Greater Pittston has two noted festivals — West Pittston’s Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring and Pittston’s Tomato Festival in the summer. How many times do you hear people say it rains for both of those festivals? That’s not always the case, but the Tomato Festival did get off to a wet start Thursday.
With the rain, opening ceremonies were postponed until Friday, but that didn’t stop festival-goers from picking up their favorite pasta dish, slice of pizza or sandwich. At the opening, folks dodged raindrops, but merchants were ready.
Even though the festival grounds filled with rain, Windfall took the stage, albeit a bit late, and provided entertainment for the developing crowds.
I have to give the festival committee, as well as the vendors and merchants with booths and stands, a tip of the hat regarding Thursday’s rain. Not one closed because of the wet weather, showing how resilient the people of Greater Pittston are.
The mood was upbeat, the workers were enthusiastic, and rain or shine, the people did come. The Sunday Dispatch booth was very active. Gloria Blandina, director of the Care and Concern Free Clinic, along with her husband, Jim, manned the booth the first evening. Gloria is a big believer in the generosity of Greater Pittstonians and I’m sure she wasn’t surprised at the turnout.
No matter how Lori Nocito, festival chair, felt about the rain, she didn’t wear her emotions on her sleeve, staying upbeat and smiling through the raindrops.
Despite Thursday’s lack of cooperation, the weather for the rest of the festival, including Sunday, seems perfect for a late summer celebration.
There is plenty of Tomato Festival fun remaining today, with activities beginning at 10:45 a.m. with the Little Miss and Mister Tomato contest. The music line up is as follows: Perfect Harmony, 1 to 1:45 p.m.; County Lines, 2:15 to 3 p.m.; The Poets, 4 to 5:30 p.m.; The Sperrazza Band, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; and the Jeanne Zano Band closing out the entertainment from 8 to 9 p.m.
The Cherry Blossom Festival is a great way to welcome the beginning of summer and the Tomato Festival is a great ending to the summer. It’s amazing how the time between the two festivals zooms by in the blink of an eye.
Pittston party continues
Paint Pittston Pink, a major fundraiser to help fight breast cancer, will begin on Sunday, Sept. 27 and run through Wednesday, Oct. 7. Events are planned for the entire week.
There will be T-shirts for sale for $15 (send size and money to Paint Pittston Pink, 70 Pinewood Drive, Laflin, PA 18702), a 5K race (Saturday, Oct. 3) and tons of downtown activities.
Paint Pittston Pink is the brainchild of breast cancer survivor Barbara Sciandra. When they say paint Pittston pink, they mean it. I couldn’t believe how many downtown store and business fronts were decorated in pink last year. Let’s get behind Barbara and her gang of volunteers in a month’s time.
Last week, former President Jimmy Carter announced he has melanoma cancer that has spread to his brain. I can’t help but think of my friend and high school classmate Diane (Holmes) Cook and her husband Larry, who are very good friends with the Carters and have been instrumental in bringing the Carters to our area on several occasions. Our thoughts are with the Carters and the Cooks during this difficult time.
Quote of the week
“The first duty to love is to listen.” – Paul Tillich, German-born American theologian.
Thought of the week
“Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.” – St. Francis de Sales, French Roman Catholic bishop.
“Geniune forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head on.” – Alice Miller, American writer.