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By Ginny Tonkin staff blogger
Ginny Tonkin loves traveling off the beaten path, learning about new cultures through food, and everything outdoors. She recently spent eight months teaching English in Vietnam, and loves swapping travel stories.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-464-5589


Posts tagged "2011"
Posted: September 21st, 2011

“Maraschino cherries count as a fruit serving, right?” joked Kitty Freeze from behind the counter at the Queen City Café & Gallery.

I had wandered into the cafe after a meeting with the Titusville Community Council at the Titusville Health and Aging Center, and my eyes had set on a muffin in the case. This baked good looked healthy enough for the health nut in me, a darker color dotted with red, I thought it must be a multigrain muffin with berries.

Nope. Chocolate cherry.

My hesitation lasted less than a second–I had tasted Kitty’s baking before. I wasn’t disappointed; it was well-worth whatever calorie count it had. Moist and cakey, this muffin is not one to pass up!

A lot of things had changed since I’d been in shortly before their grand opening. Then, the menu had not quite developed, but now, they’re are really expanding their idea of “fast casual.” Whether you eat on the run, or want to take your time, the menu is now loaded with breakfast items, easy-to-snag choices like Cliff Bars, soups, smoothies, and sandwiches.

And for all you high school football fans, they’ve also begun broadcasting Rocket THS football games on their HD TVs.

Keep in touch with the Queen City Café & Gallery on Facebook; they regularly update with news and daily specials. Tell them Ginny sent you.

Speaking of the Titusville Community Council, I was honored to speak just for a quick few minutes about and how community members can publish information in the community news product, just by creating an article directly online, as well as photos and events.

What a room of movers and shakers. Lead by Mike Waychoff of the Titusville YMCA, his group of dedicated community members was resuming their monthly meetings after a break for the summer. Members from groups including the Titusville Area United Way, the Titusville YWCA, and Big Brothers and Sisters of Crawford County, met to discuss how to better serve the needs of the community.

Get in touch with Mike on the YMCA’s website, for more information.

Follow me on Twitter @GinnyTonkin, or @GoCrawfordCTY; we love to hear from you!

Posted in: Crawford County
Posted: September 15th, 2011
The team of Tom Krawiec, Jason Sines, and Jeff McCullor.

The team of Tom Krawiec, Jason Sines, and Jeff McCullor.

Despite the high of 56° F today that firmly pushed summer out of sight, over 120 teams gathered to play at the Meadville Area Chamber of Commerce Mt. Hope Golf Scramble.

Check out photos from the scramble in our photo gallery. Were you there? Submit your photos here.

Posted in: Crawford County
Posted: September 14th, 2011

Ten years ago, Dan Crandall was setting up for the 5th Annual Taste of Meadville. The earlier events of the day September 11, 2001, had been weighing on him and other organizers. Would they still hold Taste of Meadville?

“It was a pretty tough day, we had just started learning about all the bad things that had been going on, the planes crashing,” said Crandall. As a group, the committee decided the Taste of Meadville would go on.

“As Americans it was incumbent on us to continue on and go forward I think if you let terrorists change the way you live and the way you feel about america, then they win,” he said. “We decided to do it, just maybe as an escape for the people who had been going through the terrible things of that day.

Before the official start of this year’s Taste of Meadville, ten years later, the Taste of Meadville committee held a small prayer ceremony “to keep it fresh in our minds and not to forget.”

“Even though it’s a nice, happy event, that was kind of a solemn moment,” said Crandall.

The HHC 1st Battalion from the Cambridge Springs Stryker Unit presented the colors and MASHapella from Meadville Area High School commemorated the occasion with song.

For more photos from the 15th Annual Taste of Meadville, check out our photo gallery. For more Crawford County events, follow @GoCrawfordCty on Twitter.

Posted in: Crawford County
Posted: September 13th, 2011
I'm not sure if I can tackle an entire pizza by myself, but I'll see what I can handle at the Taste of Meadville tonight.

I'm not sure if I can tackle an entire pizza by myself, but I'll see what I can handle at the Taste of Meadville tonight.

Tonight, I’m gearing up for my first Taste of Meadville.

The fifteen-year-old event showcases 30 different local food establishments at the Meadville Market House in Meadville from 5-8 tonight. For $25, ticket-holders can sample, buffet style, as much as they want of the signature dish presented by each group.

“Go all the way around and see all what’s available,” suggests Market Master Alice Sjolander. “Prioritize–there’s a lot of food!”

“You do what it says, you taste a little bit of Meadville at every table,” said Megan Pratt, Assistant Manager to Montana Rib & Chop House on Highlnad Drive in Meadville. This year, the Chop House is offering a Chicken and Sausage Gumbo as its signature dish.

