Sunday, August 1, 2021

Philipsburg Fest lights up town

PHILIPSBURG — Philipsburg Fest, held on July 10, brought some big names to town and gave locals and visitors alike an event to remember.

The day started off with the first annual Wilderness City 5K around Cold Stream Dam and Recreation Area. The race was organized by the Philipsburg Revitalization Corporation in conjunction with many local businesses who sponsored the event and donated prizes, along with the Philipsburg Borough Crew, who built and prepped the running trail, said by participants to be a scenic and beautifully manicured route to run.

Local historian Chris Watson also educated the public about the dam’s historical significance with a display of photos of the area from over the years, including images of the days when Cold Steam had an icehouse, a pump house, a beach for swimming — complete with a slide, and a dance hall out on the water.

The 5K had 82 runners, with prizes for males and females in three age categories. People from far and wide — one runner was from South Carolina — came to Philipsburg to take part. Several youths ran the race, and Chad Muckey, 16, of Philipsburg, was the overall winner with a time of 19:01. Muckey and others were awarded gift cards to Philipsburg businesses and solar-sewn prizes from Organic Climbing, manufactured in the Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership Regional Business Park.

Thousands of people visited Front Street in the afternoon to see the cool cars and enjoy the various vendors that made the inaugural Philipsburg Cruise-In a huge success.

In the afternoon, the We Are Inn featured local band Zero Tolerance, who got the crowd riled up for the fireworks and feature artist, Coolio.

The fireworks over Cold Stream, presented by R&R Fireworks, elicited oohs and ahhs from onlookers who crowded around the water and relished the spectacle.

Coolio, when he took to the stage at the We Are Inn, told the crowd the fireworks were “better than the 4th of July … in Las Vegas!”

Pat Romano, owner of the We Are Inn, said he estimates 300 people attended the Coolio concert, not counting the couple of hundred people who came for the music and happenings that took place beforehand, namely, a fundraising event for the Hope Gala.

Coolio’s son, who performed with his dad, said Philipsburg was “the most beautiful place” he’d been.

Coolio took time to play golf at the Elks Country Club and visited the Cruise-In, too, while he was in town.

Romano says Coolio and his crew will likely be back, after he sent the Grammy Award-winning artist to the airport wearing a Penn State jersey.

“I was more than impressed,” Romano said. “It was just a great, great show. It was something.”

Romano spent Friday golfing with Academy Award winner Ross Kauffman and is working on getting a pilot TV show filmed at the We Are Inn.

Stay tuned …