Baldwin Council Asks, 'How Do We Make Community Day More Fun?'

A public meeting on Tuesday brought out various ideas for increasing participation and revenue.

Lack of attendance at its  led the Baldwin Borough Council to hold a public meeting on Tuesday night in order to generate ideas for drawing bigger crowds in future years.

The council turned to the experts themselves—community members—to find out how to make the event better for everyone. And at the meeting, residents, council members and the Community Day committee brainstormed about several different solutions to the attendance problem, including adding new events like a carnival, a swimming tournament and/or performances by schoolchildren.

"We all want it to be the best possible community function it can be," said Councilman Ed Moeller, who has been appointed to oversee the Community Day committee. "It's time to get it together to make it a better function."

Residents were swift to offer their ideas, most of which involved entertaining and involving the community's youths.

Resident Dave Solenday said that there is a significant lack of activities in the middle of Community Day—after the annual parade and before the fireworks show.

As a possible solution, another man—name unavailable—offered the idea of inviting borough schoolchildren to perform acts or hold an art display during that time.

"Part of our community that we overlook is our schools," the man said. "It makes us more connected with the youth."

Both the council and the Community Day committee agreed that, if kids are present and having fun, parents will stay longer and spend more money.

Moeller suggested taking advantage of the borough's by sponsoring swim races. Other water-themed ideas that were bounced around were an "anything that floats contest" and water battles between local fire companies.

Solenday also proposed bringing back a carnival-style Community Day celebration like the borough had sponsored in years past.

"That draws families, teens and everybody,” Councilman John Ferris said.

Ferris said that one large benefit to the carnival style was that the borough didn't have to pay a dime. Instead, a sponsoring company received half of all ticket sales revenue, and the borough received the rest, which the council used for other municipal efforts.

The drawback, Ferris said, is that the company that the borough used to partner with (from Florida) required a minimum celebration length of five days, making it hard to turn a profit.

Space for parking at the was a huge issue this year for the Community Day committee.

Resident Steve Radacsi suggested parking Community Day attendants at borough schools, and borough Manager John Barrett said that the borough does have permission from  officials to use district buses to shuttle people from school parking lots to the municipal complex.

With no parking at the complex, the extra space could be used for more events and booths.

Other ideas:

  • Ferris suggested creating a community booklet to raise money for Community Day.
  • Council President David Depretis suggested a basketball tournament and craft vendors as well as offering prizes that can only be collected during Community Day.
  • Resident Carrie Radacsi would like to see vendors bring baskets to raffle off during a Chinese auction.
  • Moeller suggested a car show.

Although there were many ideas proposed, Ferris pointed out the need for more community involvement with planning and advertising Community Day.

"There's a lot of things you can do," he said, "but it takes a lot of volunteers."

The Radacsis raised the point that many parents don't know how to get themselves or their children involved with the community effort to plan the day.

Depretis said that he would remedy that problem by posting information for volunteers on the borough's website.

The Community Day committee wants to have another, separate meeting, committee member Colleen Kuczinski said. Kuczinski said that she was thrilled by the ideas generated during Tuesday's discussion and wished that it had happened sooner.

She also echoed Ferris' call for more volunteers.

"It's not that we don't try to have all that," Kuczinski said. "It's the space and how to arrange everything, and the manpower."

What do you think would make Community Day more fun? Tell your neighbors in the comments section below.


