Latrobe to celebrate downtown improvements, promote art and local businesses

Latrobe will welcome visitors on Wednesday to celebrate the completion of the downtown infrastructure improvements.

The public will also find great retail deals and art exhibits throughout the business district as part of an Art Walk event and monthly Shop Hop Night promotion.

Activities will begin at 3 p.m., when city officials, merchants and representatives from the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program will gather at the parklet on Ligonier and Main streets for a dedication ceremony.

It will mark the completion of traffic light improvements and the repaving of nine downtown intersections. The $ 3.4 million PennDOT project also included the installation of updated ramps to meet disabled access standards and new decorative crosswalks.

The improvements are in place along Main and Depot streets, at the intersection of Jefferson, Ligonier and Alexandria streets; and along the Ligonier at Weldon, Spring and Chestnut streets.

“We are at the end of most of the construction,” said Jarod Trunzo, executive director of Latrobe’s community revitalization program. He noted that the completion of work on the intersections ended a three-year improvement period. They include the replacement of the old downtown water pipes by the Latrobe Municipal Authority and the renovation by PennDOT of the Lloyd Avenue Bridge, which is the main entrance to the town over Loyalhanna Creek.

“The feedback we have received has been very positive,” Trunzo said of the downtown improvements. “The roads are smooth and passable again. Everyone celebrates this.

“It connects a decade of work on the streetscape, including benches, flowers and streetlights. The new traffic lights blend everything together perfectly.

Kyle Greene of the KGB will present live jazz selections sponsored by the Revitalization Program, while participating merchants will greet shoppers from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. as part of Shop Hop Night.

Buyers will also discover the works of 16 artists associated with the Latrobe Art Center and will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite piece. The pieces will be available for purchase through the art center.

Works of Art Walk will be exhibited at participating venues, including the Art Center, Ricolita Coffee inside the center, the Grand Latrobe-Laurel Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce visitors center, chicoras, Roses style Shoppinge, Masterpieces, Eclectic, Terri’s Gourmet Sweet Sweets, Mixed and stirred Bakery and cafe and 512 coffee and ice cream.

Blended and Brewed will open Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. at 337 Main Street, the former location of Emily Pasqualino’s Paper Heart Affairs party supply store. She is preparing to develop this business as The Paper Heart Social Goods & Events Studios, at 807 Ligonier St.

Pasqualino coordinates Shop Hop events.

“The improvements to our downtown have been difficult at times, but we are very happy with the result,” she said. “I’ve been wanting to orchestrate an Art Walk Shop Hop Night for quite some time now. I think it’s a great marriage that supports the arts and our downtown merchants together.

Jeff Himler is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

About Margaret L. Portillo

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