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Photo: Michel Vitiello, License: N/A, Created: 2018:11:25 18:50:09

Children and adults alike are happy tp see the Exeter Santa Sunday. cv30santa2 DAVE SCHERBNECO/CITIZENS VOICE

Photo: Michel Vitiello, License: N/A, Created: 2018:11:25 18:51:42

DAVE SCHERBENCO / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Children wait for their chance to talk to Santa Claus at the parade and tree lighting celebration in Exeter on Sunday.

Santa Claus will be making pre-Christmas visits to the area, as parties, parades and tree lightings are planned over the next few weeks in several Greater Pittston communities.

AVOCA

Polar Express Santa Parade/Party

Saturday, Dec. 15, Avoca will host its inaugural town-wide Christmas celebration featuring the Avoca Polar Express Santa Parade. The parade begins at 1 p.m. at the lot on McAlpine Street, followed by a children’s Christmas party at Queen of the Apostles Parish Hall, 742 Spring St., featuring Santa, a milk and cookie bar, hot chocolate station, Christmas music and basket raffles.

The Avoca Polar Express is a play off the 2004 movie “The Polar Express.” The idea came from project coordinators Kelly O’Brien and Holly Homschek, who wanted to have a Christmas parade but at the same time wanted to keep kids out of the weather. So, kids 5 to 11 are invited to hop aboard the Polar Express instead of walking the several blocks to the party, O’Brien explained.

“It’s going to be a school bus decorated as grandly as it could be so the kids can participate. They will board and we’ll give them a ticket and stamp it, just like in the movie,” she said.

Younger and older children are invited to walk with their parents in the parade or meet the group at the party.

The parade builds on past efforts to celebrate the season, which had included an annual children’s party hosted by Avoca Crime Watch.

“Holly and a small group of people said, ‘Let’s step in and help out and make it a little bigger, not only just for the kids, but a town-wide celebration,’” O’Brien said. “We’re a tight-knit town, it just shows.”

The parade will start at 822-824 McAlpine St., travel on Main Street, turning down Hawthorne Street and ending at the church hall. Any child can participate, along with Avoca Borough officials and local organization and businesses. Avoca Hose Company is leading the parade. Dupont Little League and Avoca Cub Scouts will walk in the parade and more than 30 children have already registered.

To participate in the parade or attend the party, you must pre-register by Saturday, Dec. 8. Those registered for the parade should meet at the assembly spot before 12:30 p.m. To pre-register, call or text 570-499-7013 or 570-237-7190 and leave your name, number and the names and ages of children attending.

DUPONT

Christmas Tree Lighting

Dupont Crime Watch will host a tree lighting festival at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Dupont Municipal Building Memorial Park on Chestnut Street. Music, crafts, games, snacks, hot chocolate and a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Mayor Dan Lello will be featured. Santa also will be on hand for this free event.

DURYEA:

Christmas Stroll

Duryea Betterment Committee will have its fourth annual Christmas Stroll down Main Street from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Visit local businesses and crafters and enjoy a ride on a horse-drawn carriage, plenty of free children’s events and a live Nativity scene. A special visitor from the North Pole will be featured. To participate as a vendor, space is limited and is served on a first come, first served basis. Vendor space is $10 and a donation of a raffle basket. Vendors are responsible for setting up and tearing down their area. For information, visit the Duryea Christmas Stroll Facebook page.

Children’s Christmas Party

Duryea Lions Club’s annual children’s Christmas party will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the Germania Hose Company, 430 Foote Ave. All children from Duryea, 10-years-old and younger, are invited. This event includes a visit from Santa, holiday music, refreshments, gifts and a raffle of 14 bicycles.

Santa Delivering Toys

Excelsior Hose Company No. 2 will help Santa deliver toys Saturday, Dec. 22. Santa will ride on Excelsior’s fire truck to the homes of all of the good boys and girls throughout Duryea, If you wish for Santa to visit your household, a $20 donation is requested. The hose company asks that a parent or guardian wrap a small gift for their loved one, labeled with the child’s name and address. Bring the gift to the firehouse, 798 Foote Ave., from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Dec. 6 through Dec. 20, and Santa will deliver it.

