PITTSTON — The third annual Leprechaun Loop brought out over 80 area residents to start the city’s St. Patrick’s activities with a spirited one mile loop around the city.
Most were clad in green, some had their faces painted, all were smiling. Among the participants of all ages, a dog joined its owner as she made her way down Main Street with a bit of green on its collar.
Nick Sommons, 35, who crossed the finish line first just five minutes after the parade’s start, said he was very grateful that, after several inches of snow and high winds on Friday, the city was “parade and race ready” for the day’s activities.
Sommons is just getting back into competitive running, with the event providing opportunity for him to get warmed up and test his limits.
Running as a group were the Valley Laxerz, in support of a feeder lacrosse team for children in grades three to eight.
Rob Switzer, an organizer of the program, said the high school students had support from Pittston’s Care and Concern Clinic.
“It is a great chance for the kids to get out on a cold day; they’re also learning about the importance of supporting the community,” he said.
Alicia Haduck, community outreach manager for Skyzone, the event’s major sponsor, said the event gave her a chance to get out into the community and get to know people.
“We’re also going to have our Skyzone jeep in the parade,” she said. “We enjoy the parade and the day.”
Haduck said the event was consistent with Skyzone’s commitment to healthy families and fun.
Tina Rava, parade committee member staffing the race, said it was made possible by Pittston city officials, employees and volunteers who cleared a path through town in the aftermath of Friday’s snowstorm.
“We work as a team in Pittston,” said Rava. “We got it done.”
Deb Monteforte, also on the committee, called the race and the parade “phenomenal,” as she manned the race’s registration table, complete with green t-shirts.
Mark Wesolowski, who came from Dupont for his first-ever race, was looking forward to some fresh air and a chance to see Pittston.
Wesolowski’s friend, Nancy Wood, a seasoned runner, encouraged Weslowski to come out and participate.
“I promised to come out with him and keep pace with him,” she said. “It’s just a great day.”