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Mountaintop Heritage Days set for July

May 27, 2006|by TARA REILLY

CASCADE - A parade will be marching through Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., for the first time in 25 years.

Fireworks will light the sky over the former Fort Ritchie U.S. Army base since it shut down in 1998.

The activities are part of the three-day Mountaintop Heritage Days to be held July 1-3. The celebration is sponsored by the One Mountain Foundation, Blue Ridge Mountain Business Association, PenMar Development Corp., Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT), Cascade Sons of the American Legion, and several other groups and associations, according to a written statement.

Gary Muller, chairman of the One Mountain Foundation, said the event was organized to celebrate and make residents aware of the history of the Cascade and Blue Ridge Summit areas, which has been known to be a "summer community."

"I think it's important to bring back some of the tradition so that people can recognize how truly unique of a community we are," Muller said.

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A Battle of Monterey Walk, a Civil War encampment at Lions Club Park, an auction, a dance and music are among the activities planned for Mountaintop Heritage Days.

George Griffin, chairman of the PenMar Development Corp.'s board of directors, said in a written statement that the annual fireworks at Fort Ritchie have been a "unifying and uplifting activity for the community."

"Its return is perfectly timed with the renaissance that all residents can look forward to at the former army base," Griffin said.

COPT of Columbia, Md., has agreed to purchase the largely vacant base and turn it into a residential and business center.

PenMar and COPT are sponsoring the fireworks.

"It is gratifying to see how the Mountaintop community banded together to create this event that celebrates the important legacy of the local region," said Rand Griffin, president and CEO of COPT.

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