HUGHESTOWN

Breakfast with Santa

Hughestown Hose Company and Hughestown Emergency Services will host their annual Breakfast with Santa at the fire station banquet hall, 30 Center St., Sunday, Dec. 16. Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. with last seating at noon. Santa will arrive at 9 a.m. and will deliver gifts to the children who attend. Santa also will be available for photos and there will be crafts, gift raffles and many other activities during breakfast. Tickets are $10 and children under 5 are free. Tickets can be purchased by calling 570-654-4188 or at the door during the event.

After breakfast, the Hughestown Hose Company will take Santa on a ride around town in a fire truck, and they will stop to pick up canned goods for Greater Pittston Meals on Wheels.

JENKINS TWP.

Children’s Christmas Party

Jenkins Twp. will host a children’s Christmas party from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Jenkins Hose Company, 2 Second St. The party is free to all children who are invited to come and see Santa. Children can give him their Christmas list and they will receive a present from jolly old St. Nick.

PITTSTON

Children’s Christmas Party

Pittston City’s children’s Christmas party is set for 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at the Pittston City Fire Station, 20 Kennedy St. Children up to 12 who reside in Pittston are welcome. Santa will arrive by fire truck and will be available for photos, so parents are encouraged to bring a camera. Each child will receive a stocking full of goodies form Santa. The free party is sponsored annually by the Pittston City Fire Department, Pittston City Police Department, Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance and Chris Latona. Registration is not required.

Christmas in Pittston

Christmas in Pittston is moving to a Friday this year, with Santa making his way to downtown Friday, Dec. 7. The event will include a Toy Truck Parade starting at Cooper’s and continuing to the Tomato Festival lot. The event will feature pictures with Santa, live entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides, refreshments and specials offered by local businesses.

PITTSTON TWP.

Children’s Christmas Party

Pittston Twp. Board of Supervisors and Recreation Board will host a Christmas party for the children of the township from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at the St. Joseph Marello Parish Center, 237 William St. There will be games, prizes, refreshments and a visit from Santa. Residents are reminded to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the local food bank.

WEST PITTSTON

Parade and Tree Lighting

Sunday, Dec. 2, West Pittston will host its annual Christmas tree lighting, paired with cookies and hot chocolate. The parade will begin at 5 p.m. on Erie Street and make its way toward the tree at Wyoming and Delaware avenues, where Santa and Mrs. Clause will greet the children. Wyoming Area’s marching band and cheerleaders will lead singing of Christmas carols.

GREATER WYOMING

Breakfast with Santa

Wyoming Area Kiwanis Club, Key Club and Builders Club will hold their 25th annual Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Wyoming Area Secondary Center cafeteria. Children and parents have the opportunity to walk through Christmas Wonderland and visit Santa, do Christmas crafts and enjoy raffles for Christmas trees and baskets of toys. PSP will take photos at an additional cost. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children 2 to 12 years and free for children younger than 2. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance on the Wyoming Area Kiwanis Club Facebook page.

PITTSTON AREA

Reading Wonderland

Pittston Area, in partnership with Luzerne County Head Start Inc. and ABC Kidde Kampus, will present the annual Reading Wonderland from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the high school. Enjoy a day filled with fun literacy activities, crafts, a free picture with Santa and snacks. This holiday event is free to all children younger than fourth grade who reside in the Pittston Area School District. Snow date is Sunday, Dec. 16.

Breakfast with Santa

Pittston Area Marching Patriots will host Pancakes and Pajamas with Santa. Wear your favorite PJs for Breakfast with Santa from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Hughestown Hose Company. Cost is $10 for adults and $8 for children and includes all the pancakes and sausage you can eat, cffee, tea, juice and milk. For tickets, call Debbie Wruble at 570-237-6769.