The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

August 5, 2013

In the afterglow

WaterFire draws 35,000 to city

SHARON — The light of the Shenango Valley burned at dusk Saturday in torches carried by men and women dressed in black during the climax of WaterFire Sharon’s inaugural event.

It was the highlight of a daylong celebration that was more than a year in the making, Jennifer Barborak, who was one of the organizers, said Sunday as it sunk in that the event so many worked so hard and long to produce was deemed a success.

“It was truly amazing,” Barborak said. “I can’t believe how amazing our community is.”

“Seeing everyone standing up there (on the East State Street bridge) was the most amazing thing,” she said.

It was a “great feeling” to be a part of it, said Sharon policeman William Gregg, who served as a torchbearer.

The idea was for the torchbearers to be silhouetted faces who were acting as a group, Gregg said, “to be a community of one.”

“It was enjoyable,” he said.

A sampling of the comments of what organizers estimated to be 35,000 people who came out for the event agreed. Most gave rave reviews on social media outlets as word spread about just what happened in downtown Sharon on Saturday night.

People “overwhelmingly loved” the events of the day, said Dayna Sear, who serves as executive director of WaterFire Sharon.

“It seems many people found it to be an emotional event and one that was truly inspiring,” Sear said. “The whole thing was such a beautiful setting.

“It really took the entire community coming together,” to make it work, Barborak said. “We have to make sure the volunteers are recognized.”

More than 300 people volunteered Saturday and more than 500 have been involved for the last year in preparing for the WaterFire “season” – two more events are slated this year, on Sept. 14 and on Oct. 12.

“We didn’t really know what to expect,” said Sear.

The idea started in Providence, R.I., in the mid-1990s and has since spread to Columbus, Ohio, and Kansas City, Mo.

Sharon is the fourth city to try it and people here will work to make it grow each time the braziers in the Shenango River are lighted, Sear said.

“Clearly, we need to talk about the infrastructure and handling the crowds,” she said.

But all in all, things went as planned.

“It seems like the event will continue to grow,” she said.


Text Only
Local News
  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.

    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.

    July 25, 2014

  • Firm will study timing of traffic signals

    Hermitage commissioners on Wednesday hired Whitman, Requardt and Associates LLP to study the timing scheme of traffic signals along parts of Hermitage Road and East State Street.

    July 25, 2014

  • 3 area fire depts. awarded grants

    Three area fire departments will share in more than $590,000 in grants meant to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities guard against the threat of fires in forests and other undeveloped areas, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti announced.

    July 25, 2014

  • One suspect in home shooting is jailed

    The first of three suspects police say were involved in an attempted robbery that ended in a shooting is in jail.

    July 25, 2014

  • Dancing kids K.I.D.S. day

    Hoping to reach children at just the right age, when they are old enough to understand but not past the point where it may be too late, Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission counselors held an “alternative activities” day at the courthouse Thursday, complete with music and dancing, hot dogs and treats, games and T-shirts.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo