Friday, November 19, 2010

Redevelopment Authority Launches “Downtown Destinations” Commercial Property Web Site

The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland unveiled a new website designed to promote business development in the County's core communities. "Downtown Destinations" showcases marketable properties in the County's cities and boroughs that are available for business expansions or new enterprise. The website is available through the Westmoreland County homepage at

The new website features properties in the towns’ business districts, as well as those properties located within a state Keystone Innovation Zone - an initiative designed to foster innovation and create entrepreneurial opportunities. "Our downtowns have been the historic hubs of our communities, and this is part of our renewed efforts to keep them vibrant and ensure their long-term vitality," said April Kopas, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland. Feature properties are located within the communities of Arnold, Derry, Greensburg, Irwin, Jeannette, Latrobe, Lower Burrell, Monessen, Mount Pleasant, New Kensington, Scottdale, Vandergrift, West Newton and West Overton.

“Downtown Destinations” is a cooperative effort of the Redevelopment Authority, the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland, the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board, the Private Industry Council and Westmoreland County’s Geographic Information Systems Department. “This project is a great opportunity to market our town” said Jeff Landy, Mount Pleasant Borough Manager. “With the County’s support, municipalities can better attract businesses to take a closer look at the benefits of operating a business in a downtown. We could not have done this on our own, and we greatly value our partnership with the county and our neighboring towns.”

Monday, November 8, 2010

Holiday Season Starts with a Parade Down Main Street

Fire Trucks are a crowd favorite during the Holiday Parade
 Greensburg Annual Holiday Parade Saturday, November 20th
at noon.until 1:30    
The city of Greensburg Holiday Parade is the start of a month long schedule of downtown activities and events celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  For many residents the parade is part of their family’s tradition.  Frank Lehman, Director of the City’s Recreation Department, noted “it is an enjoyable time for families and friends with the children enjoying the candy and fire trucks”. The city of Greensburg has scheduled the annual Holiday Parade for Saturday, November 20th at noon.   

Arrive early to get a good parking space as the crowd lining Main Street can exceed 9,000 people if the weather is nice. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the downtown shops and restaurants with many offering specials and samples.

The parade route starts at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art and proceeds south on Main Street towards City Hall. Traffic will be detoured around the parade onto Maple Avenue and College Avenue.

Come into downtown and participate in this Greensburg tradition. For information on how to register your organization to participate in the parade, contact the Greensburg Recreation Department office at 724-834-4880. This event is a great way to advertise and be seen by thousands. 

Vet Art Project Pittsburgh Honors Veterans

Vet Art Project Pittsburgh [VAPP] Presents “LETTERS”. The Vet Art Project creates opportunities for veterans and their family members to work in collaboration with artists from all disciplines to create new art about war for public performance and viewing. The goals of the Vet Art Project are to support our veterans, create stronger voices among our veterans, provide new opportunities for artists, and offer a venue to hear the voices of our veterans and artists and foster discussions about how war affects us all.

LETTERS is a witness and interactive event honoring our nation’s veterans of domestic and foreign wars. The reading will be held at DV8 Espresso Bar and Gallery located on 208 South Pennsylvania Ave on Saturday, November 13, 2010 from 2pm –5pm

The event is open to the public.  Become a witness to these letter readings from soldiers at war, in peace and throughout our nation’s history.  In cooperation with Operation Homefront, audience members will have an opportunity to write an open letter to an active soldier. VAPP will get these letters into the hands of a soldier.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Miniature Parade of Trees Returns to the Shopping District

Just Miniature Scale is pleased to announce the Sixth Annual Miniature Parade of Trees. This display of creatively designed miniature Christmas Trees has become a downtown tradition and a favorite of residents and visitors. Judy Mizikar, owner of Just Miniature Scale, noted several trees are sponsored by local businesses and individuals. “They look forward to seeing their tree after our designer is finished. We try to create a tree that represents the firm or the interest of the owner”.

In 2005, Judy Mizikar started the Miniature Parade of Trees in her downtown store as a way to further enjoy the Christmas season. Mizikar added she the event provides an opportunity to give something to the Greensburg community after a year of customers supporting her business. “For years I had followed the Tribune Review's Holiday campaign, Operation Santa Claus, in the newspaper. I chose to use the display funds to support it because it provides something directly to our area”.

The Miniature Parade of Trees has been written up in two National Miniature Magazines and has been recognized as an example of using miniatures in creative ways. Trees come from all over the United States to support this event. The Parade has risen over $13,500 in the past five years in support of the Tribune Review’s Operation Santa Claus. This long standing charity provides holiday groceries and children’s gifts to needy families in our area. Many people have traveled to downtown Greensburg to marvel at this miniature display of amazing 6 inch tall, creatively decorated trees.

The miniature Christmas Trees will be on display November 13th to December 17th in the storefront window of Just Miniature Scale. The store is located in Greensburg’s Shopping District at the corner of South Pennsylvania Avenue and West Pittsburgh Street.

To learn more about the event and the process to sponsor a tree, the following description provides basic information. Just Miniature Scale will provide a 6 inch tall artificial tree to any and all who would like to decorate one. The trees are on display at the shop for several weeks. Each tree has a donation cup for the public to ‘vote’ for their favorite design and a silent auction bid sheet! During the November 13th opening reception, Just Miniature Scale kicks-off the silent auction for the purchase of the trees. On December 17th, the staff determines the final winning bid for the tree and notifies the recipient. “The Annual Miniature Parade of Trees is the event sponsored by my shop that I am most proud. It has brought back the spirit of Christmas by bringing friends, family, customers and community members together in an effort to improve others' holidays. The diminutive trees are 'big' in spirit!” added Mizikar.

There are a few ways a sponsor can help with the Miniature Parade of Trees.

1. An individual, family or business can decorate a tree for the display.

2. An individual, family or business can sponsor a tree that a talented “elf” will create for a $100.00 donation. Themes can be suggested, but not always possible in miniature. The sponsor’s name will be posted with the tree.

3. An individual, family or business can contribute an enhancement gift such as memorabilia or items of interest. In the past, autographed items, event tickets, gift cards, DVD’s, and more have been added to a tree.