Volunteers are preparing to celebrate Addison's historical roots during the 39th National Road Festival.
Visitors at this year's festival can explore historic buildings, view a performance of "Poppa was a Preacher" and join in a number of festival activities from Tuesday to May 20. The festival celebrates Addison's heritage along the National Road, Route 40. It is sponsored by the Old Petersburg-Addison Historical Society.
Event organizer Joan Whetsell said the school is one of her favorite parts of the festival.
"I like experiencing what life was like in a one-room schoolroom in the early 1900s," she said.
The wagon ride through downtown Addison is another event Whetsell said she eagerly anticipates each year.
"I always look forward to the wagon train coming in because it is such a feeling to see these re-enactors," she said.
The Addison Museum, Frederick Augustine House & Visitor Center and Petersburg Tollhouse will remain open during daytime hours at the festival.
Addison is unique in that its history includes construction of the National Road, the first major highway in the U.S. to be built by the federal government. The highway's construction began heading west in 1811 at Cumberland, Md.
The tollhouse was the first one travelers encountered while on the National Road in Pennsylvania.
In 2002 the road, including extensions east to Baltimore, and west to St. Louis, Mo., was designated "The Historic National Road, an All-American Road."
This year's festival will include student activities at St. John's Lutheran Church on May 18. At 7 p.m., the play "Poppa was a Preacher" will be performed by the Make-a-Scene-Players at the Addison United Methodist Church Social Hall along Main Street. The play will also be performed the following evening.
An 1860s baseball game will be played May 19 featuring teams from Rockwood, Addison and Pittsburgh. Teams must play according to old game rules — no swearing and all-natural baseball equipment with leather balls, wooden bats and no gloves.
Food will be provided May 19 and 20 by Country Lane Lambs. Other festival events include a Civil War encampment with demonstrations at 7151 National Pike on May 19. A church service and blessing of the pets will also be held May 20.
"I enjoy the car show, the church service when we get all together — it's the whole thing," Whetsell said. "It's everything together."
Visitors to the 39th National Road Festival are invited to join in celebrating Addison Borough's 100th anniversary at the Addison Community Park May 19 and 20.
Throughout the weekend, Addison fire department will offer fire truck rides to visitors. A Toll House chocolate chip cookie contest in honor of the Petersburg Tollhouse is scheduled at 11 a.m. May 18. The contest is open to all kinds of chocolate chip cookies and will be judged by the ultimate cookie tester, Santa Claus. Visitors can get pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus after the judging.
At 1 p.m., a Citizen of the Year Award will be presented to a resident who has demonstrated outstanding support of the Addison community. A "Minute to Win It" competition with prizes will be held at 2 p.m.
Mountain Therapy Bluegrass Band will perform at 8 p.m.
On Saturday, a number of events will take place at the community park, including a Dog Walk for Charity to benefit the Somerset County Humane Society and a motorcycle rally.
Marcy Kalasky said she and several other residents formed a committee to organize the event.
"This is the first year we've done anything like this," she said.
Kalasky said several vendors will sell food and other items at the event. For more information or to secure a vendor space, call Kalasky at 814-395-9946.