From dancing to egg hunting to art exhibitions, festivals

At a Wednesday morning meeting of the Downtown Arts Artistic Forum, host Gina Malsky announced that Eddie Day Pashinski had agreed to bring his band to the public square in Wilkes-Barre to perform on May 20, for a Friday night performance at the Fine Arts Fiesta.

For Patricia Lacy of the Wyoming Valley Art League, this was great news.

“People will come out in droves,” she said, noting that she expects people to not just listen to the music, but dance in the square like she and her friends used to. dance to the music of Joe Nardone and the All Stars. and Eddie Day and the Starfires at Sans Souci Ballroom in Hanover Township and Hanson’s in Harveys Lake.

In early February, when the Downtown Arts Forum held its first meeting, Lacy had expressed hope that a dance could be held downtown.

Now that this is going to happen, she offered a friendly challenge to John Maday of the Riverfront Parks Committee to jitterbug. He seems to be looking forward to this, but first he has to dress up as the Easter Bunny and arrive by fire truck at the downtown Wilkes-Barre Egg Hunt, which is due to start at 10 a.m. on April 9, with thousands of hidden eggs for children. to find.

“We’ve had up to 600 children present in the past,” he said.

And these events are just the tip of the iceberg, as Malsky and other artists shared their plans.

Shelby Monk of the Diamond City Partnership mentioned that Restaurant Week will take place April 4-10, with participating downtown restaurants offering 20% ​​off everything you order, or special prix fixe dinner menus. to several courses that will highlight the artistic talent of the cooks.

From May 1 to August 31, Sips Happy Hours will take place every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at participating locations downtown. The first Sunsets on SOMA (which stands for South Main, as in Street) event will take place May 19 in Midtown Village, and organizers are looking for musicians to perform.

And Wilkes University’s Sordoni Art Gallery will be the setting for a Cocktails and Culture event on May 4; Malsky said it could become a “Quatro de Mayo” celebration with a south of the border influence.

Tyler Ryan, from the mayor’s office, said the town of Wilkes-Barre will host the annual Cherry Blossom Festival from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 30 and May 1 at Kirby Park.

Nancy Sanderson of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic said the band will close its season in downtown Wilkes-Barre with a 7 p.m. wind concert on May 19 at First Presbyterian Church.

In the summer, she says, a group of musicians will play the 1812 Overture at Kirby Park for a concert on July 4; the Philharmonie is looking for a financial sponsor.

Karl Hall’s AJ Jump explained to some attendees who were unfamiliar with the location that it was in the basement of the “old Polish Union Building” at 57 N. Main St.,

“We’re basically a micro-Kirby Center,” he said, referring to the variety of acts. (Coming soon, indie rock on April 8 by James Barrett with Past Life and Bottom Bracket. Then on April 9 it’s country and rock by three different bands, including the Wells River Duo, Kyle of Always Undecided and Jennie Angel . )

Also forthcoming is a project to create a coffee table book featuring photographs of some of Wilkes-Barre’s architectural treasures; Tony Brooks of the Wilkes-Barre Preservation Society said the organization and the Times leader would work together on this.

And representatives of the Wyoming Valley Art League are eager to promote two exhibitions that will open on April 15 – one featuring the work of the members’ jury and the other featuring the work of artists Renee Emanuel and Bill Teitsworth – as well as upcoming art lessons from watercolorist Keith Hunter.

The Downtown Arts Artistic Forum is a community resource whose mission is to promote artistic and cultural events in downtown Wilkes-Barre. “It’s not a new organization,” Gina Malsky said. “We want to improve existing organizations and give people a chance to network.”

For more information, contact Malsky at [email protected] or the Diamond City Partnership at 570-208-9737.

William E. Bennett