For 50 years, residents of West Pittston and from all over have flocked to the banks of the Susquehanna River in early spring to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival. Growing up, I would love going to the festival to spend time with my friends, look at all of the cool vendors, and of course get some delicious food.
The Cherry Blossom Festival in 2020 suffered the same fate as many other annual events and fell victim to COVID-19. The festival is back this year and will be held this weekend, Saturday, Sept. 11, and Sunday, Sept. 12. It will look the same as past years, but also pretty different. Cherry blossoms don’t bloom in September, but the live entertainment and the food vendors people have come to know, love and expect from the Cherry Blossom Festival will be there.
The Cherry Blossom Parade will take place Saturday, Sept. 11, beginning with the lineup at 11 a.m. across from the former Cenera Auto Parts. The parade steps off at noon, traveling east on Exeter Avenue, and turning right onto Wyoming Avenue before turning left onto Philadelphia Avenue to Susquehanna Avenue. The Little Miss Cherry Blossom Contest will be held at 1:45 p.m. Saturday, along with lots of live entertainment throughout the day, and continuing Sunday, too.
In addition to the food and entertainment at the festival on Sunday, Wyoming Area Kiwanis Club also will bring back its Duck Derby. The duck drop will be at 3 p.m. from the Fort Jenkins/Dale Kridlo Memorial Bridge and the ducks will race to the Water Street Bridge. Tickets are $5 per duck and can be purchased at the Cherry Blossom Festival or through Venmo @wyomingarea-kiwanis for a chance to win $500, $300 or $200. Proceeds benefits the club’s children’s programming.
If you find yourself looking for something to do this weekend, head on down to the West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Corpus Christi news
Corpus Christi Parish’s religious education classes for students in second grade and eighth grade only will begin Sunday, Sept. 26. Classes will run from 9 to 10:10 a.m. Second grade classes will be held in the school classrooms and eighth grade classes will be held in the church hall. Children in all other grades, kindergarten through seventh, will be homeschooled. A letter with registration forms is being mailed this week to all families with children in grades kindergarten through eighth who are registered in the parish. If you do not receive a letter, please call the rectory and one will be mailed to you. The decision not to educate all grades in person this year did not come lightly and the church thanks its pandemic team for meeting and taking into consideration the safety of all the children. Because of the rising COVID numbers, the space in the facility, and the number of children in the parish’s religious education program, the best decision was made. In December, the group will meet once again to devise a safe education plan for the remainder of the year.
To schedule Masses and candles for 2022 at Corpus Christi Parish, please call Dorothy at the rectory at 570-654-2753 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, or drop off or mail in your request.
First U.M. Church events
First United Methodist Church of West Pittston will hold an apple festival from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at the church. The event will include a flea market, silent auction, bake sale and jewelry sale. A variety of food will be available for lunch, along with apple dumplings. For information, call the church office at 570-655-1083.
The church also will hold a pastie sale Thursday, Oct. 7. Pasties include: meat with or without onions; vegetable; and sausage and pepper. Cost is $7 each. To order, call the church office at 570-655-1083.
Valley Alliance Church
Valley Alliance Church conducts Sunday morning worship from 10:30 a.m. to noon, offering a time of contemporary worship, prayer and sound Biblical instruction. Junior church occurs concurrently with the Sunday service. Nursery is available.
Prayer and Bible study are offered from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays. This mid-week service is intended to help build and strengthen families.
West Pittston Library will offer the following activities:
Talk Like a Pirate — 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15. Ahoy, landlubbers! Ye are invited for swashbuckling fun and pirate talkin’. Register to climb aboard and pilfer loot or be prepared to walk the plank. This is an in-person event. Masks are required.
Robert Hughes Presents: FDR in His Own Words — 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23. West Pittston Library welcome Hughes to the library again, this time with a presentation giving life and color to the words of the 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Banned Books Week: Upcycled Book Wreath — 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30. If florals aren’t for you and you are looking for a festive way to celebrate your favorite hobby (reading, not TikTok), then this upcycled book wreath is for you! This is a free, virtual event. Kits will be available Monday, Sept. 27, and must be picked up by Saturday, Oct. 2.
Parks and Recreation
West Pittston Parks and Recreation Board has resumed in-person meetings. The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the municipal building. Upcoming meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 4 and Dec. 1.
John Bubul writes about West Pittston every week. To list an item, email email@example.com or call 570-301-2187 by Monday.