Two grand marshals preside over Pittston’s 2017 Tomato Festival Parade

By Gene Axton - gaxton@timesleader.com | August 9th, 2017 4:46 pm

PITTSTON CITY — This year’s Tomato Festival Parade features two grand marshals, and while one is homegrown, the other is no stranger to Pittston City.

Pittston Area Secondary Center graduate, former Miami Dolphins wide receiver and current radio personality Jimmy Cefalo will serve as the parade’s grand marshal, with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf serving as honorary grand marshal. Wolf’s last visit to Pittston was in June, during his Jobs That Pay Tour. This time, Wolf will get a tour of downtown Pittston at its most festive.

“I am honored to be a part of this tremendous annual event in Pittston,” Wolf said. “Each year, tens of thousands flock to Northeastern Pennsylvania to attend the Tomato Festival and it is a great example of the many hometown traditions that make Pennsylvania a great and unique place to live and visit.”

Cefalo said he tries to visit Pittston at least once a year to see family and friends, including the Lombardo family. Mayoral candidate and Tomato Festival Committee member Mike Lombardo said he’s excited to have his friend serve as grand marshal.

“He’s certainly one of the best and the brightest in terms of athletics and even just as a person that’s come from our city and our school district,” Lombardo said. “We’re really excited to celebrate him coming back.”

This isn’t the first time Cefalo has received the honor of grand marshaling the Tomato Festival Parade — he served as grand marshal in the late 1980s — but Cefalo will make this year’s honor special by getting up close and personal with parade-watchers.

“They asked if I wanted to ride in a car and I said I’d rather just walk to see more people that I know and see folks I probably haven’t seen in 40 years,” Cefalo said.

Cefalo said the title is a great honor and, although Pittston has undergone many changes since he left, he’s happy his hometown hasn’t forgotten him.

“I think what Pittston has done, Michael and the rest of the folks, Rose Randazo, all the folks there have done a great job with the town overall,” Cefalo said. “I didn’t recognize it last time I was back. It’s just pretty and there’s a lot of excitement surrounding the artwork. The Tomato Festival is certainly a crowning jewel in what Pittston has become.”

The Tomato Festival Parade starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19. Street closures will begin at 9:30 a.m.

In addition to his sports broadcasting duties, Jimmy Cefalo hosts ‘Eat This, Drink That, Go!,’ a radio show that discusses wine, food and traveling.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_Cefalo-grapes-ut.jpegIn addition to his sports broadcasting duties, Jimmy Cefalo hosts ‘Eat This, Drink That, Go!,’ a radio show that discusses wine, food and traveling. Submitted photo
Jimmy Cefalo graduated from Pittston Area Secondary Center and played college football at Penn State University. After graduating from Penn State in 1978, Cefalo was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. Today, he is a member of the Dolphins broadcast team.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_Cefalo-headshot-ut.jpegJimmy Cefalo graduated from Pittston Area Secondary Center and played college football at Penn State University. After graduating from Penn State in 1978, Cefalo was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. Today, he is a member of the Dolphins broadcast team. Submitted photo
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf discusses apprenticeships at Pittston’s Greiner Packaging during his Jobs that Pay Tour in April.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_Wolf-seated-ut.jpgPennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf discusses apprenticeships at Pittston’s Greiner Packaging during his Jobs that Pay Tour in April. Submitted photo
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf points out a package at Pittston’s Greiner Packaging during his April visit.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_wolf-standing-ut.jpgPennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf points out a package at Pittston’s Greiner Packaging during his April visit. Submitted photo
Pittston native Jimmy Cefalo and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf share grand marshal duties

By Gene Axton

gaxton@timesleader.com

PAST PARADE GRAND MARSHALS

2016 - James Zarra

2015 - Tom Sewatsky

2014 - Rose Randazzo

2013 - Ray Preby

2012 - Jerry Mullarkey

2011 - Dr. Joseph Lombardo

2010 - Care and Concern Clinic

2009 - Biagio Dente

2008 - All volunteers, vendors, performers and loyal festival attendees

2007 - Val Delia (posthumously)

2006 - The Joyce Brothers: John, Joseph, William and David

2005 - Joseph Traviglione

2004 - Local officials: Mayor Michael Lombardo, John Gavigan, Chris Latona, Ken Bangs, Phil Campenni, Donna Connors, Charles Infantino, Gerry Mullarkey, Savino Bonita, Paul Porfirio, Frank Roman and Tom Tigue

2003 - Rev. Robert Romano

2002 - Russell Gunton

2001 - Michael Marranca

2000 - Maria Capolarella Montante

1999 - Robert Conroy Sr.

1998 - John Grimes and Mae Reddington McHugh

1997 - Arthur Bartolai

1996 - Albert Melone and Margaret Labarre Daniels

1995 - Joseph Joyce

1994 - Samuel Falcone

1993 - Mayor Thomas Walsh

1992 - Michael Insalaco

1991 - Eleanor Adonizio and Dolly Saporito

1990 - Joseph Amato

Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @GeneAxtonTL

PAST PARADE GRAND MARSHALS

2016 - James Zarra

2015 - Tom Sewatsky

2014 - Rose Randazzo

2013 - Ray Preby

2012 - Jerry Mullarkey

2011 - Dr. Joseph Lombardo

2010 - Care and Concern Clinic

2009 - Biagio Dente

2008 - All volunteers, vendors, performers and loyal festival attendees

2007 - Val Delia (posthumously)

2006 - The Joyce Brothers: John, Joseph, William and David

2005 - Joseph Traviglione

2004 - Local officials: Mayor Michael Lombardo, John Gavigan, Chris Latona, Ken Bangs, Phil Campenni, Donna Connors, Charles Infantino, Gerry Mullarkey, Savino Bonita, Paul Porfirio, Frank Roman and Tom Tigue

2003 - Rev. Robert Romano

2002 - Russell Gunton

2001 - Michael Marranca

2000 - Maria Capolarella Montante

1999 - Robert Conroy Sr.

1998 - John Grimes and Mae Reddington McHugh

1997 - Arthur Bartolai

1996 - Albert Melone and Margaret Labarre Daniels

1995 - Joseph Joyce

1994 - Samuel Falcone

1993 - Mayor Thomas Walsh

1992 - Michael Insalaco

1991 - Eleanor Adonizio and Dolly Saporito

1990 - Joseph Amato


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