My Corner, Your Corner: Another fruitful festival has come and gone


My Corner, Your Corner - Tony Callaio



After four days, 51 weeks of planning come to an end Sunday.

I stopped by the Pittston Tomato Festival grounds on Wednesday evening out of curiosity. Tents were raised and a handful of people were milling around like ants on an anthill. Electricians were doing their best to get the right circuitry combination so there wouldn’t be any power interruptions during the festival.

What surprised me was that there was so much more work that needed to be done, as the majority of vendors were not even present. It seems most of the setup is done on Thursday before the opening.

Fred and Nick Marianacci of Marianacci’s Restaurant were at their tent location working on a layout that would be efficient for the four busy days.

For many food vendors, ovens had to be carted in, as well as refrigerators and freezers. It’s a daunting task and I for one would not like to have done it, but for many of those vendors, festivals are like the Super Bowl. There is a lot of money to be made, that’s for sure.

Barbara Sciandra’s Paint Pittston Pink booth was being set up as I walked through the lot. Barbara is gearing up for another Paint Pittston Pink campaign in October that will undoubtedly be successful. If you didn’t stop by her booth yet, try to get there Sunday.

As I rounded the center aisle, another truck pulled in to back up to their vendor spot. The truck was packed to the gills with items.

The layout hasn’t changed much over the year, but with the advent of the new building that houses the Tomato Festival headquarters, vendor booths and garages, that particular section of the second tier has changed.

Next year there will be a bigger change when a third tier will be added behind the Pittston Memorial Library. I’m not sure what the festival committee will assign for that spot, but I’m sure it will be well-thought out to ensure its success.

With the great mural completed on the side of the Newrose building, festival-goers will be able to admire and appreciate it in all of its glory.

So much time and effort goes into the planning and execution of this festival. I’m sure once this four-day party is over and after a little time to decompress, committee heads will be back at the drawing board working on next year’s plans.

To all the committee workers, planners, and volunteers, as well as vendors, farmers and entertainers, congratulations on another successful Tomato Festival – can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year!

Heroes Park

Pittston Area School Board Director John Adonizio reached out to me this week regarding the proposed Col. Tom Tigue Heroes Park in Hughestown. Tom passed away of lung cancer in February at the age of 70.

The site will be at the Pittston Area Primary Center. A designer’s rendition has been drawn, according to Adonizio.

A committee will be formed and Adonizio is hoping to get input from local veterans’ groups and nonprofits. People from the general public are invited to participate as well. As of now, organizers are looking for a nine-person board.

The goal is to raise as much money as possible with the hope of construction starting in the spring of 2017. However, Adonizio said there really is no time limit or a financial goal set.

Whether it was when Tom served his community during his tenure as a Pittston Area School Board director or as a state representative, he would bend over backwards for anyone. No favor was too big or too small to tackle. There are not many men that have the integrity, class, or dignity that Tom had. He was a patriot through and through.

If anyone deserves a monument, statue or park named in his or her honor, it’s Tom Tigue. The Silver Star recipient served his country and constituents extremely well and to contribute to this park should be a no-brainer.

If anyone is interested in getting involved with the project or getting on a committee, contact Pittston Area School Board Secretary Clairellen Hopple at 570-654-2415, ext. 2101 or Dawn Licata at 570-654-2415, ext. 2102.

Quote of the week

“If you only have one smile in you give it to the people you love.” – Maya Angelou, American poet.

Thought of the week

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” – Maya Angelou

Bumper sticker

“Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou

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My Corner, Your Corner

Tony Callaio

Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at tonyc150@verizon.net.

Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at tonyc150@verizon.net.

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