Art Project Under Way in Sharon

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Driftwood may appear to be what’s floating on the Senango River in downtown Sharon, but it’s actually part of an art project under way.

The fire pit, called a brazier, is an integral part of WaterFire Sharon.

“WaterFire is an art project that we’ve been doing with a variety of communities around the world,” said WaterFire creator Barnaby Evans.

Evans first showed off WaterFire in Providence, R.I. On Friday, he spent the day in western Pennsylvania discussing the logistics of Sharon’s upcoming show.

“We celebrate rebirth and renewal by lighting bonfires to bring light into the heart of our cities,” Evans said.

Organizers said they hope the light will attract between 10,000 to 20,000 visitors.

“We also are looking to increase the quality of life of people that live in the region,” said WaterFire Sharon Director Dayna Shaw Sear. “We want Sharon to be a cultural destination.”

The bonfires will play center stage at the three daylong festivals.

The first one, on Aug. 3, will kick off with the Race to End Hunger 5K benefitting the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County.

“The food warehouse, the food bank, was born out of a need when our industries went down here,” said Mimi Prada, of the Community Food Warehouse. “To see thngs come back again is so encouraging and so uplifting.”

More than 100 volunteers built the 55 braziers that will be set in the water after July 4.

“The river is finally getting the recognition it deserves,” said WaterFire Sharon Director of Operations Jennifer Barborak.

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