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Glass items for sale at Festival
Glass Items for sale at Festival

Mount Pleasant Glass and Ethnic Festival

This annual three-day event held in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania, the last weekend in September showcases the area's heritage and its glass industry. In 1987, It was originated with the idea of providing an event to celebrate the community's ethnic differences, honor its industrial and ethnic heritage, and give local charitable organizations a yearly opportunity for fund- raising. The 1999 event attracted 50,000 people.

The name of the festival derives from the glass-blowing demonstrations and displays which are its centerpiece. The labor force and fuel available in the coal and coke region had long ago attracted the glass industry to the Mt. Pleasant. A number of local glass companies provide demonstrations in glass cutting and blowing. Those seeking unique or antique pieces enjoy a glass auction; glass appraisers are on hand to estimate the value of special pieces. The "Ethnic" in the festival name comes from the foods which are offered: Mexican, Greek, Italian and Polish. Other events include fireworks, carnival rides, dance performances and musical entertainment from polka bands to jazz groups to country n' western singers. Strolling musicians entertain the crowd during the day. During some of the festivals, wrestlers and stuntmen also entertained the assembled crowd. Parade entries -- bands, military units, and floats -- march under a banner declaring "Welcome to Mt. Pleasant - It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This."

There are contests of every description for town residents: a Twins Contest, a Look-Alike Contest, a Poker Run and Poker Ride (bike ride). Mount Pleasant girls compete for Glass Festival Queen and Little Princess, and the winner is awarded a glass trophy. The Kidsfest component of the festival comprises a "Beautiful Baby" contest, diaper derby, t-shirt coloring, a pie-eating contest, a magician, amusement rides, and a petting zoo. Kids try their hand at making their own craft items at the Children's Arts & Crafts Fair. Glass items and other crafts, such as items "carved" by a chain saw artist, are on display; many are for sale.

The Mt. Pleasant Glass and Ethnic Festival Committee also runs other community events throughout the year such as the Goods, Services, and Merchandise Auction in the spring; during the summer, a Fireman's Fair and Crusie Night where area residents are given the opportunity to display their vintage autos; and a fall Halloween Haunted House.

The project is documented with a scrapbook organized by Festival year; each section contains news clippings, copies of posters, brochures, tickets, snapshots from that year's event; another scrapbook, devoted to Mt. Pleasant and its history and glass industry, contains news clippings, brochures, and several 8 x 10 color photos.

Originally submitted by: John P. Murtha, Representative (12th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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