New stage


First Posted: 6/6/2013

Pittston City takes the stage, so to speak.

Donations from the Tomato Festival Committee and Leadership Wilkes-Barre allowed Pittston to purchase it’s own stage and bandshell to be used for city events such as the Tomato Festival and Second Friday events.

“We’ve been talking about this for a while,” said Councilman Mike Lombardo. “We used to borrow Wilkes-Barre’s, but we decided, let’s just get our own.”

The new aluminum stage is actually a 1976 model purchased from Bucks County at a competitive auction. The price tag: $12,500, significantly less than the cost of a new one, which runs $150,000.

“They kept it in really good shape,” Lombardo said. “After the paint job, it looks practically brand new.”

When not scheduled for use for city events, the 44-foot-long “Shomobile” could be rented to other towns, churches or organizations in need. A rental agreement with fee schedule is available online at pittstoncity.org.

“We wanted to buy it because we knew looking forward, we planned more outdoor events and concerts.”

The Tomato Festival donated $5,000 and a regional arm of Leadership Wilkes-Barre, donated $2,500 and manpower, KME in Nesquehoning donated the lettering and N&B Enterprises painted it with an automobile paint and a reduced rate.

“It was really a community effort,” Lombardo said.

The bandshell will get its debut this Friday as Pittston celebrates Second Friday downtown.

It will also be used for the debut Peculiar Music Festival in Jefferson Park from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 22. The event is a fundraiser to help in the restoration of the park. Peculiar Culinary Company and the City of Pittston are sponsors. The daylong event will feature music, food and family fun.

A Fourth of July Celebration is being held by Perspective Church and the Tomato Festival is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 15 to Sunday, Aug. 18.

The stage will be kept in the city’s DPW yard when not in use and will be delivered by city workers.

“We’ll have complete control over it,” Lombardo said.

He said it fits in on what the City is trying to do.

“We’re targeting quality of life issues, bringing in arts, music and nightlife,” Lombardo said. “It brings an energy to the downtown.”

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