The Montana Rib & Chop House was new last year to Taste of Meadville, and Pratt said she’s looking forward to interacting with the community.

“Without the people of Meadville, we wouldn’t have the establishment we do,” said Pratt. “It’s our way of giving back to the community.”

Proceeds from Taste of Meadville go to support the Market House, a lynch pin of the downtown Meadville community, that’s been operating since 1870.

Tickets were still on sale when I last checked, but the Market House suggests buying or reserving them ahead of time. Call the Market House for more information at 814-336-2056. Find them on Facebook.

Are you planning on going? Have you been before? It’s my first time, so I’d love any suggestions or tips on how to do this Meadville tradition right. Comment below or follow me on Twitter @GoCrawfordCTY. Check back for Taste of Meadville pictures.

If you’re going, we’d love to see your photos, too. Post them in our community album, just click on “submit photos.”

The event runs from 5-8 tonight at 910 Market Street in Meadville.

Posted in: Crawford County
Posted: September 10th, 2011

Today, riders gathered at Street Track ‘n Trail in Conneaut Lake to depart for Shanksville, Pa. as part of the Let’s Roll Memorial Ride commemorating those fallen on September 11. Riders donated $1,000 each to participate in the ride, all of which will go to supporting the Flight 93 National Memorial.

View pictures from the event in our photo gallery.

Were you there? Share your photos in our community album. Just click on “submit photos.”

General Manager Debbie Lepley said she was honored to be part of the experience.


A moving statement by Bob Frew; he said he participated “to show that those people who did this (attack on 9/11) didn’t beat America. We beat them.”


Riders pulled out of Street Track ‘n Trail at 10am, while local firetrucks gave them a safe hero’s send off by  blocking the road.


Find more coverage from the events at Shanksville this weekend from reporter Lisa Thompson.

Posted in: Crawford County
Posted: September 10th, 2011
At the Meadville Council on the Arts booth, kids made their own paper sunflowers.

At the Meadville Council on the Arts booth, kids made their own paper sunflowers.

Saturday was the last Second Saturday Community Market at the Meadville Market House.

Check out photos from our photo gallery here.

Were you there? We’d love to see your photos. Just click on the “submit photos” button on the homepage.

How have you enjoyed the Second Saturday Community Market? Did you get a chance to go? Tell us, we’d love to hear from you.

Posted in: Crawford County
Posted: September 9th, 2011

Julie Scott’s mother survived breast cancer–three times. That’s one of the many reasons why she’s been involved with the Pink Ribbon Charity Classic Horse Show for the past three years. This show, running this weekend at the Crawford County Fairgrounds, is in its 4th year of partnering with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and donates its proceeds to this fund for breast cancer research.

“It’s a labor of love for all of us,” said Scott, who is the event secretary and lives near Pittsburgh. “It’s a really important cause for us, and we care about what we’re doing.”

Supporting the fight against breast cancer is one great reason to attend says Scott, but the show itself is a huge draw for the people who show their horses.

“Why do I drive three and a half hours from Ohio?” said Mike Cunningham, owner of Jam Stables in Medina County, Ohio, who shows at the Classic, “It’s a really well put on show. I’ve been coming since the first.”

Cunningham’s father was born and raised in Meadville, and brings his dad, who now resides in State College, to the show. For the big classes tomorrow evening, he intends to wear a tuxedo–and muck boots if it’s raining.

“It’s a horse show, you get a whole mix of everything,” said Cunningham.

Event President Amy Haller is especially excited for the evening events. “We’re pinking out the fairgrounds,” she said. People come to the event, either decked to the nines or covered in pink, all to support the cause. To raise additional funds, and to keep the event fun, they’re raffling off prizes, including Steelers tickets and a golf cart.

The Crawford County Fair grandstand has been transformed into a grand show ring, complete with a landscaped center with a gazebo for the announcer and photographer. Behind the ring run tents, covering tables with pink table clothes for the sponsors who donated to support the show–and the cure. Event organizers are accepting sponsor applications for next year.

What can you do to help? According to Scott, filling the grandstands is the best way.

“For the performers, it just makes for a spectacular show,” she said.

Check back throughout the weekend for more photos from the Classic!

Posted in: Crawford County
Posted: September 7th, 2011

This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. In Pennsylvania, the nation commemorates Flight 93 in Shanksville at the Flight 93 National Memorial. and will be there covering the event.

The Let’s Roll Flight 93 Memorial Ride is a large, pre-organized charity motorcycle ride, honoring those fallen on Flight 93 and to raise funds for the National Memorial. Six groups, or “flights,” from around Pennsylvania will converge  in Shanksville, including one starting from Street Track ‘N Trail in Conneaut Lake. Read about Street Track ‘N Trail’s participation here.

