Bazaar season in Greater Pittston is in full swing as parishes, hose companies and other non-profit groups prep for their annual fundraising festivities.
St. Joseph Marello Parish in Pittston kicked off the season with its annual parish picnic Friday, May 27, featuring live entertainment, various foods, an indoor flea market and basket raffles.
Corpus Christi Parish will hold its annual bazaar Thursday, June 23 through Saturday, June 25 on the Immaculate Conception Church grounds on Luzerne Avenue in West Pittston.
This will mark the event’s sixth year, but bazaar committee member Kim Rollman said preparation is still a challenge.
“We start (preparations) in December and it really does take a whole community,” she said. “From building the stands and making sure the proper electrical is there right down to the recipes for the food, who’s making the food and buying the prizes. It’s very comprehensive. I still have a list of (multiple) tasks on it for the publicity.”
The bazaar committee has 30 members, and Rollman said there are sub-committees that handle the flea market, children’s games, food, and other activities.
Items on sale for the flea market include household items, children’s games, purses, jewelry, holiday items, books, CDs and DVDs.
The flea market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday in June leading up to the bazaar, and then will operate under normal bazaar hours that weekend.
“Our flea market is one of the biggest money-makers in terms of bazaars,” said Rollman. “How they do it is (committee members) collect things every week, but they open every Saturday in June up until the bazaar. That final week during the bazaar they’re open for the whole three days.”
Live entertainment will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. all three days. Handsome Devils will perform June 23, Iron Cowboy performs June 24 and the Sperazza Band will perform June 25.
Rollman is looking forward to seeing the community come together for a fun time and favorable weather.
“I think what we’re looking forward to is hopefully good weather,” she said. “But, we’re looking forward to seeing people come together, seeing and meeting new people who can come together for one good cause; and also to build those relationships through the church.”
Money made from the bazaar goes back into the Corpus Christi Parish community, which consists of the Immaculate Conception Church and Church of the Holy Redeemer in Harding.
Bazaars aren’t the only events to look forward to this summer.
Queen of the Apostles Parish will hold its third annual pig roast Sunday, July 17. It’s an event that’s getting bigger every year, according to event organizer Jim McMahon.
“Every year it grows,” he said. “The first year doing it people were so-so, so we made about $12,000 the first year and $14,000 last year, which was our goal. What helps is people donate, so we don’t have to buy much.”
The event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s School parking lot on Spring Street in Avoca.
Donated foods include macaroni salad, baked beans, hot dogs, corn on the cob, fresh fruit and cake.
The main event of the pig roast is the pig itself, which McMahon said weighs about 150 pounds.
“We have a guy who gets the pig for us and is a parishioner,” said McMahon. “He gets a pig at a farm somewhere, but it’s a full pig at 150 pounds. Depending on how many tickets we sell we’ll add pork loins to that. He cooks everything in a pit with charcoal and starts it Saturday night and it cooks all night.”
Cost to attend the all-you-can-eat event is $20 for adults and $1o for children, with take-outs available.
McMahon said tickets will go on sale the weekend of Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12.
Queen of the Apostle priest, Fr. Phillip Sladicka, is a huge fan of the pig roast and he can’t wait for the community to come together and enjoy themselves.
“We usually have crowds that come and it’s constantly busy,” he said. “You have the parishioners working together and I feel at times we have people come early and stay late. Everybody has a lot of fun.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher