‘Extinct’ beer label back for Irwin celebration


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The grand finale week of Irwin’s 150th anniversary year will include a worship service, puppet making and beer with an extinct Irwin label. The celebration started in November and ends Aug. 9.

For the anniversary, Mike Pochan, one of the event organizers, had Full Pint Brewing of North Huntingdon resurrect Irwin’s former Crescent beer label.

Mr. Pochan said he was unable to find a record of what kind of beer — dark or light — was produced in the borough.

Amber ale was put into bottles for the celebration, with a copy of a partially restored label from a Crescent beer bottle, he said. Debbie Kelly, Irwin councilwoman and an anniversary organizer, said the company closed during Prohibition and never reopened.

The beer will be served at Irwin’s Gala Anniversary Dinner Aug. 8, at Stratigos Banquet Hall in North Huntingdon and also is available at The Tap Room at the Colonial Grille in Irwin.

On Saturday, a family picnic will be held in Irwin Park. Puppet designer Cheryl Capezzuti will help children make puppets that they can carry in the Irwin parade on Saturday, Ms. Kelly said.

On Sunday, the borough and the Norwin Ministerium will present an interdenominational church service for people of all faiths from 7 to 9 p.m. at Irwin Park.

The Rev. Doug Burns, pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in North Huntingdon, will ride into the park on horseback and lead the service to commemorate the work of the early circuit-riding ministers.

Rev. Burns said the sermon topic will be one that was common among the early traveling pastors, “Is it well with your soul?”

Church hymns from the past 150 years will be sung, along with contemporary songs. After a closing benediction, refreshments will be served.

If it rains, the service will be moved into First Presbyterian Church, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the park entrance.

The Grand Finale will be held Aug. 9.

Anniversary events:

Saturday — A sidewalk flea market will be held along Main Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Questions: Lillian Woleslagle at 724-863-3093.

Family picnic will be at Irwin Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday — Interdenominational church service in Irwin Park from 7 to 9 p.m.

Tuesday — There will be a shop crawl, cookout and music in the streets in downtown Irwin from noon until 7 p.m. Music will be provided by the Tim Woods Band. Mr. Woods is in the New York City Blues Hall of Fame.

Wednesday — The 82nd annual Norwin Community Picnic will be held at Idlewild Park. .

Next Thursday — An Antique Super Cruise for all makes of vehicles will be held along Main Street from 5 to 9 p.m.

Aug. 8 — The Gala Anniversary Dinner will be held from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Music will be by the Wayne Macuga Band.

Aug. 9 — The 150th Anniversary Grand Finale will be held in Irwin Park.

A parade will begin at 2 p.m., featuring the Red Hot Ramblers Dixieland Band, the Mikey D Polka Band, the Syria Shriners Band, Latrobe VFW Pipe and Drum Corps, about 150 people in the Norwin Alumnae Band, a number of floats and cars from the Model A Club. It will proceed from Kohl’s Department Store down Pennsylvania Avenue to Main Street.

Ms. Kelly said Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed from Giant Eagle to Irwin during the parade. Shuttle buses will run from Norwin High School to downtown Irwin from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., she said.

At 3 p.m., music and food will be available in Irwin Park, including ice cream from McFeely’s Ice Cream truck.

Dignitaries will speak and awards will be presented at 6 p.m.

The River City Brass Band will perform at 7 p.m., and events will end with fireworks by Zambelli.

Anne Cloonan, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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