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Photography hobbyist Pattie Fowler of Edinboro entered the “Save Our Swamp” photo contest with an “overall image” showing the Geneva Marsh wetlands, conveying an angle of the sprawling marsh she believes would generally go unnoticed. It became more noticed Friday evening when she was named winner of the contest with that photograph.

“I was surprised when they told me I won,” she said, thankful for the award and crediting Crawford County’s Hricsina family with her initial involvement. “I take photos all the time and just turned in the batch I had that day.”

“We brought the community out to experience the biodiversity of the marsh,” said Scott Hricsina, who organized the contest and a subsequent autumn paddle-in with his wife, Amy, both of whom were pleased with a turnout of about 80 boating participants and some 12 photographers.

Crawford Area Residents for the Environment (CARE) representatives set up shop beside local artisans and vendors at the Market House for Light Up Meadville to display the winning entries of the “Save Our Swamp” photo contest, sponsored by Arts for Everyone.

Photographers Preston Sanderson and Michael Vargo won second and third places, respectively. Honorable mentions were awarded to Dan Henninger and Fowler.

Representatives for CARE, along with Students for Environmental Action of Allegheny College, aligned the event with a kayak and canoe paddle-in on Oct. 14 to raise awareness for Geneva Marsh and support an appeal against a proposed tire incinerator planned for Greenwood Township, just a few miles from the wetlands.

Judges Tim Kirk, owner of Meadville Fine Arts, and George Nowack of A4E evaluated about 40 pictures before picking the winners, expected to be individually framed and displayed at A4E galleries in Corry, Erie and Carnegie, Nowack said.

Awards consisted of gift certificates to Meadville Fine Arts, provided by Kirk.

Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at

Here comes Santa Claus!

Aside from a bustling Meadville Market House, Friday night’s Light Up Meadville celebration consisted of the arrival of Santa Claus at the Diamond Park gazebo, where he threw his magical snow dust into the air to light up Meadville’s Christmas tree before about 100 onlookers.

There also were carriage rides and Santa Claus’ traditional fire truck ride down Chestnut Street, followed by more than 80 carolers.

Dr. Seuss’ Grinch joined Santa on the ride to Meadville’s Downtown Mall as per this year’s theme, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”

More than 100 children waited patiently in line to sit on Santa’s lap and deliver their wish lists to the jolly old fellow.


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