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Diana Custer Brucha July 25, 2012 at 12:57 PM
In previous years, Community Day alternated between South Baldwin and North Baldwin. Maybe they should reintroduce this concept so that the residents in South Baldwin feel a part of the "community." Just a suggestion...
Brian July 25, 2012 at 04:09 PM
i live in South Baldwin and did not receive any notice of a community day! Maybe, better advertising!
NB resident July 25, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Seems S. Baldwin is left out a lot since the community day has moved to the municipal complex. Maybe they should have, a good band and some alcohol, that will bring ppl to the fun. Oak dale has a beer garden at their week long community days, and in 9 years it 1 arrest. Also they could have a rock climbing wall, bounce house, balloon artist, and much better food. Sugar and Spice, one of the best ice cream palors in the area was not at the event, MMM Pizza, Pizza company, Italian village, Eat N park, someone needs to reach out to this places.
amber July 25, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I definitely feel that a carnival type atmosphere with kids games/ adult games (money wheel,bingo) would make a world of difference.. I live behind the borough building and my family and neighbors were at community day in the afternoon for a total of about 10 minutes.. It was SO BORING!!! Better advertising is key also.. may be a large sign in north and south baldwin? Why not hold basketball tournaments for kids/adults? They could pay an entry fee then winners could take home cash prize. That would bring teens/ young adult friends to spend money on other food etc... Or a talent show.. on the stage at a certain time..That would be exciting and bring people of all ages to perform and watch.. Also bring back the farm animals for the kids.. Chinese basket/raffle.. ask each business that has a carnival booth to supply a certain type of basket then they as before could recieve half of money brought in from the booth and not have to pay for the booth.. there is a terrific company in pgh i have personally used (J. Robins dist) for games and prizes. I wish i would have been aware of the meeting yesterday cause i would have been there :( I know for 100% that if community day was improved, I would have a large cook-out on that day every year. And with more new young families moving into this area now, i am sure alot of poeple would make that an annual event at there homes... Right now its just embarrasing to invite people over for community day unless its only for the fireworks.
kathleen July 25, 2012 at 06:31 PM
I agree with all of the above. I tried so hard to get the board to talk to me about having the refugees of Leland Point perform at Community Day but they never got back to me. I was telling them all about Community Day and I was hoping maybe they could have a booth and sell their native food also. I emailed and emailed and called and left messages but they never got back to me. The high school kids were even practicing their dance and I had to tell them forget it. They (and I) were so disappointed.
cc July 25, 2012 at 09:16 PM
South Baldwin is forgotten as they moved their community day over to the Borough Building. There never is any parking over there so why bother to go. Community Day was so much better when it was over in South Baldwin, but was a disappointment when they quit having it there.
amber July 26, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Parking wouldnt be that big of a problem if they run shuttle buses from paynter to the community day plus on street parking there is plenty you just might have to walk a bit. No point in even worrying about it if something isnt really done for next year.. Every year there is less and less people that attend.... I think the fireworks are fabulous and its such a nice event to bring the community together, it just needs a pick up for the future.. thats all :)
Sasafras Jackson July 26, 2012 at 05:17 PM
In my most humblest of opinions, I think that Whitehall Community Day is the best of all of the Community Days in Allegheny County. We have blow-up rides for the kids, the pool is open, DJ Rock’in Bob , and they have the fire truck available for us to look at. However, in speaking with Uncle Helix he had a glorious idea where famous members of the community get introduced into Community Day by way of music (a la World Wrestling Federation superstars of the day). They would run out onto the baseball fields of our boros (Municipal, Leyland, Snyder, etc.) do a dance or shimmy and then enjoy the festivities with us common folk. For example, there would be an itinerary that would be somewhat similar to the below: 10:00am – Dean of Students enters to Alice Cooper’s School 's Out for Summer 11:30am - Chief Dolfi enters to Bob Marley’s Bad Boys (theme from the TV show COPS) 12:45pm – B-W School Board President George L. Pry enters to Notorious B.I.G.’s Mo Money Mo Problems 1:55pm - Mayor Nowalk enters to the BHS Cheer Squad’s rendition of the ever popular cheer “Tick….Tick….Tick…..Boom Dynamite!” 2:30pm - Borough Manager James E. Leventry enters to AC/DC’s Highway to Hell 3:00pm - Margaret French enters to Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire (in recognition of her tireless efforts for communal fire pits) Haha. Lol. I would cheer so loud for you, Margaret!
Sasafras Jackson July 26, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I am so excited for Community Day this year! I hope that you all are staying cool! It sure is a hot one! Haha.
Margaret French July 26, 2012 at 05:28 PM
OMG You are so funny Sasafras! Thanks! I hope it is a cooler one too since I really want to go.
Frank July 26, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Lmao. Good one Sasafras!
Sasafras Jackson July 27, 2012 at 01:32 PM
While I agree that this is humorous, I cannot take credit for it. Twas’ Uncle Helix chattering about his head movies at dinner 2 nights ago. He is quite the character after he spends the afternoon with friends “playing cards”. I think he spends it drinking but he says nay, he is drinks the sunshine of the day! Oh if only we saw the universe through the eyes of Uncle Helix…haha…lol… Enjoy Friday everyone! Have a safe day and keep the storms away! Community Day T-minus 30 days…..
Margaret French July 27, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Good ole Uncle Helix.. he must be quite a character (meant in a good way) I hope everyone has a good Friday too. Can't wait til Community Day. :)
BWRESIDENT July 27, 2012 at 06:46 PM
I attended and volunteered for community day and even volunteers were shooed away by the parking police("members of the coucil" )who manned the parking lot assuring no one without a parking pass got in. This meant even though i was there a full hour and a half early to help and walk my team in the parade i had to park my car-leave my children - walk all the way up to the fire station and then walk back down with my team, leave again to walk up and get my car. If you walk in the parade you should park at the church and be shuttled back to it after.


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