Saturday, July 3, 2021
Marking the Holiday

Happy 4th of July weekend!

Being able to gather with friends and family right now has certainly added an element of celebration to this already festive weekend. While embracing our freedoms, now seems like a particularly good time to also celebrate the community around us.

In that spirit, we wanted to share with you the story of the sawdust carpets of Holy Martyr's Parish. Created during the Feast of Corpus Christi, this folk art brings the community of Tarentum together while honoring a tradition that is only practiced in a few places in the world—and this is the only place in the U.S.!

July 6 commemorates the Battle of Homestead. This year marks the 129th anniversary of the event. You can learn more about it if you stop by the Pump House during Friday afternoons in July. Jerry Fitzgibbon will have the doors open from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. and will lead free, informal tours of the space. No need to register—just stop by.

Photography is most definitely one way to celebrate and commemorate. Interpret the legacy of the Carrie Blast Furnaces through your own lens during our next Photo Safari, or sign up a teen you know for our new Teen Photo Adventure, a photo workshop at the Carrie Blast Furnaces that offers hands-on instruction, followed by a review session.

That's all for today—keeping it short so that you take time for yourself and your family this weekend. Stay safe and have fun!
A sawdust carpet for the Feast of Corpus Christi at Holy Martyr's Parish in Tarentum, PA.
Heritage Highlights: Holy Martyr's Sawdust Carpets
For this month’s story, Jon Engel visited Holy Martyr’s Parish, a Catholic church in Tarentum with roots in the 19th-century industrial boom and the only church in America that carries on the tradition of creating sawdust carpets to mark religious events. He spoke with David Kuniak, a long-time participant in the tradition, who shared his philosophy on the carpets and the community they create.
A view of the Carrie Blast Furnaces.
Photo Safari
Let the Carrie Blast Furnaces be your muse! Sign up for a photography session and roam the site of the National Historic Landmark. Take inspiration from the wide vistas or the delicate details. Choose your own adventure on this photo safari!
Sunday, July 18, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (with additional review session)
Led by experienced professional photographer Cara Gaetano, this new teen photography workshop for youth ages 14 – 17 at Carrie Blast Furnaces covers the basics of camera work in digital photography, methods for capturing a great photo, composition, various perspectives, textures, and so much more!
Help preserve our region’s industrial and cultural heritage! Your tax-deductible contribution will help ensure that Rivers of Steel can continue to offer vital, engaging, community-based arts, education, and heritage programs for the residents of southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.