Ring master

Ring master

Scranton wrestler bring fearless persona to Shamrock Shakedown

By day, Brianna Spindler uses scissors, a blowdryer or bleach to do her job.
At night, she’s more likely to pick up a table, ladder, chair — or another person.
The Scranton resident and lead stylist and color specialist at the city’s Salon a Go Go is making her mark in the professional wrestling world, competing in matches in Northeast Pennsylvania as well as across the state.
Decked out in metallic black and silver gear, Spindler goes by the ring name Adena Steele, an out-of-this-world persona based on her own platinum hair and tattoos that adorn most of her body, plus her interest in astrology and the moon, stars and space.
“I was playing around with a couple (ideas), and it kind of just clicked into place,” Spindler said. “I wanted it to have that kind of vibe — just a strong, badass, fearless chick.”

Spindler will soar into the ring during United Wrestling Revolution Presents: Shamrock Shakedown on Saturday, March 16, inside the Casey Ballroom at Hilton Scranton and Conference Center, 100 Adams Ave. The show also features Chris Masters, known for his work with World Wrestling Entertainment and Total Nonstop Action.
Doors open at 6 p.m. with bell time at 7. Tickets to the family-friendly show cost $15 for general admission and $5 for children 10 and younger. Ringside tickets cost $20.
Spindler’s decision to chase her wrestling dream sprung from her interest in fitness and her childhood pastime. She watched wrestling as a kid and always held the idea in the back of her mind but never realized she could make it a reality. After a friend saw an open tryout for Back Breakers Training Center, Archbald, she convinced Spindler to go. Spindler earned a spot to train as the only woman in the class.
“I was comfortable with it, but I think it took a little to get everyone else to get comfortable,” she said, laughing. “Fighting a girl goes against everything you’re ever taught. It’s awkward, but once we all got used to it, that strangeness wore off.”

After she graduated, Spindler had to adapt and get used to wrestling with women but found support in those she’s met in the industry. It’s nice to find someone to relate to in certain aspects of wrestling, she said, and it’s also cool to see women getting into the ring. They not only display their hard work and talent but also inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
Management at Salon a Go Go supports Spindler’s career. While she’s still works as a stylist during the week, she has Saturdays off for wrestling shows. Crowds have been receptive to her, incorporating her name into chants, such “Steele the show,” and Spindler is working on developing her signature moves. This includes her finisher, the “Steele force,” a nod to Knoebels’ rollercoaster and her NEPA roots.

Right now, she’s working her way up in an industry built on paying one’s dues. Spindler tries to get out in front of as many people as possible and show off her skills. The physicality and mental aspects of the sport can be brutal, but it’s all a part of the ride.
“I’m always going to go where I need to go and put in the effort,” she said. “This is just life. Why not try to do something you want to do? What do you have to lose? I’d rather try it now than look back and regret it.”

Barrier breaker WWE Superstar Mandy Rose brings ‘SmackDown Live’ to arena

Barrier breaker WWE Superstar Mandy Rose brings ‘SmackDown Live’ to arena

It’s an exciting time to be Mandy Rose.
And according to the World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar, it’s an exciting time to be a woman in sports entertainment in general.
“Every place women are just taking over. It’s only up from here,” Rose said during a recent phone interview. “Women keep achieving new milestones and breaking down barriers.”
Fans can see Rose and other Superstars on “SmackDown Live!” on Tuesday, March 5, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp. Tickets start at $20 and are available at ticketmaster.com and the arena box office and by calling 800-745-3000. There is a $10 fee to park in the arena’s lot.
Rose, aka Amanda Saccomanno outside the ring, entered WWE universe in 2015 through the reality TV show “Tough Enough.” She placed second and was signed to the company’s developmental property that same year. In 2017, Rose debuted on the main roster alongside Superstar Paige with fellow “Tough Enough” alum Sonya Deville.

