Officials, volunteers work quickly to clear snow for Pittston St. Patrick’s Parade

By Geri Gibbons - For Sunday Dispatch
Nick Sommons, 25, of Kingston, took first place in the male division of the Leprechaun Loop. - Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch
Zach Ridgley, 9, took part in the Leprechaun Loop. - Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch
Maureen Salley, of Forty Fort, is decked out in green sporting her Donegal Society sash. - Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch
Alisha Mattea, of Plains, haa a blast in her Leprechaun costume. - - Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch
The Pittston St. Patrick’s Parade wouldn’t be the same if the Ancient Order of Hibernians of Avoca wasn’t present. - - Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch
Jeremy Veno, of Dickson City, and Amy Shotwell, of Pittston, don green faces and festive bow ties for the parade. - - Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch
Mary Ann Quick tosses Frisbees during the annual St. Patrick’s Parade in Pittston. - - Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch

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.”

Nick Sommons, 25, of Kingston, took first place in the male division of the Leprechaun Loop.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Loop-3-2.jpgNick Sommons, 25, of Kingston, took first place in the male division of the Leprechaun Loop. Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch

Zach Ridgley, 9, took part in the Leprechaun Loop.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Loop-4-2.jpgZach Ridgley, 9, took part in the Leprechaun Loop. Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch

Maureen Salley, of Forty Fort, is decked out in green sporting her Donegal Society sash.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Parade2-1.jpgMaureen Salley, of Forty Fort, is decked out in green sporting her Donegal Society sash. Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch

Alisha Mattea, of Plains, haa a blast in her Leprechaun costume.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Parade3-1.jpgAlisha Mattea, of Plains, haa a blast in her Leprechaun costume. Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch

The Pittston St. Patrick’s Parade wouldn’t be the same if the Ancient Order of Hibernians of Avoca wasn’t present.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Parade4-1.jpgThe Pittston St. Patrick’s Parade wouldn’t be the same if the Ancient Order of Hibernians of Avoca wasn’t present. Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch

Jeremy Veno, of Dickson City, and Amy Shotwell, of Pittston, don green faces and festive bow ties for the parade.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Parade5-1.jpgJeremy Veno, of Dickson City, and Amy Shotwell, of Pittston, don green faces and festive bow ties for the parade. Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch

Mary Ann Quick tosses Frisbees during the annual St. Patrick’s Parade in Pittston.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Parade1-1.jpgMary Ann Quick tosses Frisbees during the annual St. Patrick’s Parade in Pittston. Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch
Officials, volunteers work quickly to clear snow from streets

By Geri Gibbons

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.