By Elizabeth Van Pilsum, Arts and Culture Editor
Originally Published November 7, 2023
Students who think there is nothing to do around campus may be missing ongoing events in Latrobe. On the first Wednesday of most months of the year, Latrobe participates in a Shop Hop, where certain shops have their doors open to the community to wander in and enjoy food, drinks, and art. Shop Hop nights were founded in 2021 by Emily Pasqualino, owner of the party supply shop The Paper Heart, which is a participating venue in the Shop Hops. Shop Hop nights from this year have included “Sip n’ Stroll Art Walk” in Sept. featuring live artists demonstrating their talents at local venues and wine from local wineries, “Flamingo Bingo” in Aug. encompassing music, Caribbean food, and bingo, and “Mom’s Night Out” in May featuring a wine garden, yard games, and 80’s music. The final Shop Hop night of 2023 occurred on Nov. 1 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and the theme was “Fall Fest Pie Walk.”
“Fall Fest Pie Walk” is the annual October Shop Hop theme, involving pie-lovers walking from shop to shop to sample pies. Ten different merchant locations participated this year, each with a different flavor of pie. The event began in the Latrobe Art Center, where people could buy entry tickets for $5 each, ensuring that all of the pies they would then sample would be free. The Latrobe Art Center itself was offering a dessert of cheesecake for the participants. The other participating vendors were GLLV Visitors Center offering Dutch peach, Eclectique offering blueberry, Clips on Mane offering cherry, The Paper Heart offering pumpkin, Mangata Massage & Holistic Practices offering Dutch apple, Terri’s Gourmet Sweet Treats offering chocolate pecan, Ground Zero Pittsburgh offering peach, 512 Coffee & Ice Cream offering key lime, and Green Goddess offering apple.
Despite the chilly Nov. weather, the Latrobe community showed up for the pie walk, as did some Saint Vincent students. Lindsey Benjamin, junior biology major, had a fun experience at her first-ever Shop Hop night.
“I liked being able to see more of downtown Latrobe,” Benjamin said. “It was eye-opening to the different opportunities that are available to us just down the road. I’d recommend it for anyone who likes going to farmers markets or Ligonier Day, [because] it feels like a smaller scale version of that."
Benjamin enjoyed the pies offered and ranked her favorites.
“My favorite was the key lime pie from the 512,” Benjamin said. “Then the Dutch peach from GLLV Visitors Center, the cherry cheesecake from the Latrobe arts center, and then the pumpkin from The Paper Heart.”
At the end of the evening, participants had the opportunity to pie members of the Latrobe community in the face. To raise money for future community events in Latrobe, people could purchase tickets for the chance to throw a pie in the face of a notable community member, and the highest bidder for each individual was able to pie their respective individual at 6:30 p.m. The three individuals who were pied were Richard Bosco, Chief of Police, Craig Shevchik, Parks and Recreation director, and Kara Austin, local business owner.
Latrobe Shop Hop nights are an opportunity for Saint Vincent students to have fun off campus and participate in the local community. If anyone is interested in attending a Shop Hop night in 2024, information will be posted on the Latrobe Shop Hop Nights Facebook page in the upcoming year.