PITTSTON — The annual Riverfest celebration was moved up this year, in hopes of missing out on some of the rainy weather that had hit the event in the past.
On Saturday, however, the event was greeted by some of the heaviest rains of the summer.
Still performers, vendors and guests filled the space around Cooper’s Seafood, providing guests with a multicultural experience and local historical knowledge as the Greater Pittston Cultural Coalition held its 9th annual event.
“We tried to be here in July to avoid the rain in August, but my boss is just too hard,” joked Coalition President Rev. Samuel Washington as he looked up at cloudy skies.
The one-day event included a mixture of Pittston’s cultures — including Italian, Mexican, Native American, African American, and more.
“This event speaks to the unity of embracing one another,” Washington said. “The whole idea is for people to learn things about one another.”
About 40 vendors filled the area, with stands ranging from those featuring homemade goods and children’s activities to those offering information on Eckley Miners’ Village and the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology. Wagon rides were available to visit the Knox Mine Disaster site, along with historical narrations and re-enactments.
Health and exercise were also a planned part of the event.
A kayak trip traveling from Harding to Pittston was available, sponsored by Susquehanna Kayak and Canoe, and representatives from Gym Stone Boxing were on hand with multiple gloves and punching bags for guests to try.
Washington said he’s seen an increase in attendance over the years and hopes to see the group expand its efforts.
“We have all these great events like Tomato Fest, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and Italian Day … all of that needs to come together for one day of unity for each other and the community,” he said.
He added that he would love to see more local businesses alongside vendors.
Proceeds from the event go toward funding the Riverfest and other events.