While Rose didn’t dream of being a pro wrestler since childhood like some, she decided to take a leap of faith into the industry. After earning a degree in speech-language pathology, Rose started to participate in fitness competitions, which “opened up so many opportunities” and helped her find herself. It wasn’t long after that she auditioned for “Tough Enough” and decided to pursue a new path.
“It was something I was doing for myself,” she said. “Seeing the progress in myself and working hard to attain that goal was something I really loved.”
Rose’s advice to young women looking to make it in the sports entertainment world or in any capacity reflects her own journey.
“Always chase your dreams and don’t doubt them,” she said. “Follow your heart. You never know where it might take you.”
The chance she took years ago put her on biggest stage of her life. Her time on the main roster has included several firsts — for her and the other women of WWE. Rose participated in the first women’s Royal Rumble match last January and the first all-women’s pay-per-view, “Evolution,” in October.
“The crowd was just electric,” she said. “Being there in that moment was an unforgettable experience.”

Last week, Rose and Deville competed in an Elimination Chamber match to claim the Women’s Tag Team Championships, where they made it to the final two. Days later, Rose defeated SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka.
While she’s on the road to the largest event of the year, “WrestleMania,” which takes place in April, Rose still stops to take it all in along the way.
“We are having so much fun,” Rose said. “It’s amazing. It’s an exciting time.”

DCappella brings Disney songbook hits to stage at F.M. Kirby Center

DCappella brings Disney songbook hits to stage at F.M. Kirby Center

When R.J. Woessner takes the stage in Wilkes-Barre, it won’t be the first time his career brought him to Northeast Pennsylvania.
The singer, actor and voice-over actor originally from Indianapolis first traveled to Plains Twp. to appear in a commercial for Mohegan Sun Pocono several years ago. Now as a member of Walt Disney Records’ seven-person a cappella group, DCappella, Woessner was happy to see a familiar stop on the group’s North American tour.
“I got to spend a couple days (in NEPA). It’s a beautiful area,” Woessner said during a recent phone interview. “It will be great to be back there doing something a little different.”
Woessner, Sojourner Brown, Orlando Dixon, Antonio Fernandez, Morgan Keene, Shelley Regner and Joe Santoni make up DCappella, a super-group of a cappella performers who sing reimagined classics from the Disney songbook and more. DCapella will perform Wednesday, Feb. 13, at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7.
Woessner described the show as a theatrical concert experience, with skits, dancing, LED screens and a full light show that creates a special night for the audience. While the songs include Disney classics, DCappella performs the music in new arrangements across various genres, including R&B, jazz, rock, pop and electronic.
“The people will get to know all of us individually and our personalties throughout the show,” Woessner said. “You’re not going to a karaoke night. You’re going to a night of nostalgia. … It’s a very interactive experience, and there’s so much versatility. It’s really special to be in a show like that.”
On his road to DCappella, Woessner encountered a few signs that the group was in his future. They included time performing with Berklee College of Music’s a cappella group, Pitch Slapped, which appeared on the TV competition show “The Sing-Off,” and work as a vocalist with Disney orchestral tours. When he got word of auditions for DCapella, he knew it was for him.
Woessner and his fellow singers all come from different parts of show business. Regner appeared in the “Pitch Perfect” films, Keene played Katherine in the “Newsies” national tour, and Dixon was a finalist on NBC’s singing competition show, “The Voice.”
“You have to have versatility, and you have to be an amazing showman, but you also have to have such an understanding of music,” Woessner said. “The show is difficult, and each one of us brings something different to it. You can expect a Broadway-calibur show.”
Fans also should hear some of their favorite Disney songs, such as “I Wanna Be Like You” from “The Jungle Book” and one of Woessner’s favorites, “You’ll Be in My Heart,” the Phil Collins-penned song from “Tarzan.” Younger fans won’t be disappointed, either, as DCappella performs newer Disney hits, including “Remember Me” from “Coco” and songs from “Frozen.”
Woessner stressed the show is for all ages, and making connections with people in the crowd through beloved Disney music is what means the most to the members of DCappella.
“When you see a little girl’s face light up during ‘Frozen’ … or when you see a dad and he’s just like, ‘Wow,’ and totally blown away, that’s indescribable,” he said. “I hope they (leave) feeling inspired and feeling joy and feeling like we allowed them to escape for two hours.”
Contact the writer:
gmazur@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9127;
@gmazurTT on Twitter

Bundled up Alternative groups join headliner Young the Giant at ALT 92.1 Snow Show

Bundled up Alternative groups join headliner Young the Giant at ALT 92.1 Snow Show

Let it Snow Show.
A staple in the alternative music scene during the dead of winter, ALT 92.1’s Snow Show takes place Sunday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre.
The concert is packed with acts from across different alterative genres, including rock headliner Young the Giant, rock/hip-hop musician Grandson, ska-punk group the Interrupters and the Nude Party, a six-piece psych rock band.
Tickets to the Times-Shamrock Communications radio station’s concert are $29.50 to $49.50 for general admission and $92.10 for VIPs with a meet-and-greet. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, by calling 570-826-1100 and online at kirbycenter.org.

Six-piece psych rock band the Nude Party will join Young the Giant,

With differing acts on the bill, Nude Party lead singer Patton Magee said some of the highlights of playing the same show include discovering new music and getting hit with inspiration.
“Sometimes you see a band and you’re really just like, ‘Damn, that’s awesome,’ and (you) want to adapt a little bit to what they’re doing,” Magee said during a recent phone interview.
Originally from Boone, North Carolina, and now living in Livingston Manor, New York, the Nude Party began when the six members met at Appalachian State University. After releasing its self-titled debut album last July, the band’s been writing and recording in its Catskill Mountains house in between touring and plans to continue making music and performing all over the country this year.
ALT 92.1’s Snow Show isn’t the group’s first time in Northeast Pennsylvania, Magee said. The Nude Party performed inside Wilkes-Barre’s Karl Hall last September.
“It was a lot of fun,” Magee said. “It just seemed like a group of people who wanted to see live music. That’s really cool.”
Magee said a Nude Party live show is where the band thrives. The crowd can expect the band to play some new music not on the record, he said, which the band enjoys since it can flesh out the songs a little more.
“We do it better (live) than any other way,” Magee said, adding that “Astral Man” and some of the band’s longer songs are his favorites to play for a crowd. “You can create cool transitions between songs, and songs could turn out different live than (they) do on the record. Sometimes we’ll do something and it will sound different and we think, ‘Oh, we need to remember and do it next time.’ It’s the time that really shows the best of us and who we are.”

Play it cool – Wintertime events abound across region

Play it cool – Wintertime events abound across region

Stay cool.
Just because it’s the dead of winter doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up inside your house. Weekend Times rounded up wintertime programs, festivals and events across the region. Whether indoors or outdoors, there’s something for everyone this season. The fun never stops in Northeast Pennsylvania.

Stay inside

Tim Fox of Throop, with his dance partner Elizabeth Ameigh of Throop, during Friday night’s Winter in the City event, held at Posh at the Scranton Club in downtown Scranton. Butch Comegys / Staff Photographer

Scranton Tomorrow’s Winter in the City cocktail parties
Admission costs $20 and proceeds benefit Scranton Tomorrow.
When: Fridays, Jan. 18 and Feb. 8, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: POSH at the Scranton Club, 404 N. Washington Ave.
Details: 570-963-1575 or the event’s Facebook page.

Let’s Talk Wellness: A Speaker Series
Jump-start your wellness journey with a free lecture, discussion and question-and-answer session with Jess Doncses about digestive health.
When: Saturday, Jan. 19, 3 to 5 p.m.
Where: Jaya Yoga, 320 S. State St., Clarks Summit
Details: 570-319-1726 or info@JayaYogaStudio.com

Lunar eclipse viewing
When: Sunday, Jan. 20; observatory opens at 9:30 p.m.; eclipse ends at 1:50 a.m.
Where: Thomas G. Cupillari Observatory at Keystone College, Hack Road, Fleetville
Details: 570-945-8402 or observatory@keystone.edu

Irish Whiskey Pairing
Guests can enjoy five whiskey and appetizer pairings along with flatbreads, various cheeses, carved Italian meats and grilled vegetables as Dustin Douglas provides live music. Tickets cost $39.
When: Thursday, Jan. 24, 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: Molly O’Shea’s at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.
Details: 570-831-2100

Pocono Winter Beerfest 2019
Tickets cost $35 for general admission and $50 for VIP.
When: Saturday, Jan. 26, 1 p.m.
Where: Sherman Theater, 524 Main St., Stroudsburg
Details: 570-420-2808 or shermantheater.com

Wizardfest — ‘Harry Potter’ party
Enter the wizarding world of the Boy Who Lived with this “Harry Potter” party including themed drinks, a costume contest, quidditch pong, dance party and prizes. Tickets cost $15 for advanced general admission and $25 for advanced general admission plus a wand.
When: Saturday, Jan. 26, 3 to 8 p.m.
Where: Stage West, 301 N. Main Ave., Scranton
Details: Visit the event’s Facebook page.

Winter Fest 2019
See 21 curated films in 21 days. Tickets cost $8.50 for each film, excluding opening night, which costs $25 and includes popcorn, snacks, wine and beer. Reservations are required for opening night. Pre- and post-festival events are free.
When: Preview day, Wednesday, Jan. 30, noon to 6 p.m.; opening night, Friday, Feb. 15, 6 p.m.; festival, Saturday, Feb. 16, through, Thursday, March 7; post-festival discussion, Friday, March 8, 1 p.m.
Where: Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga Street, Tunkhannock
Details: dietrichtheater.com

Emo Night Scranton with Craig Owens
Sing along to early- to mid-2000s emo and screamo hits with former vocalist of band Chiodos, as well as involvement in projects such as badXchannels.
When: Saturday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m.
Where: Stage West, 301 N. Main Ave., Scranton
Details: Visit the Facebook event page.

Wyoming County Reads — ‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker
Discussions are facilitated by Bill Chapla, Dr. Marnie Heister and Dr. Richard Hancuff. Screenings are free.
When: Book discussions, Wednesdays, Feb. 6 to 27, 7 p.m.; film screenings, Wednesday, March 6,1 and 7 p.m.
Where: Book discussions, Tunkhannock Public Library, 220 W. Tioga St.; screenings, Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock
Details: 570-836-1677 or 570-996-1500

Galentine’s Day
Celebrate girl power with a take-home craft, mimosa bar and chocolate treats. Seneca Ryan Co. will snap photos of groups in front of fun backdrops. Each time slot costs $40 and can fit up to 25 people.
When: Saturday, Feb. 9; 40-minute time slots from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Chippy White Table, 5 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock
Details: chippywhitetable.bigcartel.com

Indoor Winter Farmer’s Market
Items for purchase include fresh juice, free-range meats, honey, canned goods, bread, produce, cupcakes, cheeses and more.
When: Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., through May 18
Where: UNC South Side Winter Farmer’s Market, 509 Cedar Ave., Scranton
Details: 570-346-0759 or South Side Farmers Market on Facebook

Get out


Shiver by the River 10K/5K run/2-mile walk
Registration costs $15 in advance and $20 the day of the race. Packets can be picked up Friday, Jan. 11, from noon to 7 p.m. at Scranton Running Co., 3 W. Olive St. Race shirts are available for the first 150 participants.
When: Saturday, Jan. 12; registration, 8:30 to 9:45 a.m.; race begins, 10
Where: Race starts and ends at Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, 3 W. Olive St., Scranton.
Details: runsignup.com/Race/PA/Scranton/ShiverbytheRiver1

Ski for Colin
Tickets cost $25 for half-day or evening lift tickets. Proceeds benefit suicide prevention and family support.
When: Sunday, Jan. 13, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Elk Mountain Ski Resort, 344 Elk Mountain Road, Union Dale
Details: 570-679-1414 or the event’s Facebook page

Snowshoe and Yoga on the Trail
Reservations are required for yoga and snowshoe loans. There is no charge for snowshoe rental, but there is a $5 donation for yoga.
When: Saturday, Jan. 19, 10 a.m. to noon
Where: Meet at Rail-Trail Council office, 948 N. Main St., Union Dale
Details: 570-679-9300 or trails@nep.net

ShiverFest 2019
Race entry costs $30 and includes a ticket to the post-race Thaw Party, which runs from 2 to 5 p.m. at Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden St., Scranton. Watching the race is free. Racers must be 18 or older, wear a personal flotation device and provide their own kayak or canoe. Wetsuits are strongly recommended. Proceeds benefit Lackawanna River Conservation Association. Tickets for the Thaw Party only cost $20 and include food, drinks and entertainment.
When: Saturday, Jan. 19, noon to 5 p.m.
Where: Parker Street Landing, Lackawanna River, 12 E. Parker, Scranton
Details: Visit the event’s Facebook page.


Splashin’ with Compassion and Polar Plunge 2019
The event is free to attend and includes basket raffles, music and more. There is a $35 donation for participants to take the polar plunge, which benefits Friends of Shannon McDonough. Costumes are encouraged but not required.
When: Saturday, Jan. 26; registration, 10 to 11 a.m.; plunge, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Montage Mountain Resorts, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton
Details: Visit the event’s Facebook page.

