The Borough of Oakmont celebrated the Halloween season with the annual Fall Festival held in the center of town.
The most anticipated part was the Halloween Parade, which kicked off the Oct. 29 festivities at 11 a.m. Led by the Riverview High School Marching Band, a group of costumed children and their parents lined up behind the Kwik-Fil on Washington Avenue and marched along Allegheny River Boulevard to Pennsylvania Avenue, past many stalls and vendors.
With Halloween-themed music playing through loudspeakers near the borough’s clock tower, the youngest participants were then invited to perform tricks in the businesses of the boulevard. . The sleight of hand was sponsored by the Riverview Women’s Association, whose members also handed out treat bags to children.
There was plenty of food for hungry customers, with many food trucks and stations including Franktuary, Atria’s, Mad Mac’s Homemade Macarons, Pappy’s Gourmet Kettle Corn, Leone’s Pizza, Del Vecchio’s, the Boulevard Sweet Shop, the Pittsburgh Cookie Table and others, including the Boy Scouts of Troop 137, who served hot dogs and grilled cheese.
Adults also had their fair share of opportunities, with drinks courtesy of Acclamation Brewing, La Vigneta Winery, Crooked Creek Distillery and Still Mill Distillery.
In addition, there were many activities for young and old, including a pie-eating contest as a novelty this year. Participants were separated into age groups – under 12, 12-17 and 18+ – and invited to dive face-first into pies donated by Oakmont Bakery, with winners receiving a $25 prize.
More prizes were given out immediately after the pie, with a costume contest and a scarecrow decorating contest taking place near the Clock Tower and in Oakmont’s Flower Court, respectively.
But perhaps the biggest hit of the day was the M&M Trackless train, which youngsters could ride with their parents from Oakmont Olive Oil to Pennsylvania Avenue.
“The train was so much fun and a great addition this year. We also came last year, but we all thought the train was awesome,” said Leslie Johnson, who came to the Penn Hills festival with her family. .
Another new activity this year, exemplifying the spirit of Halloween, was a “burial coffin” sponsored by the Penn Forest Natural Burial Park in Penn Hills. The festival-goers could indeed rest in a coffin of standard size.
Other activities included makeup and face painting by Liv; candy toy ax throwing; “Guess the Pumpkin’s Weight for a Prize”, sponsored by Anytime Fitness; free cotton candy, sponsored by the Oakmont Chamber of Commerce; pumpkin painting; a hula-hoop toss; and a pumpkin hunt for ages 5 and under.
The overall event was sponsored by the Greater Pittsburgh Tree Service and was the busiest fall festival yet, with a route filled with hundreds of patrons throughout the day.
“This year’s Fall Festival was perfect. We had a beautiful fall day, and people really came because of it. The festival showed what a wonderful city we have and the great selection of stores and restaurants we have here in Oakmont,” said Chamber of Commerce Director Karen DeTurck.
“I think the pie contest was everyone’s favorite. The trackless train was also a hit with children and adults. There was something for everyone.”
Darren Yuvan is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.