Music played, the barbecue sizzled, and balloons blew in the breeze as residents of Heritage Place enjoyed the seventh annual summer carnival, held outside under a brightly decorated tent on August 26. The carnival is the biggest event of the year for Heritage Place, a UPMC Senior Community located in Squirrel Hill that specializes in skilled nursing. Event organizers, staff, and volunteers go out of their way to make sure residents have a wonderful time.
“This event is a team effort and everyone pitches in to pull out all the stops,” said Christa Magness, activities director and volunteer coordinator at Heritage Place. “Some of our residents might not be outside again until the carnival next year, so we really want them to enjoy themselves.”
Some residents had family members join them for carnival, which included a special barbecue and entertainment. The Turners Tea-Bird provided beverages and oldies music while the Heritage Place dietary staff ensured that all residents could enjoy the freshly prepared food regardless of any dietary restrictions. The menu was different from the regular daily offerings at Heritage Place, and it included hamburgers, hotdogs, corn, potato salad, fresh fruit, and nachos with cheese.
Guests of all ages made friends with the Pirate Parrot as he mingled through the crowd, and a highlight of the carnival for many residents was a performance by Trina Janura, a local one-woman show who makes frequent appearances at Heritage Place. The afternoon concluded with a dove release by Ken Haselrig of Dovecote White Dove Releases.
Resident Nancy Fadgen was attending her third carnival at Heritage Place. She echoed a common sentiment that the best part of the day was simply being outside. When asked what she was looking forward to about the day, Mrs. Fadgen said, “I don’t have one single favorite part. The carnival gives us the chance to get out, mingle with others, and share the joy of the day with them.” Given the energy and excitement of the day, it is without a doubt that the Heritage Place community is already eagerly anticipating next year’s carnival.