PITTSTON — To city administrator Joseph Moskovitz, last week’s St. Patrick’s Parade was much more than an opportunity to celebrate a Celtic holiday complete with bagpipes, music and treats; it was a reflection of the city’s commitment to community and its ability to overcome challenges.
“Despite a nor’easter the day before that saw road closings, we were able to ready Main Street for the event,” he said, crediting the street department, the current administration and volunteers.
Moskovitz said the parade and other annual activities have been made possible by a long-term revitalization project that is continuing.
“Mayor Lombardo and the current administration are now bringing to the neighborhoods what we have brought to downtown — transformation,” he said.
A general estimate of attendance at the parade was about 10,000 people, he said, but that estimate might have been a bit high because of the previous day’s storm.
Still, those who made their way to the parade were not disappointed. Temperatures were moderate and the atmosphere was charged as local businesses, street vendors and parade attendees brought a bit of Ireland to Pittston.
T.J. Bell, a balloon artist, peeked out from underneath at least 100 green balloons that were part of her leprechaun costume.
Bell has attended the parade for several years and enjoys interacting with youngsters who greet her with excitement as she makes her way down the street.
“As long as they ask me to come, I’ll keep coming,” she said.
Timothy and Kristine Hejnicki, of Pittston, with their children Khole Jo, 6, and Sofie, 4, have made the parade a family tradition.
“We come out every year,” Kristine said. “They love it all. Their favorite part, though, is the candy.”
Many people on floats and parade entries threw candy which eager children scooped up with smiles, to a background of music provided by several Irish bands.
Many attendees said they would have made their way to the parade no matter what the weather.
Committee members Missy Mitchell-Yedesko and Linda Barlett, said, although there were a few “nail biting” moments, they had been sure the parade would go on.
“We said to ourselves, ‘There will be a parade,’” she said as she watched bagpipers go by. “And there is.”
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