Bazaar season in Greater Pittston is in full swing as parishes, hose companies and other non-profit groups prep for their annual fundraising festivities.
St. Joseph Marello Parish in Pittston kicked off the season with its annual parish picnic Friday, May 27, featuring live entertainment, various foods, an indoor flea market and basket raffles.
Corpus Christi Parish will hold its annual bazaar Thursday, June 23 through Saturday, June 25 on the Immaculate Conception Church grounds on Luzerne Avenue in West Pittston.
This will mark the event’s sixth year, but bazaar committee member Kim Rollman said preparation is still a challenge.
“We start (preparations) in December and it really does take a whole community,” she said. “From building the stands and making sure the proper electrical is there right down to the recipes for the food, who’s making the food and buying the prizes. It’s very comprehensive. I still have a list of (multiple) tasks on it for the publicity.”
The bazaar committee has 30 members, and Rollman said there are sub-committees that handle the flea market, children’s games, food, and other activities.
Items on sale for the flea market include household items, children’s games, purses, jewelry, holiday items, books, CDs and DVDs.
The flea market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday in June leading up to the bazaar, and then will operate under normal bazaar hours that weekend.
“Our flea market is one of the biggest money-makers in terms of bazaars,” said Rollman. “How they do it is (committee members) collect things every week, but they open every Saturday in June up until the bazaar. That final week during the bazaar they’re open for the whole three days.”
Live entertainment will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. all three days. Handsome Devils will perform June 23, Iron Cowboy performs June 24 and the Sperazza Band will perform June 25.
Rollman is looking forward to seeing the community come together for a fun time and favorable weather.
“I think what we’re looking forward to is hopefully good weather,” she said. “But, we’re looking forward to seeing people come together, seeing and meeting new people who can come together for one good cause; and also to build those relationships through the church.”
Money made from the bazaar goes back into the Corpus Christi Parish community, which consists of the Immaculate Conception Church and Church of the Holy Redeemer in Harding.
Bazaars aren’t the only events to look forward to this summer.
Queen of the Apostles Parish will hold its third annual pig roast Sunday, July 17. It’s an event that’s getting bigger every year, according to event organizer Jim McMahon.
“Every year it grows,” he said. “The first year doing it people were so-so, so we made about $12,000 the first year and $14,000 last year, which was our goal. What helps is people donate, so we don’t have to buy much.”
The event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s School parking lot on Spring Street in Avoca.
Donated foods include macaroni salad, baked beans, hot dogs, corn on the cob, fresh fruit and cake.
The main event of the pig roast is the pig itself, which McMahon said weighs about 150 pounds.
“We have a guy who gets the pig for us and is a parishioner,” said McMahon. “He gets a pig at a farm somewhere, but it’s a full pig at 150 pounds. Depending on how many tickets we sell we’ll add pork loins to that. He cooks everything in a pit with charcoal and starts it Saturday night and it cooks all night.”
Cost to attend the all-you-can-eat event is $20 for adults and $1o for children, with take-outs available.
McMahon said tickets will go on sale the weekend of Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12.
Queen of the Apostle priest, Fr. Phillip Sladicka, is a huge fan of the pig roast and he can’t wait for the community to come together and enjoy themselves.
“We usually have crowds that come and it’s constantly busy,” he said. “You have the parishioners working together and I feel at times we have people come early and stay late. Everybody has a lot of fun.”
Billy Quinn puts potato pancake batter on the fryer as Carl Angelalla flips the pancakes at the St. Joseph Marello Parish Picnic on May 27 in Pittston.
Charlie Sciandra grills peppers for sausage and pepper sandwiches at the St. Joseph Marello Parish Picnic on May 27 in Pittston.
Debbie Anzalone cools down in front of a fan in the kitchen at the St. Joseph Marello Parish Picnic on May 27 in Pittston.
Tony Kotlowski listens to the band after eating in the food tent at the St. Joseph Marello Parish Picnic on May 27 in Pittston.
Rick Orlando dances with his tired son Dominick, 3, to the music of Sweet Pepper and the Long Hots at the St. Joseph Marello Parish Picnic on May 27 in Pittston.
Three saints over look the food tent at the St. Joseph Marello Parish Picnic on May 27 in Pittston.
Summer 2016 events
• First United Presbyterian Church will hold its annual Strawberry Festival and Flea Market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 11 at the Wyoming Presbyterian Church on the corner of Wyoming Avenue and Institute Street.
• The Northeast Fair will be held from Tuesday, June 21 until Sunday, June 26. The fair opens at 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The fair offers family and musical entertainment, exhibitors and vendors, and lots of food. The fair is an annual non-profit event that is educational, entertaining and has lots of thrills. The fairgrounds are located off Route 315 on Suscon Road. Profits will go towards the Pittston Township Volunteer Fire Department.
• Nativity of Our Lord Parish will hold its bazaar from Friday, July 8 to Sunday, July 10 at the parish picnic grounds at 529 Stephenson St., Duryea. Hours are 6 to 11 p.m. on July 8 with music by Group Du Jour from 7 to 11 p.m.; 5 to 11:30 p.m. on July 9 with music by The Sperazza Band from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.; and 4 to 10 p.m. on July 12 with music by Hometown Boyz from 6 to 10 p.m. There will be a giant indoor flea market, cash raffle, beautiful baskets and variety stands. There will also be children’s games and other various games of choice. Ethnic and picnic foods include wings, hand-dipped ice cream and a bake sale with homemade potato pancakes.
• St. Barbara’s Parish will hold its bazaar from Friday, July 15 to Sunday, July 17 on the parish grounds, 28 Memorial St., Exeter. The event will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. on July 15 and 16 and from 4 to 9 p.m. on July 17. There will be homemade ethnic foods such as red and white pizza, potato pancakes, funnel cakes, an air conditioned flea market, Manning’s Ice Cream and more. The schedule for music is as follows: Jeanne Zano Band, Friday; The Sperazza Band, Saturday; and Something Else- Guy Fasciana.
• Holy Mother of Sorrows PNCC will hold its 53rd Annual Open Pit Chicken Barbecue from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 16 on the church grounds, 212 Wyoming Ave., Dupont. Takeouts are available and donation is $12. Dinner includes half a chicken, coleslaw, french fries, roll, cake and beverage.
• Germania Hose Company will hold its annual carnival from Wednesday, July 20 to Sunday, July 24. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. July 20-23 and at noon on July 24. The schedule for live music is as follows: Pair of Mikes, July 21; Flaxy Morgan, July 22; Tommy Guns Band, July 23; and Sperazza Band, July 24. The Fireman’s Parade will begin at 7 p.m. July 22 and fireworks will be held at dusk July 24.
• The Church of St. Maria Goretti will hold its bazaar from Friday, July 22 to Sunday, July 24 on the church grounds of 42 Redwood Drive, Laflin. Hours of operation are 5 to 10 p.m. July 22 and 23 and from 4 to 9 p.m. on July 24. Entertainment includes Sweet Peppers and the Long Hots on July 22, Flaxy Morgan on July 23, and Picture Perfect on July 24.
• St. John the Evangelist will hold its annual bazaar Thursday, Aug. 4 to Saturday, Aug. 6 on the church grounds at 35 William St., Pittston. Hours of operation are from 5 to 10 p.m. Aug. 4 and 5 and from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 6. Food includes halushki, potato pancakes, hot dogs, hamburgers, cheesesteaks, porketta, pulled pork, apple pie, fried dough and funnel cake. There will be live entertainment each night, children’s games and a holiday booth that includes decorations for different holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day and others.
• Sacred Heart of Jesus Church parish picnic will be held from Thursday, Aug. 4 to Saturday, Aug. 6 on the parish grounds, 215 Lackawanna Ave., Dupont. Non-perishable food items and paper products are being sought. There are containers in the church vestibule to place donations. Collection of items will end Sunday, July 10.
• St. Michael the Archangel Byzantine Catholic Church will hold its annual flea market from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7 at the church, 205 N. Main St, Pittston. There will also be a ziti dinner and bake sale from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 6 and a ziti dinner from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 7. Other foods will include hot dogs, piggies, pierogies and halushki.
• The Pittston Tomato Festival will be going into its 33rd year in downtown Pittston from Thursday, Aug. 18 through Sunday, Aug. 21. Food, a variety of live entertainment, a parade, 5K run, games, rides, arts and crafts, bingo and home-grown Pittston tomatoes will be on hand. The Tomato Fights will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 in the parking lot of Cooper’s on the Waterfront Restaurant, 304 Kennedy Blvd., Pittston. The entry fee is $8, which includes use of protective eye goggles. All proceeds will benefit local charities.
• St. Mary’s Polish National Catholic Church will hold its yard sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20 at the parish grounds, 200 Stephenson St., Duryea. Setup time will be at 8 a.m. and vendors can call the parish at 570-457-2291 to rent 8-by-2 -foot table space for $2. Vendors/crafters must bring their own tables. Food and beverages will be available.