West Pittston is the place to be this weekend as the long-awaited West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival, postponed from May due to COVID, is held on the riverbank Saturday, Sept. 11, and Sunday, Sept. 12.
The 50th West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival begins with a parade that steps off at noon Saturday, Sept. 11. The parade travels from Exeter Avenue to Wyoming Avenue to Philadelphia Avenue and ends at the festival grounds on Susquehanna Avenue. Grand marshal is all the health care workers and essential workers from the Garden Village.
Saturday’s entertainment begins at 11:30 a.m. with music by Chris Stive until 12:30 p.m. At 1 p.m., Lori DeAngelo, festival president, will offer the welcome, along with a performance of the Star Spangled Banner and 9/11 tribute with the Dance Theatre of Wilkes-Barre. The Little Miss Cherry Blossom Contest begins at 1:45 p.m., followed by Broadway on the Boulevard at 3, Wyoming Area Drama Club at 3:45 and Ovation Playhouse at 4:30 p.m.
Sunday’s entertainment includes Perfect Harmony with Beth Connor at noon, Marty Reynolds at 1 p.m. The Conservatory of Dance at 2:15, Fortin Academy of Music at 3, Act Out Theater at 4 and closing ceremony at 5.
Also on Sunday, Wyoming Area Kiwanis Club will hold its annual Duck Derby. The duck drop is at 3 p.m. from the Dale Kridlo/Fort Jenkins Bridge and the ducks will race to the Water Street/Firefighters Memorial Bridge. Ducks are $5 for a chance to win $500, $300 or $200, and can be purchased at the Cherry Blossom Festival or through Vemo @wyomingarea-kiwanis. Proceeds benefit children’s programs, including Care Bears for traumatized children, Little League teams, Scout programs, the Child Development Center in West Pittston, free monthly summer family movies in the park, and meals at the Ronald McDonald House.