By Rachel Jones
School’s out for summer — but there’s still so much to learn in Washington County. Find a deeper respect for the historical traditions of the area, many of which are reaching monumental milestones in the upcoming months, and get excited for the new ones on the horizon. Bonus points if you can commemorate them all before the fall!
Long Live the Rebellion
Washington County played a unique and significant role in American history, one that continues to be honored every year. The annual Whiskey Rebellion Festival remembers the 400 Western Pennsylvania farmers, primarily in Washington County, who rebelled against the tax on whiskey produced in the U.S. in July 1794. This year’s free festivities kick off July 7 with the opening of the Main Street Farmers Market and the Washington Health System Health Fair, followed by performances by the Washington Symphony Orchestra and the Washington Festival Chorale. The fun continues through July 10 with live performances by Phil Wiggins & the Chesapeake Sheiks on Friday and The Travelin’ McCourys on Saturday; arts, crafts, and food vendors; authentic historical re-enactments; the 12th Annual Classics on Main car show; and much more. Carry on the tradition of historical fun with your family this year, and make it one for the history books, too! For a full schedule of events, visit whiskeyrebellionfestival.com.
+ Save the date for the 3rd Annual Washington County Historical Society’s History Hall of Fame Awards Banquet on June 3. Six honorees who were born in Washington County, worked in Washington County, or chose to make a home in Washington County, and have made significant contributions to its history will be inducted at a memorable ceremony, held at the Hilton Garden Inn at Southpointe. For tickets and more information, visit wchspa.org. Photograph from Whiskey Rebellion Festival
Beautiful Day in This Neighborhood
A good old friend will be in attendance at the annual Parade of Trolleys: Mr. McFeely from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The parades take off from the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.on June 25. Meet the beloved TV star at the event and take advantage of the other children’s activities and food options that will also be available. With 30 historic electric railway vehicles inside the Trib Total Media Trolley Display Building, it’s the perfect place for families to spend a beautiful day together. Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, 1 Museum Road, Washington. 724.228.9256. patrolley.org — Kylie Weisenborn
Something Old, Something New
Once an ancient hunting tool and weapon, the atlatl is more commonly used today for athletic or recreational endeavors. Made to be thrown at targets, the atlatl uses leverage to achieve a high velocity as it leaves your hand. Try it for yourself on June 18 during the Meadowcroft Atlatl Competition at Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. Some of the top-ranked atlatlists from across the country will be in attendance for the World Atlatl Association’s annual meeting and will be offering instruction to those interested in the ancient practice. “It is a fun family outing for all ages,” says David Scofield, director of Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. “We encourage people to bring a picnic lunch, if they like, and spend the afternoon with plenty of time to visit our recreated 16th Century Monongahela Indian Village, our 19th Century Rural Village, and, of course, the Meadowcroft archaeological site — a National Historic Landmark, which has provided evidence of prehistoric people in our region at least 16,000 years ago!” Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, 401 Meadowcroft Road, Avella, 724.587.3412. heinzhistorycenter.org/meadowcroft. — K.W.
Time to Celebrate
Pittsburgh isn’t the only one celebrating a bicentennial this year! Bentleyville will honor its town’s rich history and momentous birthday with almost two dozen events from June 30-July 3. Starting with a Kick-off Banquet at the Bentleyville Fire Department Social Hall, friends and neighbors will enjoy old-time fare, spirits, carriage rides, and historic reenactments. The rest of the weekend is packed with everything from a tribute to local veterans and a non-denominational church service at the historic Bentleyville Camp Meeting Grounds, to a 5K in honor of Bentleyville founder Sheshbazzar Bentley, Jr., and a parade down Main Street, followed by live music and fireworks at Richardson Park. Lisa Stout-Bashioum, president of Bentleyville Bicentennial Committee, says, “It is our goal to offer residents past and present a meaningful and memorable celebration.” For more information, visit bentleyvillebicentennial.com. — K.W.
Going for Gold
Fans of harness racing at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino look forward to the Adios Pace for the Orchids every year. But 2016 will prove to be extra special! Delvin Miller, who opened The Meadows in 1963, started the annual race 50 years ago in remembrance of his late stallion, Adios. Since the inaugural event, the top three-year-old pacers from across North America have traveled to the track for the highly anticipated race. Over the years, it’s evolved into a two-week, elimination-style competition, making an Adios win one of the finest achievements in harness racing. The 50th anniversary commemoration begins on July 23 with the first Adios eliminations and the crowning of Miss Adios 2016. Prizes, contests, giveaways, and The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association’s family fun night take place throughout the week, with DJ Dale Allen entertaining guests between races as the field narrows down to the top contenders. It all culminates July 30, with the big showdown taking place at 12 p.m. “Harness racing, and the Adios Pace for the Orchids in particular, have a long and meaningful tradition at The Meadows,” says Sean Sullivan, vice president and general manager of The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. “The 50th anniversary of the Adios will be a celebration of our racing history, including its entertainment value and economic impact on the region.” The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, 210 Racetrack Road, Washington. 724.503.1200. meadowsgaming.com.
Go with the Flow
Feel the groove of the music alongside the flow of the Mon River at the Monongahela Aquatorium. The first of its kind, the substantial auditorium invites guests to make their way by car, foot, or boat — guest boat docks are available! — for an outdoor evening of entertainment throughout the summer. Food and merchandise vendors add to the fun, while families spend their time “Rockin’ on the Mon!” to local musicians. Gates open at 6 p.m.and shows start at 7:30 p.m., except the Rockin’ Italian Festival, which starts its shows at 8 p.m. Monongahela Aquatorium, 200 Railroad Str., Monongahela. monaquatorium.org.
June 18 – Tres Lads
June 24-25 – Rockin’ Italian Festival
Enjoy free admission, along with specialty Italian foods and drinks available for purchase. The Hubcaps will perform on Friday, and Johnny Angel & the Halos take the stage on Saturday.
July 2 – Satisfaction —The International Rolling Stones Show
July 9 – Hollywood Nights — Bob Seger Tribute Concert
July 16 – Masters of Soul
July 23 – Dancing Queen
July 30 – 7 Bridges — Eagles Tribute Concert
August 6 – Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers
August 13 – The Clarks
August 20 – NOMaD (North of Mason Dixon)
August 27 – The Movemakers