Pleasant times at the Pleasantville Festival - Titusville Herald: News

Pleasant times at the Pleasantville Festival

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Posted: Saturday, July 6, 2019 5:00 am

The Pleasantville Festival is returning for another year on Sunday. However, it was not long ago that the community celebration was once in danger of coming to an end.

Virginia Mancastroppa got involved with organizing the festival when she heard that it was in crisis seven years ago.

“Organizers ran a big, front-page story in The Herald about how if they didn’t receive more help from volunteers, they weren’t going to be able to continue the festival,” she said. “My daughter and I decided to get involved, and I’ve been helping out ever since.”

Mancastroppa is now the President of the Pleasantville Festival Committee, and is in charge of coordinating the annual community celebration. She said she is excited for this year’s new activities, but even more so for the sense of community created by the event.

“There’s a certain level of camaraderie each year that you see around the festival,” she said. “Whenever I take a walk around, people are so excited to see each other. I think that’s the most important part for me because it’s good times like these that help all of us keep going as a community.”

The festival begins on Sunday with the Pleasantville Community Pageant in the Pleasantville Volunteer Fire Department Fire Hall, at 1:30 p.m. Non-perishable food donations for the local food pantry will be accepted as admission. According to Mancastropp, an ice cream social will immediately follow the pageant.

Girls from 18 months to 18-years-old are eligible to participate. Kayla Brown has organized the pageant with her mother since 2001, and outlined the criteria for how competitors will be judged.

“We have 37 contestants this year, which is a little more than we normally get,” Brown said. “We’re looking for contestants who are poised and elegant and who speak well in front of crowds. We’ll also be looking at their volunteer work and how they stay involved in school and their community.”

New additions to this year’s festival include inflatable games for children called “Kids Inflatable Fun.” Mancastroppa said the inflatable games include a bouncy house, obstacle course and a life-size hungry hippo. These attractions will be available each day at 6 p.m., starting on Wednesday.

“We had a lot of difficultly securing new attractions initially because we were going through a transitional period between vendors,” Mancastroppa said. “We only had so much money to work with, but the committee was happy with how everything turned out in the end.”

Another new attraction making its way to the festival is an Australian game known as knockerball, in which competitors surround themselves in large plastic bubbles for athletic competition. Knockerball will be available on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, also at 6 p.m.

Mancastroppa said there will be live music throughout the six-day festival. Carl Olson will perform on Tuesday during the fish fry, from 5 to 7 p.m., on Tuesday at the fire hall. DJ Eric Rarer is set to provide tunes during the 11th annual Car Cruise-In, from 6 to 9 p.m., on Thursday. To wrap up the week-long celebration, the band Necessary Experience will play on the pavilion stage at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Other festival mainstays like the Glutz and Glory Tractor Pull and Cornhole Tournament will take place at 6 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday, respectively. In addition to the popular events each year, Mancastroppa hopes to cultivate the same sense of community she’s witnessed over the past seven years.

“I’m always blown away by how people in the area, whether it’s Titusville, Tionesta, Oil City or Franklin, and how they help us out every year,” she said. “There really are great people everywhere you look. I really want to thank everyone who takes part in ensuring that Pleasantville can put this festival together. We’re all so thankful for it.”

Zook can be reached, by email, at

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Maryjane16354 posted at 10:06 am on Mon, Jul 8, 2019.

    Maryjane16354 Posts: 32

    Virginia has done a tremendous job with this popular even. She should be given the key to the borough. I specially like the pageant. Men get to show off their athletic abilities all the time at body building pageants. No one ever hears about us girls. Now 37 young ladies get to walk across the stage and strike a pose like body builders do... only this time the girls get to perform some sort of real talent like singing, dancing or ventriloquism. I can’t wait to go get me some carnie food and ride the ponies. This year it’s going to be extra great. I’m so excited!

  • Jahoba posted at 7:10 am on Mon, Jul 8, 2019.

    Jahoba Posts: 205

    I hope there was a strong police presence.


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