Family upset after car show hosted at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery

PITTSBURGH — A local family is upset after they say they went to visit a loved one at a local cemetery but found a car show instead.

Bill Petrosky Jr. tells Channel 11 he has several family members buried at the Jefferson Memorial Cemetery in Pleasant Hills, a place he thought was dignified and a respectable resting place. That was until this past weekend. On Sunday, Petrosky says his father went to place flowers on his mother’s grave.

“There was someone directing traffic and he had to reroute,” said Petrosky. “They said, ‘Move along, move along.’ They were real ignorant with him.”

The memorial park advertised what was their 10th annual car cruise on their Facebook page. The event included food trucks, beer, and live music.

Petrosky took to social media to express how disrespectful he found the event.

“Other people started reaching out saying how one lady couldn’t get to her husband gravesite because of all the commotion and congestion and she left there crying,” said Petrosky.

Channel 11 contacted the Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, Funeral home, Crematory & Arboretum. The memorial park said in a statement they aren’t “a traditional cemetery” and the event was to raise money for the American cancer society. The business also said, “We are incredibly careful to only use non-burial property to host this event.”

“People on social media said there were lawn chairs very close, in the grass where grave sites are, there were selfies taken, you could see the tomb stones right behind them,” said Petrosky. “It’s rest in peace, right? Who sees a beer tent in a cemetery?”

Over on the business’ Facebook page, a handful of people seem to be in support of the notion that cemeteries aren’t just for burials.

However, Petrosky says what they did was wrong.

“I know whenever we sat down and talked with them about my mom’s site, it was never in any pamphlet, brochure or talked about,” said Petrosky. “I’m my opinion, they are trying to maybe attract a different genre of people, maybe a younger generation and it’s a business tactic.”

The memorial park says every year they inform the community about their events and the activities it will bring to the area. As for this past weekend’s event, the memorial park says they raised $2,200.

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW