Today was Summerset at Frick Park’s annual fall festival, where I saw a Robin Hood, some knights, several little-girl witches, a little-boy Superman, a therapy dog wearing a stuffed toy jockey on his back and an assortment of goblins, ghosts, ghouls and people in cat ears.
The best character was Pittsburgh’s signature chronicler of film, Rick Sebak, who led a parade of costumed residents and the Allderdice High marching band from the newly-dedicated Mark C. Schneider Memorial Park to the community gathering area at the end of Summerset Drive.
Puppets for Pittsburgh sent a troupe (photo above) and numerous vendors and non-profits pushing their causes were on hand.
You can read more about the Mark C. Schneider Memorial Park in tomorrow’s Post-Gazette. It is named for the developer who had the vision to see people living in expensive homes on top of what was once a slag heap.
I remember seeing that slag heap when I first moved to Pittsburgh and would drive the parkway inbound. It surprised me that Pittsburgh would show so many travelers such environmental degradation so many years after the glow had gone out of the slag. I used to think, “What a shame,” but I never once thought it would be gone.
Mark believed not only in the possibility of remediating that land but of making it habitable. Summerset is one of many places that he guided into existence, places that, collectively, have everything to do with this city’s transformation over the last 20 years.
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