It may be hard to think about spring in the middle of February, but it is inching ever closer. And one of the staples of springtime in our little Garden Village is, of course, the West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s one of the biggest annual parties that West Pittston has to offer. And like all great parties, it requires extensive planning to ensure that everything runs smoothly. It also requires money for these events to happen year after year.

The festival is not until May 6 and 7; however, the good people who make the Cherry Blossom Festival happen every year are already hard at work planning this year’s festivities. This includes a fundraiser they are currently running. The West Pittston Cherry Blossom Committee is having its banner fundraiser again this year. The banners are $150 for the initial year with the renewal fee of $50. If interested in supporting the sale you can send a check payable to the West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival to Toni Valenti, 316 Damon St., West Pittston PA 18643. Toni can also be contacted at 570-430-4006 or

The committee would appreciate any and all support.

Here’s what else is happening around town:

Corpus Christi news

The parishes of St. Barbara’s and Corpus Christi are forming a combined adult choir that will travel to one parish per weekend to sing at one Mass per weekend on a rotating basis — at St. Anthony’s 4 p.m. Mass on Saturdays, Immaculate Conception’s 10:30 a.m. Mass on Sundays, and Holy Redeemer’s 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sundays.

All rehearsals and all choir participation in the Masses will be in the front of the church, so there are no stairs to climb to a choir loft. Rehearsals will be held at 6 p.m. Thursdays. The first rehearsal will be held Thursday, Feb. 16, at St. Anthony’s. The first Mass with the choir will be Saturday, Feb. 18, at the 4 p.m. Mass at St. Anthony’s. Current choir members as well as new members from both parishes are welcome. For information or to sign up, please email or call the parish office at 570-654-2753. The parishes are trying to get an idea of how many people are interested in joining, so please either email or call as soon as you can.

Sacraments of first reconciliation and first Eucharist will be celebrated in Corpus Christi Parish on Saturday, May 6. Boys and girls in second grade and older who are registered in the religious education program in Corpus Christi Parish or St. Barbara Parish are eligible to receive these sacraments. Students attending a Catholic school do not have to attend religious education classes, but please contact Joyce at 570-654-2753 or email to register your child to receive these sacraments.

The sacrament of confirmation will be celebrated Sunday, May 21, in St. Anthony’s Parish. Monsignor John Sempa, pastor, will be the celebrant. Eighth grade students and older who are registered in the religious education program in Corpus Christi Parish or St. Barbara Parish are eligible to receive this sacrament. Students attending Catholic schools do not have to attend religious education classes, but please contact Joyce at 570-654-2753 or email to register to receive the sacrament of confirmation.

The parish’s next Family Mass will be held Sunday, Feb. 26, at 10:30 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Church. The youth choir will sing at this Mass. All children are welcome to join the youth choir. They will practice for this Mass at 5:30 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 12 and 19, in Immaculate Conception Church.

Twilight Bingo will be held Saturday, March 25, in Immaculate Conception Church hall. This will be a BYOB event with all cash prizes. Details will be announced as the event nears.

First UMC news

West Pittston First United Methodist Church services are held at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday. All are welcome.

The church operates a food pantry from 9 a.m. to noon the first and third Wednesday of each month and from 9 a.m. to noon on the third Saturday.

Valley Alliance Church

Valley Alliance Church conducts Sunday worship from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Junior church occurs concurrently with the Sunday service. Nursery is available.

Prayer and Bible study are held 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays.

Fire department’s Valentine’s flower sale

Just as they have been doing every Valentine’s Day since 2008, the West Pittston Fire Department will be holding a flower sale again this year. The department will once again keep us and our sweethearts happy this Valentine’s Day with a variety of options available, while supplies last. The sale will be held in the parking lot of Driscoll’s at Wyoming and Boston avenues from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 12, 13 and 14.

They are offering two dozen pastel roses for $30, one dozen red roses for $30, one dozen boxed long-stemmed red roses for $45, a mixed bouquet for $25, three roses in a vase for $15, a single rose for $5 and baby’s breath for $5.

This year, they also have added a fire department T-shirt as part of the sale, encouraging everyone to “spread love wherever you go.” Shirts are $20. Keep in mind all of these items are only available while supplies last, so don’t wait until the last minute.

Council meetings

West Pittston Council has voted to change the day of its meetings. Council meetings will now be on the first Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. The meetings will be held in person in council chambers at 555 Exeter Ave.

Any person with a disability requiring special accommodations to attend these meetings should notify the borough secretary’s office at 570-655-7782 as early as possible prior to the meeting.

Paper recycling

The Department of Public Works building, 505 Delaware Ave., will be open from 8 a.m. to noon the first and third Saturday of each month to drop off cardboard, newspaper and junk mail only.

Library news

West Pittston Library announces upcoming events:

Finger Knitting — 6:1 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15. Handwork projects seem to be fading into the past as much of our life turns digital. However, giving kids the opportunity to learn to do things with their hands, such as finger knitting, can boost penmanship, develop fine motor skills, increase hand-eye coordination and creativity and teach how to envision a project and see it through to completion. Finger knitting is much quicker and easier than traditional knitting, making it the perfect yarning skill to start with. Make a fun snake pet and get other ideas about how to use your new skills

Craft Night: Lap Quilt Sewing Class — 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. Learn the basic skills of a sewing machine with this easy quilting class. Learn terminology, how to cut and prep fabric, then how to hand tie for a cozy, homemade finish. Registration fee is $20, nonrefundable, and covers all materials and instruction.

Murder Mystery: A Scandal in Bodgerton — 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21. Take part in this Austen/Bridgerton themed murder mystery, circa 1813, when high society is abuzz over “L. Whistlewind’s” weekly scandal sheet containing the most delicious gossip. So far, these rumours have led to three elopements, two duels and an onstage riot that ended the opera during Act I. But the worst part is that no one knows who “L. Whistlewind” is. Who could be writing such shocking things — many of them unfortunately true? Determine who committed the crime, how it was done, and why, all over dinner. Registration fee is $20, which covers all materials and instruction, nonrefundable. Please register each person with an email where they can receive their character assignments without revealing them to anyone else in the group. This program is for adults and is held in person. This is a murder mystery dinner so the topic may be sensitive for some; please take this into account prior to registration.

Library Mini Golf — 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, and Thursday, Feb. 23. It’s the library’s first 9-hole library mini golf event. The whole family can try their hand at fun obstacles such as books (of course!), chairs, LEGO structures, bookends and more. Reservations for each group of two will be made in 15-minute increments on a first come, first serve basis with the last game starting at 7:15 p.m.

John Bubul writes about West Pittston every week. To list an item, email or call 570-301-2187 by Monday.

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