Wally Ice Fest
Event features Pocono Pond Hockey Tournament, a curling demonstration and more.
When: Saturday, Jan. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 27 (backup dates: Saturday, Feb. 9, and Sunday, Feb. 10)
Where: On and around Lake Wallenpaupack, Pike and Wayne counties
Details: wallyicefest.com

Clarks Summit Festival of Ice presents Ice Wars
Annual event takes it back to a galaxy far, far away in its 15th year with a “Star Wars” theme, including ice sculptures, carving demonstrations, family-friendly fun and more.
When: Friday, Feb. 15, through Sunday, Feb. 17
Where: Various venues throughout downtown Clarks Summit
Details: theabingtons.org

Torchlight Parade & Fireworks
Annual event features 75 to 100 employees and friends of Montage Mountain skiing down Mainline Trail outside the lodge, each carrying flaming torches. A pyrotechnics and musical fireworks display immediately follows. Live music from Neil NiCastro Duo will be inside Slocum Hollow Bar & Restaurant from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free, but a lift ticket is required to partake in any snow sports that day.
When: Saturday. Feb. 16, 5 to 10 p.m.
Where: Montage Mountain Resorts, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton
Details: montagemountainresorts.com

The “Ships and Giggles” Party Boat team members steer out of control down a snowy slope on Sunday during the Third Annual Cardboard Box Derby event held at Montage Mountain in Scranton. Butch Comegys / Staff Photographer

Rock 107 Cardboard Box Derby
Teams of sledders 10 and older will build their own cardboard box sleds to win more than $2,000 in prizes. A snow-tubing party takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the tubing plaza. Food and drink also will be on hand.
When: Sunday, Feb. 24; check-in, 7:30 a.m.; derby, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Montage Mountain Resorts, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton
Details: montagemountainresorts.com

Montage MountainFest
The event features pond-skimming, entertainment, giveaways and more.
When: Saturday, March 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Montage Mountain Resorts, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton
Details: montagemountainresorts.com

Nature Discovery Hike with Naturalist Nancy Wottrich
The program includes a two-hour hike on and off the trail. Reservations are required for snowshoes.
When: Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m.
Where: Meet at Rail-Trail Council office, 948 N. Main St., Union Dale
Details: trails@nep.net

Home for the holidays Menzingers, friends unite for musical tradition

Home for the holidays Menzingers, friends unite for musical tradition

Scranton-born musicians are coming home for the holidays, and they’re bringing their friends with them.
The annual NEPA Holiday Show, featuring native Scranton band the Menzingers, will take the stage Saturday, Dec. 22, from 5 to 10:30 p.m. at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
New this year, the band switched up the acts on the show to feature new bands, said Tom May, Menzingers guitarist and singer. Some hold Scranton roots, such as Dark Thoughts, whose bass player hails Scranton, and Abingtons native singer-songwriter James Barrett. Pacific-Northwest band Ramona just wanted to see what the NEPA Holiday Show was all about.
Changing up the bill adds something fresh to the much-loved event which, May said, is an anticipated part of the holiday season for the performers and fans. 

“Every year, people reach out to us asking about it earlier and earlier,” he said. “It’s really become almost an institution on its own.”
Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 the day of the show, available at nepaholidayshow.com.
The event also will include a Toys for Tots drive and raffle. Each person who donates a new, unwrapped toy will be entered to win a bundle including shirts, sweatshirts and autographed LPs and EPs.
Philanthropy is at the heart of the show. Proceeds benefit art and music programs for kids in the Scranton area, which remains close to the musicians’ hearts.
“When we got our start, it was in the music and art scene in Scranton, and that’s what’s allowed us to travel the world and follow our dreams and have those experiences,” May said. “Those programs inspire and help so many people, and we want (the programs) to keep feeding those younger generations.”

May noted there’s a great amount of nationally and internationally recognized artists who hail from the region, and the band almost can guarantee to run into a few fellow natives in their travels.
No matter where they go in the world, it’s a feeling like no other for the Menzingers and other bands from NEPA to play in their hometown.
“It’s always fun to come back home and play this event and just see everyone,” May said. “This is such a tight-knit community. It’s such a great area to be from.”

