Photos and article by Randy Jarosz
Pitcher Park Memorial Skate Park is finally becoming a reality after a number of years of planning construction in Dormont, where things went awry and then Carnegie stepping in to welcome the park with open arms. The holes are dug and concrete is ready to be poured at the 15,000 square foot Pitcher Park Memorial Skate Park being constructed at Carnegie Park on Forsythe Road in Carnegie. The park is a grass roots effort spearheaded by Mary Pitcher, after her sons Vincent Pitcher, 21, and Stephen Pitcher, 19, both drowned during a camping trip accident in 2008.
The estimated $600,000 cost is mostly being covered by the Ken and Carol Schultz foundation in Arizona through the Tony Hawk Foundation. The remainder of the money is being raised by Mary Pitcher and friends through projects such as the “Trail of Terror,” at the site of the skate park. Other fundraisers have been a murder mystery dinner, corn hole tournament, music festival and a number of other efforts. The Trail of Terror was a success thrown together in only 3 weeks during Halloween 2012. The trail is back for a second year, this time with planning that started in July 2013. This year’s trail boasts a hillbilly shack built by Jon Pitcher, the son of Mary Pitcher and his longtime friend Mike Hall. Danny Rectenwald of local Pittsburgh favorite band the Bastard Bearded Irishmen volunteered his banjo and mandolin skills Friday the 18th to help scare visitors at the hillbilly shack dressed in white face paint, long john underwear, straw hat and a flannel shirt along with Mike Hall on mandolin. “It’s pretty cool to see all this happening,” says Rectenwald of the skatepark and trail itself. “Mary Pat (Pitcher) is a beast, you have to give it to her,” he continues, talking about the amazing efforts she has put forth. The park will be a showcase for skateboarders, rollerbladers and BMX riders of all skill levels and ages. The project broke ground July 7 and officially started construction August 15 and is expected to be complete in 4-5 months.
The ghostly gathering opened October 18 & 19 and will continue this weekend October 25 & 26 starting at 7 – 11 PM. There will be a pumpkin patch for the kids along with other activities. Adult tickets are $7 and $5 for children under 10. For more information call 412-853-0515. You or your business can help the cause by sponsoring a brick, that will be used in the spectator area of the park.