Winter Frolic stresses heritage

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The Westmoreland Historical Society is planning to extend the fun of the holiday season through January.

As it has for the past four years, the society will stage Winter Frolic, a festive evening scheduled from 6 to 9 Jan. 26 at the Westmoreland County Courthouse with the theme "Celebrating Our American Heritage."

"Five years ago, when Historic Hanna's Town [which the society runs] was getting ready to close for the season, the society looked for a way to keep its name in the public eye," said Joanna Moyar, education coordinator. "The society was also getting ready to celebrate its 100th anniversary in December of 2007, and the Winter Frolic was born."

Along with food, music, dance and tours of the courtrooms, the society decided to theme that initial fundraiser to the 250th wedding anniversary of George and Martha Washington, which took place on Twelfth Night, Jan. 6, 1759. There was period music and an English country dance.

"Everyone had so much fun, what started out as a one-time-only turned into an annual frolic," Mrs. Moyar said.

Subsequent years had Native American, Civil War, Italian and Celtic themes. This year, the society will focus on the American heritage and include a naturalization ceremony at 6:30 p.m. that will make a dozen Americans citizens in Judge Debra Pezze's court room.

P. Louis De Rose, board member, said the swearing in will follow a talk about the responsibilities of and rewards of being an American citizen.

Because of the heritage theme, attendees are encouraged to wear attire that represents their ethnic background, although business attire is also acceptable. The Eric Barchiesi Combo will perform and hors d'oeuvres will be prepared by the One Eleven Restaurant of Greensburg.

"We plan to serve Carbonade Flamande, a short rib prepared in the Belgian style with dark beer; a bone-in veal chop with wild mushroom risotto and demi-glace, a specialty of the house; and Spicy Lamb Bolognese with fettucini pasta," said One Eleven owner, Richard Kurtz. "There will be other foods as well."

"Bob Myers of Greensburg is putting together a PowerPoint presentation that will include the stories and photos of people who immigrated to the United States with a focus on those who settled in Westmoreland County," said Dick Flock of Greensburg, society treasurer from Greensburg. "The program will be shown throughout the evening in the commissioners' meeting room."

The traditional basket raffle will be supplemented by an American as Apple Pie Auction in which society members will bake apple pies for auction.

Tickets are $70 for society members and $80 for all others. A complimentary shuttle will operate to and from the courthouse from the Otterman Street parking garage and the parking lot of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. Details: 724-532-1935, ext. 215.

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Dave Zuchowski, freelance writer:


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