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Photo: Christopher Dolan, License: N/A, Created: 2017:07:20 20:17:17

GREATER PITTSTON PROGRESS FILE Volunteers from St. Barbara Parish in Exeter cook up some potato pancakes at last year’s picnic.

Photo: Ralph Francello, License: N/A, Created: 2018:05:28 13:51:48

GREATER PITTSTON PROGRESS FILE Mike Hetro grills some hot dogs last month at the Memorial Day picnic at St. Frances X. Cabrini Church in Wyoming.

As her parish’s annual picnic draws closer, Helen Negvesky found it difficult to decide just which homemade food she looked forward to most.

“Everything is homemade,” Negvesky, parish secretary for Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Duryea, said. “The pierogies, halushki, the piggies ... for the potato pancakes we use our own batter.”

Negvesky and the rest of the parish are preparing for their annual picnic scheduled for July 6-8, one of several church picnics on the schedule in Greater Pittston this summer.

Like other parishes, Negvesky said the annual picnic is the church’s largest fundraiser year after year.

“It’s been around over 50 years,” she said. “People love the food and the entertainment.”

The picnic’s flea market, food and entertainment draw plenty of people even from outside the parish community, Negvesky said.

This year the parish will open the indoor flea market a day before the picnic officially starts. Anyone can browse the market from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 5, in Sacred Heart Hall at the church on Stephenson Street.

Of course, the Duryea church is not the only Greater Pittston parish taking part in bazaar season. Corpus Christi Parish in West Pittston will hold its seventh annual bazaar from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, June 21, and Friday, June 22, and 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 23, on the Immaculate Conception Church grounds on Luzerne Avenue.

The Corpus Christi bazaar will feature games, flea market, basket raffle, children’s games, instant bingo and new food this year, including homemade meatballs and hand-filled cannoli.

St. Joseph Marello Parish in Pittston will hold its annual parish picnic from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, July 12, through Saturday, July 14,on the parish grounds at 237 William St., Pittston. The picnic will feature food, including tripe, sausage and peppers, porketta sandwiches, pasta fagioli, potato pancakes and homemade desserts, among other offerings.

Queen of the Apostles Parish in Avoca has planned its pig roast for Sunday, July 8, on the St. Mary’s School grounds at Hawthorn and Spring streets in the borough.

St. Barbara Parish in Exeter will share a bazaar weekend with Nativity of Our Lord Parish by holding its annual bazaar Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22, at Memorial and Erie streets, Exeter.

In August, homemade food — especially potato pancakes — is a big draw when Sacred Heart of Jesus holds its annual picnic from 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, and Friday, Aug. 3, and from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, on the parish grounds, Lackawanna Avenue, Dupont.

Concluding the summer picnic season, St. John the Evangelist, Pittston, will hold its annual bazaar Thursday, Aug. 9, through Saturday, Aug. 11, on the parish grounds, Church and Broad streets

With other events like the Northeast Fair off the summer schedule this year. Negvesky hoped to see plenty of people enjoying the parish picnic.

“It’s just fun and family-oriented,” she said. “The food you just can’t beat.”

sscinto@pittstonprogress.com