Celebrate America, a festival held the last two summers in Hermitage, has been postponed for this year in hopes of a bigger and better event in 2015.
The Celebrate America Foundation was formed to promote and facilitate the celebration of American spirit and values throughout the year in schools, in public and with local organizations.
The foundation planned and implemented the annual festival but after two years of a poor turnout and a lack of support, coordinator Joseph Zentis decided to take time to build the community support and knowledge of the festival.
“Primarily it was postponed because we didn’t get enough response,” Zentis said. “People thought it was a great idea but there were not enough of those people or leaders wanting to help. The foundation needs support of city groups and financing, not just for the festival but in all aspects of the foundation.”
Zentis said he started the foundation and festival because he wanted to bring people together with something that was a common bond -- American history.
“We need a major influx in patriotism,” Zentis said. “Renewal of the American spirit and I think we can do that through history.”
Zentis said he is hoping that the festival can someday have historical re-enactors for every time period from colonial times to today; entertainment including music and dance; sports; food vendors; and presentations related to U.S. history.
“With the foundation, I am hoping it can build and become a main source of promoting patriotism,” Zentis said. “I would like to sponsor educational programs in schools, grant scholarships to high school students for demonstrated knowledge of American history, give history teacher awards and raise an understanding of and respect for members of our armed forces and veterans.”
Taking a year’s hiatus will give Zentis the time he believes he needs to help mold and execute his dream foundation and festival.
“I don’t see why we can’t get people around here enthusiastic about the foundation and festival,” Zentis said. “I need more time to raise enthusiasm from people in the area. We don’t have the base to build on as of right now. I am going to keep contacting more people, go to every meeting I can and gather up more support.”
Zentis said by fall he would like to know the following and support the foundation has.
“I think we can get everything more established,” Zentis said. “I just did not have enough time spent on the festival and I need to put more effort into it.”
Info: www.letscelebrateamerica.com or call Zentis, 724-347-1209.