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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2018:07:22 14:15:50

Jack Brogan, left, of Exeter, and Pat Mauriello, of Pittston, sell tickets during the St. Barbara Picnic and Car Show in Exeter last year.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2017:06:02 17:28:03

Rosanne Ricotta, left, and Rosanne Ragnacci are part of the Holy Cannoli crew in the food stand at a past St. Joseph Marello Parish Picnic in Pittston.

Bazaar season has begun in Greater Pittston, and Queen of the Apostles Parish in Avoca is ready.

Queen of the Apostles is preparing for its annual pig roast, one of the earliest events on the summer schedule of bazaars in the area. It will be held Saturday, July 7, starting at noon and ending at 4 p.m.

“This is one of our largest fundraisers,” said Kathleen Franceschelli. “It’s like a summertime tradition here.”

The pig roast does stand out from the crowd by only lasting one day, but Franceschelli said that does not diminish the community’s excitement.

“This actually took the place of the three-day church picnic,” she said. “We found that we were actually able to make as much in one day as we would in three.”

For those unable to eat at the church hall, takeouts will be available all day. The menu will feature roasted pig on the spit, wimpies, hot dogs, corn on the cob, salads, dessert, soda and water. A cash prize raffle, games, basket raffles and a bake sale also will be available. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $10 for children 6 to 12 and children under 5 eat for free.

The picnics and bazaars will continue throughout the area all summer.

Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Duryea will hold its annual picnic from July 12 through July 14. The picnic will open at 5 p.m. Friday, July 12, and will continue through the weekend evenings, featuring nightly entertainment, raffle baskets, an indoor flea market and a wide range of food including wings, hand-dipped ice cream, a bake sale and potato pancakes. Nightly entertainment will be by Flaxy Morgan, The Sperazza Band and John Stevens Polka Band, respectively.

Up next, St. Joseph Marello Parish, William Street, Pittston, will have its annual summer picnic from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, July 18, to Saturday, July 20. There will be live entertainment each night, with Sweet Pepper and the Long Hots, Flaxy Morgan and The Fab Three, respectively. Italian specialties like porketta, pasta fagioli, tripe and cannoli will be featured, along with parish favorites, sausage and pepper and pepper, egg and cheese sandwiches.

Also that weekend, St. Barbara Parish in Exeter will hold its annual bazaar from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, at Memorial and Erie streets, Exeter.The festival features homemade foods such as red and white pizza, meatball hoagies, potato pancakes, piggy casserole, sausage and peppers, porketta sandwiches, wimpies and a crowd favorite, homemade funnel cakes.

In Dupont, Holy Mother of Sorrows Church’s rite of summer returns with its 56th annual open pit chicken barbecue, held one day only, from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 20, on the church grounds. Dinner includes half a chicken, french fries, coleslaw, roll, desserts and beverages, served outdoors, under a tent, or as takeout. Tickets are $12, available from any member of the church’s Young Men of the Rosary group or on the day of the event.

Germania Hose Company of Duryea will hold its annual carnival Wednesday, July 24, (rides only) through Sunday, July 28, featuring rides, food, games and music at 430 Foote Ave. A Firefighters Parade will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, July 26, and the carnival will close with fireworks at 10 p.m. Sunday, July 28.

Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Dupont will welcome in August with its 72nd annual picnic Aug. 1 to Aug. 3. The picnic will feature John Stevens Polka Band on Thursday and Friday and Joe Stanky and the Cadets on Saturday, Aug. 3. The biggest draw year after year at this picnic is the potato pancakes, along with other ethnic foods, including potato and cabbage pierogies, piggies and haluski. The picnic also offers hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage and peppers, wimpies, pizza and french fries.

Finally, just a week before the annual Pittson Tomato Festival, St. John the Evangelist Church in Pittston will hold its annual church picnic in downtown Pittston from Thursday, Aug. 8, through Saturday, Aug. 10. The event will feature food, vendors and live entertainment each night.

Franceschelli said Queen of the Apostles relies on and enjoys the community’s excitement for bazaar and picnic season every year.

“We do draw a lot of people,” she said. “We have maybe six total fundraisers. This one is our largest.”

She said the church’s own community always turns out in force, but even people from outside the church come every year.

“They look forward to it,” she said. “It’s a family thing.”

sscinto@pittstonprogress.com