Thursday, March 4, 2021

Snowstorm turns into community sledding day

PHILIPSBURG — They say when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. The Philipsburg Revitalization Corporation (PRC) is adapting this adage to wintertime by making the most of the recent snowstorms with a community sled riding day.

“We’ve had a really snowy winter, so I say let’s take advantage of it and do something fun for the community,” said Elliott Lauder, PRC board member and event organizer.

The community sled riding day will take place this Saturday, Feb. 20, between noon and 5 p.m. on the hill beside the 13th Street Playground (“Slabtown”), a place locals have been using for winter fun for years.

Brown Dog Catering will be selling hot chocolate, coffee and treats from a popup version of “Coco’s Coffeehouse.”

Philipsburg Borough is also looking at the possibility of having a fire around which winter warriors can gather and warm themselves.

“I think (Slabtown) is a great local resource that we should really highlight,” Lauder said. “With the PRC, we want to do events, but with COVID, we’ve been really limited, and we thought this would be a good way to launch events for the year to get community involvement and try to support one of the local businesses.”

Lauder is one of several new members of the PRC board, an organization that has undergone a transformation over the last couple years.

“I want to bring a fresh mindset to the PRC,” Lauder said. “A fresh set of ideas and ways of looking at things — approaching events and business opportunities. I want to make sure everyone knows this is a new PRC. We want to do everything we can to support businesses in town through events.”

Eric Rusnak, who grew up coming to Philipsburg and recently moved here permanently, is another recent addition to the PRC.

“Philipsburg has been home to our family for over 100 years,” said Rusnak. “I am grateful for the opportunity to join the PRC Board and look forward to helping Philipsburg prosper and grow. Snow Day is a great way to support Philipsburg and to celebrate this seemingly endless winter.”

Lauder said in envisioning the community sledding day, he had a “Hallmark vibe in mind,” and is not ruling out a favorite pastime that is all about social-distancing.

“Maybe we’ll organize a snowball fight or something,” Lauder said.

Lauder encourages any area business interested in organizing a similar event to contact him or the PRC to brainstorm.

“I highly encourage businesses to come to our meetings, to reach out to us,” Lauder said. “If anyone is interested in sitting down and figuring out how they can do their own events, that’s what the PRC is about. We want to do events for the communities and at the same time support local businesses. And it doesn’t have to be all downtown. If you’re in Chester Hill or on 322, we want to collaborate as much as we can.”