They weren’t quite dancing in the street, but it was close enough.

On the first Friday of September, summer still was here and the time was right to resume a traditional Mt. Lebanon event, complete with folks grooving to music, sweet music.


Cooper Jones, held by dad Tanner, points toward the stage where Christopher Mark Jones, Tanner's father and Cooper's grandfather, is performing.

“Mt. Lebanon has been doing First Friday for nearly 20 years, and it has been a phenomenal event. Obviously, with COVID, we had a year where we had to pause, and this year we had a delay,” said Eric Milliron, municipal commercial districts manager.

The event, organized by the municipality and the nonprofit Mt. Lebanon Partnership, usually occurs in June through August.

“We postponed it until September, and we’re going to attempt to run through November, if the weather cooperates,” Milliron said.

Opening night festivities took place primarily in Clearview Common, where Mt. Lebanon resident Christopher Mark Jones and his band, the Roots Ensemble, took to the stage.

The adjacent Alfred Street was closed to traffic at its Washington Road intersection except for one big, bright, shiny red vehicle parked there during the event. Not only did the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department bring its Engine 2 for close-up looks, but youngsters also were treated to a visit by the costumed Dalmatian mascot, Sparky.

Arialla Grafton

Arialla Grafton has some First Friday fun at Clearview Common.

The October First Friday, scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m., happens to fall on the first day of the month and also serves to kick off a noteworthy weekend: The Mt. Lebanon Artists Market, another Partnership event, makes its return that Saturday and Sunday, also following a year’s hiatus.

Providing First Friday music will be Dan Petrich, a Mt. Lebanon High School teacher and 1989 graduate of the same school, who has released two warmly received albums, “Sycamore Tales” and “Of Devils, Gods and Men.”

“People are stoked. They’re excited,” Milliron said. “And we’re looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces and some new ones.”

Also along Washington Road, the Mt. Lebanon Uptown Market continues from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 30.

Meanwhile, work continues on the first phase of Mt. Lebanon’s Vibrant Uptown project, with the anticipated finish in the spring.

“It’s really going to be a radical refresh of the district for the first time in three decades,” Milliron said. “All the planters are going to be redone with irrigation and native plantings, bench seating, new lighting, better lighting, better accessibility for all of our residents. Lots of great stuff.”

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Providing entertainment

Providing First Friday entertainment are, from left, Bryce Rabideau, Christopher Mark Jones and Eric George.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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