My Corner, Your Corner: Pittston City’s St. Patrick’s Parade means spring is coming

My Corner, Your Corner - Tony Callaio | February 18th, 2016 12:03 pm

It was a crazy week, weather-wise, with temperatures dipping in the sub-zero range only to rise to 50 degrees a day later. As someone keeps reminding me, “Well, this is winter and we do live in northeastern PA.”

I’m not a fan of winter, so I’m looking forward to the Pittston City St. Patrick’s Parade on March 5, a sure sign spring is on its way. In this area there are two other parades celebrating the patron saint of Ireland — the Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade on March 12, one of the largest events of its kind in the country, and the Wilkes-Barre St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 13.

The Pittston parade will start the 2016 year of activities in the city, which includes the opening of the farmers’ market, the Tomato Festival, Second Friday Artwalks, Paint Pittston Pink, and Christmas in Pittston. The city also sponsored its first-ever Halloween event last year.

Artist Michael Pilato, who designed and painted the Inspiration Mural, promises to be back to the downtown area for another project. Michael is a big fan of Pittston and has dubbed it his second home.

It’s really great to see festivities get bigger and better every year.

A star on the rise

Last week, I wrote about 15-year-old actress/model Aly Tricarico and her quest to succeed in the world of entertainment. I spoke to her mother Lisa and she said Aly had a great time walking the runway at Fashion Week in New York City.

She walked for designer Nancy Vuu wearing Vuu’s junior couture. Also walking the runway was 18-year-old Madeline Stuart, from Australia, who is breaking down barriers as the first runway model with Down syndrome to participate in Fashion Week.

I can only imagine how happy that must make my good friend, actress and model Amanda Booth, feel. Amanda, a Wyoming Area grad, is the proud mother of 1-year-old son Micah, who also has Down syndrome. Micah was signed by Amanda’s modeling agency last year. Amanda has become an advocate for those with Down syndrome since the birth of her son.

While at Fashion Week, Aly and Lisa met past Oscar nominee, co-star of Fox’s “Scream Queens” and the star of the upcoming remake of “Dirty Dancing,” Abigail Breslin. Others may remember Abigail from 10 years ago when she starred in the movie “Little Miss Sunshine” with Paul Dano and Steve Carell.

End-of-season energy

Who doesn’t like to root for the underdog? I love seeing athletes beat the odds. The Pittston Area boys basketball team had season of ups and downs with a record of 15-16, so I’m sure the team’s recent matchup against the fourth seeded Crestwood Comets in the league playoffs seemed like a daunting task.

The one person who always has faith in the Patriots is the team’s head coach, Alan Kiesinger. Kiesinger and his players came out firing in the Comets’ house Tuesday night.

As I was taking photos for the newspaper during the game, I witnessed spectacular defense and great offensive plays in the first half, with the Patriots outscoring the Comets 24-15 at halftime.

Before leaving, I stopped at the scorer’s table and spoke to Jackie McAndrew and her daughter Danielle. Jackie’s husband and Danielle’s father, Tommy McAndrew, is an assistant coach for Pittston Area. Jackie stated it was the best she had seen the team play this season and she was right. Pittston Area defeated Crestwood, 42-39.

Let there be love

Last Sunday was Valentine’s Day. It was great seeing people profess their love to that someone special.

The West Pittston Hose Co. held its annual rose sale over three days, but those who waited until the third day were out of luck. The crew sold out of flowers before the sale, which was a huge success, even ended. People driving to the flower tent at Driscoll’s Home Center parking lot quickly drove away to figure out what Plan B was going to be.

I often wonder if students in elementary school mark the holiday like I did as a child. Teachers decorated the room with red hearts and cupid figures. On Valentine’s Day, they would put little brown bags taped to the chalkboard with students’ names on them so we could deposit our valentine cards to our classmates.

It was so much fun and usually one saved the best valentine for that “special” classmate.

Quote of the week

“Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.” – Keith Harding, Scottish politician.

Thought of the week

“Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.” – Marian Anderson, American singer.

Bumper sticker

“A short absence is the safest.” — Maria Louise Rame, English novelist.
Aly Tricarico, right, of Jenkins Township, poses with actress Abigail Breslin at Fashion Week in New York City recently. Tricarico, right, of Jenkins Township, poses with actress Abigail Breslin at Fashion Week in New York City recently. Submitted photo

My Corner, Your Corner

Tony Callaio

Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at