I will be at Street Track ‘N Trail for the ride’s kick off, taking photos and video, interviewing those who chose to ride. Follow me @GinnyTonkin or watch the Twitter feed on Community Connection to get updates from Conneaut Lake.

Erie Times-News reporter Lisa Thompson will be following the Conneaut Lake flight down to Shanksville. Listen to how she will cover the event all weekend long in this video clip.

Posted in: Crawford County
Posted: September 6th, 2011

Tomorrow, September 10, 40 motorcycles will leave Conneaut Lake for Shanksville, PA, commemorating the 40 people who died on Flight 93, September 11, 2001. The group, departing from Street Track ‘N Trail at 10am, is part of the Let’s Roll Flight 93 Memorial Ride, organized by the Manufacturers and Business Association, raising funds for the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville.

This group is one of six “flights,” groups of 40 riders each, leaving from centers around the state, including Pittsburgh, Williamsport, Pottsville, two from Erie and Conneaut Lake. The riders meet at the Seven Springs Resort to spend the night, and will ride into the Shanksville memorial together on September 11.

Debbie Leply, General Manager at Street Track ‘N Trail, said she’s honored to be involved. Leply, who’s helping to organize the Conneaut Lake flight, said, “It makes my hair on my hands stand up. It’s so touching.”

Each rider is given a packet that includes a set of dog tags, engraved with of one of the Flight 93 rider’s names, as well as a flag, which will also have the same name. Each rider will drive to Shanksville with that flag flying from their bike.

Since the ride was designed not only to commemorate, but also to raise funds for the memorial, the entry fee was $1,000 per rider. Many riders needed to fundraise just to get what they needed for the ride.

Street Track ‘N Trail is sponsoring John Burger, Service Manager for the store and an Air Force veteran, who served for six years. Burger, who went to local businesses to ask for donations, said he has mixed emotions about the event.

“I’m happy and sad,” he said. “I just don’t want people to forget what happened.”

Leply said she’d like to see as much of the community come out to support this group as possible. “They’re giving of their money, they’re giving of their time. I really hope the community comes out to support them.”

Burger agrees, and said he’s looking forward to the support he’ll see from people lining the roads. “I’m looking forward to seeing the crowd at the memorial,” he said.

An avid bike rider, Burger also thinks the ride and memorial are great commemorative gestures. “When people want to ride, this is one place they’d like to go (in the future).”

Questions? Call Debbie Leply at 814-382-4821. Street Track ‘N Trail is located at 13723 Conneaut Lake Road in Conneaut Lake, PA.

See this article in the Friday, September 9, in the print issue of 

Have your own information to share? Submit by clicking the “Submit events” button on 

Posted in: Crawford County
Posted: September 1st, 2011

Have Labor Day weekend plans? If you’re not quite ready for summer to be over, the Conneaut Lake Park Beach Club at is holding its annual Beach Volleyball Tournament. I got the scoop from organizer Todd Kincaid about this year’s event, held this weekend, September 3-4.

Q&A with Todd Kincaid, Beach Volleyball Tournament Organizer

What got this tournament started?
I started it on a whim, the park was closed in the summer of 2008, and the Beach Club opened late in that summer. My family has a boat docked there, and I thought a volleyball tournament would help bring some people out for the holiday weekend. I planned and organized the whole tournament in 48 hours. I had an 8-team limit, and sold out, I had to turn down 2 teams.

How has the tournament developed since the first year?
The tournament started with 8 teams. Each tournament has grown. The last tournament had 27 teams.

The first tournament had only 1 skill level division, I now have four skill level divisions, the highest being A = Advanced (which is for collegiate level and excellent high school level players), the lowest being D = Backyard (which is for people that only play once in a while in their backyard). In between those divisions I also have B=Intermediate and C=Recreation.

Winning teams will now receive custom made tournament t-shirts and a trophy. In the past they only received trophies.

What got you involved with beach volleyball?
Just to keep in shape and for fun. Its one of the few sports that men and women can play together in a competitive environment. That’s why my tournaments are coed. I enjoy playing with my wife and being out in the sun.

What makes this event special?
This isn’t some big corporate event. Whether you buy some food in the park or a couple of drinks at the Down Under Beach Bar, it will benefit the local economy.

It’s a relaxed atmosphere and most people come to have fun first and foremost. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a beach bar and DJ ten feet from the court either.

The Beach Club is located at 12382 Center Street in Conneaut Lake. The tournament starts at 11am and goes until about 6pm. Visit for more information.

See this post in the September 2 print issue of What are you doing Labor Day weekend? Let us know! 

Posted in: Crawford County

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