziehausen Park and now are encouraging residents to submit photos of their own holiday trees to be part of a virtual festival.

A slimmed-down Festival of Trees—the 35th annual event—concluded on Monday evening at Jacob Woll Pavilion. Past events have included 75 to 90 hand-decorated Christmas trees representing various Mon Valley groups, churches and organizations.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event had only about 40 trees, and many of the usual amenities—including refreshments and hay rides through the park—were canceled.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said the city worked to make the event “COVID-friendly” by complying with all available local, state and federal guidelines.

“We were just hoping to bring a little bit of cheer to the families of McKeesport, residents outside of McKeesport and the neighboring communities during these trying times as we head into the holidays,” Cherepko said.

This year’s event was underwritten by Pennsylvania American Water Co. and organizers encouraged visitors to donate to The Intersection mission on Seventh Avenue, Downtown.

The city is now inviting current and former residents to celebrate “Christmas from a distance” by sending photos of their own trees for posting on McKeesport’s website.

“Not only will you be able to experience the Festival of Trees here virtually but also participate,” Cherepko said.

Photos of trees may be sent to jen.vertullo@mckeesport-pa.gov.

Contest winners posted

Winners, as voted on by people attending this year’s event in person, included:

People’s Choice: Paws Across Pittsburgh

Adult categories:


1. Striffler Family Funeral Homes
2. McKeesport Fire Department
3. Transitions Healthcare LLC


1. McKeesport Housing Authority
2. McKeesport Lions Club
3. Praise Christian Academy


1. Faith Lutheran Church
2. Business and Professional Women’s Club of McKeesport
3. Pennsylvania American Water


1. McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center
2. McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service
3. White Oak Animal Safe Haven


1. Carnegie Library of McKeesport
2. Jodie Matta-Dillinger Cancer Supporters
3. The Colon Club


1. Semper Fidelis Club of McKeesport
2. Altrusa International of McKeesport
3. McKeesport Police Department


1. Women for a Healthy Environment
2. Mon Valley Independent
3. Tube City Community Media


1. McKeesport City Council
2. 20th Century Club of McKeesport
3. Mikey Dee

The following are winners in children’s categories:


McKeesport Family Center


Girl Scouts of America Daisy Troop 50957 and Junior Troop 52137




Alliance Christian Childcare
McKeesport Area School District Pre-K Counts


Girl Scouts of America Troop 58112
Roman Catholic Community of Elizabeth, Glassport, and South Allegheny


Mon Valley School

Originally published December 10, 2020.

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