Charleroi chases off winter blahs with wacky Hoodie-Hoo Day

February 20, 2014
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Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
Joining in the festivities Thursday at the first Hoodie-Hoo Day to wish farewell to winter in Charleroi are Debra Keefer, executive director of Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, far left; borough secretary Roberta Doerfler, lower right; and Michele Mackey, local code enforcer. Order a Print
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Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
Lori Coury, owner of River House Cafe in Charleroi, far left, and two of her employees, Michelle Stillwagon, center, and Machall Pocky, helped the restaurant win the trophy for best group Thursday at the first Hoodie-Hoo Day in Charleroi. Order a Print

CHARLEROI – Charleroi Mayor John Mollenauer gathered the crowd in the heart of town and officially declared Thursday the first Hoodie-Hoo Day there to chase away the winter blues.

“There should be merriment,” Mollenauer said before about 100 people, most of whom wore silly and colorful clothing to celebrate the wacky holiday.

The mayor wore a Mad Hatter hat decorated in a hippie design, while borough Councilman Paul Pivovarnik donned a black tuxedo and Roman Catholic bishop’s mitre hat to the obscure event that actually marks a trademarked holiday.

The holiday was invented 20 years ago by a Pennsylvania couple, Thomas and Ruth Roy, who have created and trademarked nearly 70 other offbeat celebrations, including Eat What You Want Day.

Hoodie-Hoo Day requires participants to gather for a countdown to noon Feb. 20, at which time they wave their hands above their heads and yell “hoodie-hoo” three times.

The celebrants in Charleroi also carried noisemakers and threw confetti to bid farewell to what has been a particularly bitter winter that saw two polar vortex freezes in January.

“I’m delighted,” said Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce executive director Debra Keefer, who suggested Charleroi take part in the holiday.

“I knew it would really be fun,” she said.

And the event will carry on in years to come, said Mollenauer, who declared Feb. 20 will be recognized forever in Charleroi as Hoodie-Hoo Day.

He said Charleroi will gather for the event annually to “expedite spring and do our part in chasing winter away.”

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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