Fort Ligonier Days

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Every year a three day festival, Fort Ligonier Days, commemorates the Battle of Fort Ligonier and the heritage of the town itself. In the exact area during October 12, 1758 an important engagement of the French and Indian War was held. More than 100,000 visitors were expected to celebrate the festival which also marks the passage of the autumn season throughout the Laurel Highlands.

Friday, the weather was pretty gloomy, but thankfully the event was blessed with gorgeous weather for the traditional parade and fireworks on Saturday. The Bureau of Ligonier has a large community parade that winds its way down Main Street around Ligonier’s famous Diamond at 11:00 on Saturday morning. The parade included historic units, floats, costumed characters, the Shrine units and special guests, including local TV personalities. High school and college bands; including Greater Latrobe’s marching band, performed with jazz.

Junior, Hannah Ciocco had her first experience being apart of the Ligonier parade. Ciocco said that she had a lot of fun playing the mellophone in the parade and she enjoyed seeing else participating in the event. Ciocco says “My favorite thing about the event is the musical entertainment and the apparel of the reenactors.” The Greater Latrobe High School Band participates every year and Ciocco said she will be in it next year.

Greater Latrobe social studies department showed their love and enthusiasm for the study of history by participating in the Saturday parade. Each teacher chose a different time period to portray: Mr. Wetzel, a Colonial Soldier; Mr. Ferraro, a Civil War Soldier; Ms. Skapura, a WWI Nurse; Mr. Snyder, as a World War II Soldier; and Mr.Scaffardi, as Vietnam Soldier.  The foursome rode in the parade in a 1974 Volkswagen Type 181 Thing restored to resemble a WWII era German Kubelwagen, its direct ancestor.  The car is owned and was restored by Mr. Snyder. This was another inspiration to be a float in the parade.

History major, Mr.Snyder enjoys Fort Ligonier Days the most because it is a celebration of history. He also gets to see a lot of people he doesn’t see often, as a graduate from Ligonier Valley.

Ligonier Days 2013 was the first year that the GLSD social studies department had gotten involved in the event. Snyder said “Our participation was received with much enthusiasm and we have been asked to be apart of it next year!”. He looks forward to next year because “They can combine fun with knowledge.” said Snyder.

 The reenactments took place on both Saturday and Sunday at 2 & 4. Musical entertainment included a variety of kinds and genres. Food and craft vendors, and sidewalk sales added to the festivities.

People from all around the county and further enjoy the heritage of Ligonier which seems to be growing in popularity every year.

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Front to back, left to right: Mr. Wetzel as a Colonial Soldier, Mr. Snyder as a World War II soldier, Mr. Ferraro as as Civil War Soldier, Mr. Scaffardi as as Vietnam Soldier, and Ms. Skapura as a WWI Nurse – they all ride in Snyder’s 1974 Volkswagen Type 181 on the Saturday parade.