PITTSTON — It’s Christmas time in the city.
The city is gearing up to end the year on a high note as it prepares for its annual Christmas in Pittston event, which will be held Saturday, Dec. 2.
Never one to shy away from pulling another magic trick out of the hat, city events coordinator Sarah Donahue said this year’s event will feature something brand new.
This time, however, she said it’s not the city putting on the parade called the Toy Truck Parade.
“Froggy 101 reached out to us and it was Doc Medek, their morning DJ, who used to work in Philadelphia and I guess started it there,” said Donahue. “So, he’s been wanting, since he moved back up here, to have it somewhere up here. He did the Tomato Festival Run in August and realized Pittston is an up-and-coming little town and thought it would be the perfect spot to have it.”
Donahue said Froggy 101 reached out to the city after the Trick or Treat Main Street event in October, and plans immediately got underway for the Toy Truck Parade.
“(Froggy 101) are the ones putting on the parade, technically,” Donahue said. “It’s their parade, and they’re taking all of the registrations. We’re partnering with it, obviously because we’re hosting it, and we’re providing the police and protection for it.”
The parade begins at 5 p.m. and will start in the parking lot of Cooper’s Cooperative building on Kennedy Boulevard, travel onto Main Street at the Columbus Statue and end in the Lower Tomato Festival Lot.
Afterwards, the vehicles in the parade that are decorated with lights will park in the Upper Tomato Festival Lot, so patrons can walk around and look at the decorated cars.
Usual Christmas in Pittston events will occur after the parade, such as the tree lighting at 6 p.m., a performance by the Pittston Area Marching Band at 6:15 p.m. and a performance by Spotlight Dance Studio at 6:45 p.m.
Santa Claus will be on hand until 8 p.m. for children to visit and there will also be the ever-popular horse-drawn carriage.
“The children obviously love to see Santa,” Donahue said. “They love to sit with him and tell him what they want (for Christmas.) That is their highlight. For the older children and the adults, I think they really appreciate the horse ride. I think that’s really neat for people.”
The horses and carriage are courtesy of Black Horse Farm Carriages, of Honesdale.
There will also be free hot chocolate from the Salvation Army, free balloons from Jubilee Balloons, and a Letters to Santa mailbox next to the Newrose Building.
New this year will be a firepit to keep residents warm.
The Pittston Memorial Library will hold a Santa craft, have cookies and milk, and the Night Before Christmas on audio read by Santa Claus at 7 p.m.
With a new parade and a night of fun, Donahue is anticipating a bigger crowd than normal.
“I am definitely expecting a bigger crowd, thanks to the addition of the Toy Truck Parade,” she said. “I think a lot of people will be excited to come out and see that. I’m excited to see it, personally, all of the decorated cars and trucks to see what people do.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher