I live in a small town in southwest Pennsylvania; the population is around 2,000 and at first glance, there isn’t much to do. In fact, if you pass on the highway, we are practically gone in the blink of an eye. But Delmont, French for “Valley in the hill” is more than a town at the beginning of nowhere.
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Settled in 1814 and only recently found its place on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s an old, historic town, known as the last stagecoach stop between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The age shows here with some quaint houses and small historic walking tours from local guides who know the area well. I recommend taking a walk around Delmont even if it is not within a tour. I warn you though that there are a few hills in Delmont that you might want to keep in mind if you are going to go exploring. If you take a walk, you’ll see many historic buildings, including the Central Hotel which was a resting hotel for those traveling in stagecoaches. We aren’t a metropolis of attractions here, there’s an antique shop that’s worth checking out, the Steel City Raceway (which hosts the AMA Motocross Championship) a very involved library, a pleasant park and a few good pizza places and that’s about it. However, depending on what time of year you arrive, some big events could be happening.
In the fall, Delmont plays host to the Apple N’ Arts Festival, which sees over 30,000 visitors from near and far over two days. Tents upon tents of homemade crafts and foods are set up and music acts come from all around to add even more entertainment. The festival also boasts great apple cider and other events such as tractors and truck showings. Even if you don't see the festival, see the trees, shown in the attached photo; they're beautiful!
In the winter, Delmont is decorated with signs, lights and our very own large Christmas tree. We also host “Christmas at Salem Crossroads.” This is set up by the five churches of Delmont (all of a different Christian Denomination) and other sponsors. Christmas at Salem Crossroads shows the pilgrimage of those who went to see Jesus’s birth. People walk along a light path at night, in the same area where the Apple N’ Arts Festival is held, hearing narratives and watching people re-enact scenes from the days leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. Afterward, people are bused from church to church to see Christmas decoration, displays and eat and drink items made by members of the church.
Covering all the bases in my hometown won’t take you more than a day, maybe even a couple hours, but make a trip to southwest PA isn’t wasted after that. Less than an hour is Pittsburgh, a city of over 300,000 people and history dating back before the French and Indian War. In this city, you’ll find everything from museums and stadiums to river tours and great eats. Catch a football, baseball or hockey game while you’re here, there’s also something bound to be going on. If it’s an afternoon game, head down to PPG place for dinner and try one of the famous burger from Primanti Brothers. Whether it’s at night after dinner, or any other time during the day, don’t miss a ride up Mt. Washington on one of Pittsburgh’s two inclines. The views are incredible and great for pictures.
Wherever you go and whatever you do, we home you enjoy our town and the surrounding areas!
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