Cranberry Community Days — a four-day series of events that dishes up fun for the community while publicizing and raising funds for the area’s nonprofit groups — is expanding its reach, both in participants and in the area from which it draws.
“This has really become a regional event,” said Bruce Mazzoni, chairman of the township’s board of supervisors and a board member of the primary sponsor, Cranberry Township Community Chest.
Drawing about 30,000 patrons, Cranberry Community Days, which this year started Wednesday and continues through Saturday, was publicized through direct mail to 50,000 people in three counties, including all of Butler and portions of Allegheny and Beaver. Last year, the mailers were sent to 25,000 homes.
“We know we’re reaching farther every year,” Mr. Mazzoni said.
The event raises money for all participating nonprofit groups as well as for the Cranberry Township Community Chest project of the year, which this year has been announced as the Volunteer Firefighter Initiative. Last year‘s initiative was installation of outdoor fitness centers at two parks: Graham and North Boundary.
The event offers something for nearly everyone and almost everything is free, although a $5 donation is accepted for parking near Cranberry Community Park along Route 19.
The event not only draws thousands of visitors, it involves more than 600 volunteers and hundreds of churches, nonprofit groups and businesses.
Last year, the event netted $140,000, about $75,000 of which went to CTCC.
Some 300 vendors are all on one level this year. The event includes dozens of attractions and exhibits and will finish with fireworks on Saturday.
New attractions this year include the carving of a 7-foot Seneca Indian chief by a chainsaw artist today through Saturday and outdoor painting in the park by members of the Cranberry Artists Network. The paintings will be given away.
The standbys are on the agenda, including the Lions pancake breakfast Saturday and the Rotary Club’s pig roast Saturday afternoon. Most of the activities are at Cranberry Community Park. Other events include carnival rides; a car cruise; inflatable attractions for children; art activities such as crocheted trees and painting-technique demonstrations; the Rotary Paintball Alley; Steel City Roller Derby demonstrations; a 5K race and a 1-mile run; and a midway arcade.
Key sponsors include UPMC, Westinghouse, Whole Foods, Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau, and the Lynch Weiss law firm.
More details on the event: www.CTCChest.org.
Karen Kane: firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-772-9180.
Karen Kane: email@example.com or at 724-772-9180.