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Cardigan Day brings out the love for Fred Rogers in Pittsburgh | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Cardigan Day brings out the love for Fred Rogers in Pittsburgh

Tribune-Review
| Thursday, September 20, 2018 4:24 p.m
PTRCARDIGANDAY1
JOANNE KLIMOVICH HARROP
A photo station was set up in front of WQED Multimedia on Thursday in celebration of the 50th anniversary of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Passersby were invited to a virtual “cardigan day” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Selfie sweater stations will set up at four locations — WQED’s offices, Schenley Plaza in Oakland, Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip District and Bakery Square in the East End.
PTRCARDIGANDAY
JOANNE KLIMOVICH HARROP
A photo station was set up in four locations by WQED Multimedia on Thursday in celebration of WQED's 50th anniversary of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Passersby were invited to a virtual “cardigan day” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Selfie sweater stations will set up at four locations — WQED’s offices, Schenley Plaza in Oakland, Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip District and Bakery Square in the East End. Emily Cumpston, a senior at Pitt, poses at Schenley Plaza.
PTRCARDIGANDAY2
JOANNE KLIMOVICH HARROP
A photo station was set up in front of WQED Multimedia on Thursday in celebration of the 50th anniversary of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Passersby were invited to a virtual “cardigan day” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Selfie sweater stations will set up at four locations — WQED’s offices, Schenley Plaza in Oakland, Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip District and Bakery Square in the East End. Carnegie Mellon University employees Jennifer Bett (left) and Barb Mulholland pose for a photo at WQED.
PTRCARDIGANDAY4
JOANNE KLIMOVICH HARROP
A photo station was set up in front of WQED Multimedia on Thursday in celebration of the 50th anniversary of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Passersby were invited to a virtual “cardigan day” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Selfie sweater stations will set up at four locations — WQED’s offices, Schenley Plaza in Oakland, Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip District and Bakery Square in the East End. Ryan Carpenter (left) poses with Kelly Thompson and Riley at Schenley Plaza.
PTRCARDIGANDAY3
JOANNE KLIMOVICH HARROP
A photo station was set up in four locations by WQED Multimedia on Thursday in celebration of WQED's 50th anniversary of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Passersby were invited to a virtual “cardigan day” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Selfie sweater stations will set up at four locations — WQED’s offices, Schenley Plaza in Oakland, Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip District and Bakery Square in the East End. Friends (from left) Brian Coffman, Mark Curtis, Natasha Torrence and Vanessa Fishel pose for a photo at Schenley Plaza.

Some fans brought their own colorful cardigans; others slipped on a loaned sweater and snapped selfies as part of the ongoing 50th anniversary of the beloved “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” television show.

Jennifer Bett, a Ben Avon resident, was thrilled to take part in the celebration.

“Mister Rogers comes to mind when I am lacing up my tennis shoes,” said Bett on Thursday standing in front of WQED Multimedia in Oakland where the TV show was filmed. “I loved that show and couldn’t wait for it to come on because it was the town of make believe. We need more of Mister Rogers. Watching him made me happy.”

Photo selfie stations were set up in front of WQED’s offices to commemorate “cardigan day” from late-morning until 2 p.m. Similar stations were open at Schenley Plaza in Oakland, the Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip District and Bakery Square in the East End.

Anthropologie, a store in Bakery Square, Highway Robbery Vintage and Three Rivers Vintage, both from the South Side,loaned out sweaters to the cardigan-less.

The photos were posted on social media throughout the day so a virtual cardigan party can spread across neighborhoods. The social media hashtags to post under are #cardiganday and #sweaterweather.

The idea came from a team of individuals at WQED, says Sharon Steele, director of corporate support WQED Multimedia. She and her team helped fit fans with a cardigan and took photos. They also provided a frame for the pictures.

U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Mt. Lebanon, got in on the action, tweeting a selfie in front of WQED.

Kim Downes of Seattle, WA., who was in town with a friend who was attending a career fair at Pitt, stopped by to check out the event.

So did Emily Cumpston, a senior at Pitt, who lives in Shadyside. She came by the Schenley Plaza location.

“I definitely watched Mister Rogers as a kid,” said Cumpston, who chose a light-blue cardigan for the photo. “That show was really special. I have fond memories of learning so many things on that show from how things were made to one of my favorite characters King Friday. Mister Rogers was a fantastic man.”

Mara Mynahan, of North Braddock, got her photo with friend Trey Bailey of the North Side.

Bailey said he couldn’t wait for the show to come on when he was young. He said Fred Rogers had such a loving nature.

“We all need to be more considerate like Mister Rogers,” Bailey said.

Rogers saved public television, and paved the way for so many other shows, said Brian Coffman, who works at Pitt. He said Fred Rogers was one of the first teachers to impact children who hadn’t yet reached school age.

Coffman got his photo with friends Mark Curtis, who works at Pitt, and Vanessa Fishel and Natasha Torrence who work for UPMC.

“Mister Rogers is my childhood,” said Torrence. “I learned so much from him. People who came to country watched public television to learn English.”

Rogers might be most recognized by his red cardigan because it is shown on a lot of images of him, but he certainly wore many different hues, says Steele. Many of the sweaters he wore were made by his mother, she says.

Despite temperatures reaching 84 degrees, it was perfect sweater weather, because we are talking cardigans and Mister Rogers here. Even Riley, a puppy, posed for a photo with Ryan Carpenter, a junior at Pitt and Kelly Thompson, a Pitt graduate who lives in Shadyside.

“We had a wide range of ages from people by themselves to groups of friends and families, a lot of college students,” said Sharon Steele, director of corporate support WQED Multimedia, who was at Schenley Plaza. “People of all ages feel a connection to Mister Rogers. It’s awesome. I know when I woke up social media was already full of ‘#cardiganday.'”

The idea came about after seeing the huge engagement all over the city throughout the year when we post something about Mister Rogers, said Steele.

The station will be hosting a “Cardigan Party” on Dec. 19 in the Fred Rogers Studio – a much better chance it will be sweater weather.

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