Dogs, cats and goats have their day as Greensburg Summer in the City kicks off

It wasn’t quite the heat wave of summer, but dogs were among the main attractions Thursday night as Greensburg’s three-day Summer in the City festivities kicked off.

Betsy Scheeren, a dog sitter from South Greensburg, was in her element as she used both hands to vigorously pet Morgan, a 5-month-old female pit bull and Labrador retriever mix.

The pup was joined by a male Dalmatian and several adoptable cats in an exhibit presented by Westmoreland County-based Wayward Whiskers Animal Rescue.

“I love his eyes,” Scheeren said of Morgan’s unusual gray irises. After 12 years of working with dogs, Scheeren said, “I haven’t yet found one that I haven’t loved yet. I love them all.”

Morgan came with her owner, Tammie Guth of Jeannette, who coordinates foster caretakers who house pets that Wayward Whiskers rescues from poor conditions.

“It’s nice that people can see that this breed isn’t that scary,” Guth said of the pit bull part of his dog’s lineage.

Ozzie Hewitt, 3, from Greensburg was also delighted to pet the pup, while his mother, Sofiya, enjoyed visiting Bucky, a Nigerian dwarf goat who came to the Heal Animal Rescue sanctuary event at Unity.

“It’s not something you usually see,” Sofiya Hewitt said of the goat, which was part of Critter Corner, a new feature at the annual downtown Greensburg event.

Originally from Bulgaria, Hewitt stayed in Greensburg after attending Seton Hill University. In addition to her son, she attended Thursday’s event with her husband, Bill, their daughter, Esmera, 1, and Hewitt’s mother, another immigrant, Nona Aliosman.

“It’s really good to have local events like this,” Hewitt said. “We go to every concert in the park (St. Clair).”

Bucky enjoyed being fed blueberries by festival visitors. Of the six goats rescued at the Heal site, “this is one of our most social goats,” said animal keeper Hannah Brasile of Greensburg. “His goal is simply to live his best life in our sanctuary.”

Other attractions until Saturday

Also new was a choreographed musical routine performed by the Hempfield area cadets, a new troupe of K-6 twirlers intended to serve as a feeder group for their college and university counterparts in the school district.

“Their excitement is overflowing,” said Ali Troutman, the Hempfield Area group manager. “It’s wonderful to work with them. They constantly develop their skills.

A downpour after 7 p.m. curtailed Thursday’s business shortly before the scheduled 8 p.m. closing time in the Pitt & Penn parking lot along Pennsylvania Avenue.

But the event “was really good while it lasted, and we’ll be back tomorrow,” said Amy Beeghly, president of the Greensburg Business and Professional Association, who joined the Greensburg Community Development Corporation in organizing the event.

Summer in the city will continue from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Friday will be Greensburg Salem Night at the Pitt & Penn parking lot.

From 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Greensburg Salem School District Superintendent Ken Bissell and high school vice-principal Adam Jones will be among the volunteers who will try their luck in a dunk tank that will raise money for the program. Greensburg Police K-9.

Plus, the Westmoreland Performing Arts teen troupe will perform Broadway and rock acts, visitors will enjoy ice cream, and local artists will create caricatures and balloon sculptures. Activities for children will be offered by the school district and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Laurel Highlands.

Live music is scheduled from 6pm to 10pm with Adelaide in Autumn, described as a pop punk ‘n’ roll band; alternative band Outside Eliza; and Essential Machine, a family indie rock band.

Saturday’s lineup includes an indoor community garage sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Greensburg YMCA on Maple Avenue and Pittsburgh Street. Starting at 11 a.m., the Y will also offer concessions and outdoor games for children.

A parade of animals will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Petagogy pet supply store on Pittsburgh Street and end at the Pitt & Penn lot.

Activities will return to the grounds, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday – including the dipping booth, garden games and a Great Gem Dig, for the kids.

The Greensburg Fire Department will display fire trucks and demonstrate search and rescue techniques with their team of sleuths.

Jeff Himler is an editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .