PITTSTON — For the third time, the streets of Pittston will be a sea of green as the annual St. Patrick’s Parade approaches.
The event will take place beginning at noon on Saturday, March 5 as parade marchers will begin at the intersection South Main and East Fortingham streets then loop around onto Kennedy Boulevard.
City Events Coordinator Sarah Donahue said parade participants are the same as always this year, but with the addition this year’s parade grand marshal Joan McFadden and Lt. Gov. Michael Stack.
Stack visited the city back in October and had good things to say about how far Pittston has come in terms of new businesses and events.
He will get an up close and personal look at one of the city’s main events in the St. Patrick’s Parade.
“He really likes Pittston, I guess he likes the renaissance and he likes to see what’s going on,” said Donahue. “We’re really excited he’s here to see what an event is like since he hasn’t seen an event. We’re very honored that he’s coming.”
Those looking for a preview of the parade route can participate in the newest addition to the parade festivities — the Leprechaun Loop 1 Mile Run/Walk.
The loop will be on the exact same course route as the parade, which Donahue said made it much easier to plan.
Donahue said committee members took notice of the popularity of small races during other city events and were inspired to add one to the St. Patrick’s Parade festivities.
“Races are very popular and people love to do them,” she said. “It’s an up-and-coming and growing trend that people like to do, so we wanted to jump on board with that. We know that they can be — if done right — fundraisers. We don’t know how we’re going to do on it, but regardless we’re going to make a donation to the Care and Concern Ministries. We’ll donate to them, whatever the amount may be.”
Awards will be given to the runners with the best time as well as the person who is best dressed.
“We’re encouraging people to dress up in their best Irish gear, so perhaps someone doesn’t win the race they can win the best costume award,” said Donahue.
Getting into groove
When the parade is all said and done, city patrons can head out to local businesses and restaurants to enjoy food and drinks.
Music will be provided throughout the day from Celtic United Pipes & Drums presented by Susquehanna Brewing Company, Greater Scranton Black Diamonds Pipe Band presented by Times Shamrock, Wyoming Valley Pipe and Drum Band presented by Reilly Associates, and Ceol Mor Pipe and Drum Ban presented by M. Mayo Striping.
Going into its third year, Donahue said there were no preparation setbacks and that the parade committee is starting find a rhythm in making plans.
The committee consists of Donahue as well as Shawn Brogan, Carl DeLuca, Lee Monteforte, Gary Duncan, Qiana Murphy, Catherine Arthur, Pittston City Administrator Joe Moskovitz, Michael McFarland, Jim McFarland, Alok Sarin, Brian Matyjevich, Cathy Altieri, Ree Ree Connolly DeLuca, Tiffany Ferentino, Janell Cawley and Tina Rava.
“We had Shamrocktoberfest in the fall which was our fundraiser and we did really well with that,” she said. “We got organized really early and sent sponsor letters out last summer, so we started organizing and doing a lot of things early to be productive and proactive. It’s a year-long process.”
Donahue said the parade committee will start planning the fourth annual event the day after the parade on Sunday, March 6.
Peculiar Pub Crawl
Brand new to this year’s parade weekend is the inaugural Peculiar Pub Crawl, sponsored by Peculiar Culinary Company.
The crawl will be held on Friday, March 4. Music will be provided by the Wyoming Valley Pipe and Drum Band during the crawl. The first stop will be from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Susquehanna Tavern, 167 Susquehanna Ave., Exeter. Next the crawl will head to the Tomato Bar and Bistro, 7 Tomato Festival Drive, Pittston, from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. From 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., the crawl will be at Saints and Sinners, 112 Center St., Pittston. The final stop will be from 9:45 to 10:45 p.m. at Cebulas Bar and Lounge, 295 Main St., Dupont.
Patrons joining in the fun for the annual parade may find it difficult to park in downtown Pittston. Downtown streets will be closed beginning at 10:30 a.m.
A temporary no parking ban will begin at 2 a.m. on Saturday, March 5 and will be enforced by Pittston City Police on South Main Street between William and Market streets. No parking will be enforced until 2 p.m.
However, parking will be free at Graziano Funeral Home, 700 South Township Blvd. in Pittston Township. The funeral home is located a half mile from Main Street.
Nick Wagner contributed to this report. Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher.