There were witches dancing in the woods in Ligonier on Sunday afternoon.
But there was no need to call the police. In fact, a couple of local officers were already there, taking photos with “witches” arriving at the sixth Ligonier Witches Bike Brigade. The event draws hundreds of participants dressed in all manner of witchy wardrobes, performing a heavily rehearsed dance number and cycling through the borough, all to raise money for several local animal charities.
“I enjoy that it benefits so many animals,” said Amy Wilford of Ligonier, dressed as Disney villain Maleficent. “A lot of people also just love the sisterhood of it.”
Money from the event goes toward local animal charities including Helping Hearts Healing Tails and the Donovan Veterinary Clinic.
Brooke Weyant of Somerset wore an elaborate mask with intricate lacework around her eyes and nose.
“I love that it’s a whole bunch of women, and they all get along,” Weyant said with a laugh.
And while outfits ran the gamut from the traditional all-black to fluorescent orange stripes and all colors in between, Wilford said witchy cyclists need to choose their wardrobe carefully.
“I rode a bike a couple years in a row, and I tell everyone to test out their clothes with the bike first,” she said. “I remember seeing a couple ladies who didn’t think about it ahead of time, and they had their skirts caught in their spokes pretty quickly.”
After the dance number, Westmoreland County’s largest collective coven headed off to transform downtown Ligonier into a world of witches for the afternoon.
For Lori Culley of Derry, that’s the best part.
“I love the dressing up, and the bar hopping,” she said.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .