After a year of interruption, the “witches” return to Ligonier

Bikes, buses and maybe even brooms were the preferred mode of transportation in Ligonier on Sunday, as more than 1,200 “witches” from the area gathered for the fifth annual Witches Bike Brigade event.

Since it was established as a pre-Halloween event for women in 2016, the one-day festival offers a day for women to shop, enjoy live music, refreshments and food in companies. from the Ligonier region. The fire department even closed part of Fairfield Street to provide food, refreshments and games during Sunday’s event.

Event coordinator Carla Arnone said that although the event was canceled in 2020 due to covid-19, pre-registration was “as strong as ever” this year.

While some people may not appreciate the promotion of the event to have attendees “leave their husbands, boyfriends, relatives, children, pets and politics at home for this reserved gathering. to women, ”Arnone retorts that she thinks this is also the reason why the popularity is increasing. every year.

This year, the number of pre-registrations exceeded 1,200 and the event provided shuttle buses to restaurants in the town and region from the parking lot of the Ligonier countryside market, west of the city.

Arnone will not get any argument from participant Dawn Berkebile of Latrobe as to why the event is so popular.

“It’s fun to get dressed and spend a day alone with a few friends,” said Berkebile, a regular attendee of the event, as she stopped at a few stores around The Diamond.

“And it’s nice to leave the kids and the husband at home,” she added.

Berkebile and Brooke Sowers from Fairfield, another regular attendee, brought in a new “witch” to enjoy the day, Ashley Ament from Derry.

Michelle Moon of Somerset, Kim Albright of White, Karen Kashurba of Greensburg and Cindi Meyers of Jennerstown are all members of a women’s clay shooting sports team based in Somerset County.

“This is our first trip here. We were at a restaurant in Somerset after shooting at a tournament last summer and one of the waitresses said we could take advantage. So we all logged in and pre-registered. … It sounded like a lot of fun, ”Moon said.

In addition to wearing capes, boots, personalized witch hats, and a few broom accessories, Meyers wore a personalized skeleton bone bracelet that covered most of her hand.

“You know the money raised also goes to a good cause,” Meyers said.

The money raised from the registration fee benefits two organizations in the region, Helping Hearts & Healing Tails Animal Rescue and the Beth Luther Homeless Pet Fund.

Pat Baker, owner of the Holiday Home Store on The Diamond, appreciates the additional business and new customers the event brings to town each year.

“It really has become a wonderful, festive atmosphere over the years with everyone in witch costumes. And it’s really good this year because it hasn’t rained, ”she joked.

By early afternoon, the witches were planning to return to the common parking lot for a large group photo via a drone, as well as watch and participate in several dance demonstrations before heading back to town for more fun, Arnone said.

Baker, whose store offers decorations and gifts for all the holidays, said that in addition to the many witch costumes, she liked to see the reaction from Ligonier shoppers who were unaware that the Witch Bike Squad would be happening.

“The look on people’s faces when they see all these witches come into the store and walk around town is really priceless,” Baker said.

Baker offered a 10 percent discount to witches who had proof of pre-registration and also organized packages for customers to pick up later in the day.

More information about the event is available on the Ligonier Witches’ Bike Brigade The Facebook page.

Paul Peirce is an editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Wiley C. Thompson

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