Winter Wonderland – Festival of Trees celebrates season with Electric City theme

Winter Wonderland – Festival of Trees celebrates season with Electric City theme

It’s electrifying.
The annual Festival of Trees exhibit kicks off this weekend with an Electric City holiday theme, which can mean an homage to Scranton’s electric roots — home to the first electric trolley — or a celebration of the city, said Maureen McGuigan, Lackawanna County deputy director of arts and culture. People and groups from across the region decorated or created from-scratch Christmas trees for the event, and she expects participants’ imaginations to run wild. 

Jason Farmer / Staff Photographer

“We try to keep the theme specific but broad enough that there’s room for interpretation. That’s one of my favorite parts of this event is seeing everyone’s creativity and how they interpret the theme,” she said. “You can really see the organization or business or group’s personality cone through (in their tree).” 
This year’s exhibit runs from Friday, Dec. 14, through Sunday, Jan. 13, in the Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton.
Headed by Lackawanna County’s Office of Arts and Culture — which partnered with the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce — and the office’s event-planning committee, lots of local organizations, volunteers and more all get together to brainstorm ideas and pull off this annual event, McGuigan said.

Butch Comegys / Staff Photographer

For the second year in a row, the trees will be on display inside the Marketplace at Steamtown. Guests can find them on the second floor near Luzerne County Community College’s entrance. While McGuigan said she loves the festival’s past home, Electric City Trolley Museum, being inside the Marketplace allows for more eyes on participants’ hard work.
“It’s more visible since so many people are coming through the (marketplace) during any day of the week,” she said. “It also just makes it look so nice for holidays and gets you into the spirit.” 
Exhibit admission is free except during the Dec. 14 opening reception, which runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and costs $20. Scranton DJ duo Saturbae will provide pop music and more hits, mainly from the late ’90s and early 2000s.
“We like the entertainment to fit the theme, and (Saturbae) is fun and really brings the energy,” McGuigan said. “It’s definitely electric.”
Local businesses Peculiar Culinary Co. and Electric City Bakehouse will serve food at the preview. Proceeds from the show and reception benefit the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program, which has been its longtime beneficiary.
McGuigan said the Festival of Trees continues to be a favorite downtown holiday event, joined by other seasonal attractions such as Lackawanna Winter Market. It’s a tradition that celebrates residents’ creativity and, especially thanks to this year’s theme, highlights the pride they have in their home.
“We have a great, rich history and a great present, too,” McGuigan said. “There’s so much going on in downtown and all over the region. This is a good time of the year to reflect on that.”

Downtown parades to fill streets, region with holiday cheer

Downtown parades to fill streets, region with holiday cheer

Celebrate the start of the holiday season with Christmas cheer, Santa Claus and some furry friends.
During the annual Santa Parade in downtown Scranton on Saturday, Nov. 17, Dave Ragnacci School of Dance will perform to pop singer/songwriter Sia’s “Puppies Are Forever.” The dancers will march along with two animal rescues, One Life To Live Pet Rescue & Adoption Inc. and NEPA Pet Fund and Rescue. The dancers and their families also will walk their own dogs along the parade route while singing along to the chorus of the song.
The heartwarming fun doesn’t stop there. The all-ages, family-friendly parade steps off at 9:15 a.m. with entertainment, twirlers, marching bands, community groups, Christmas carols and more, concluding around noon. Guests also can peruse Santa’s Gift Shop on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square and meet Santa. This year, the grand marshals will be the 2018 Tunkhannock Girls Little League softball team that finished second in the Little League Softball World Series.
Kids can write a message to Santa, which Times-Tribune elves will collect during the parade. Make sure to include your full name and address to ensure a return letter. If you can’t attend the parade, you can submit letters through Friday, Dec. 7.
Meanwhile, in Wilkes-Barre, the annual Christmas Parade and Tree-Lighting Ceremony will take place Saturday, Nov. 17, with free holiday activities throughout the day including ornament crafting, story time, a chance to meet the Grinch at Barnes & Noble Wilkes-King’s and a performance by Broken Road Duo, presented by Making a Difference Ministries. Young violinists of YOUniversal Suzuki Strings will perform in the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts lobby, and there will be a Christmas carol sing-a-long with Mary Baker in the center of Public Square. The parade steps off at 3 p.m. at South and South Main streets and continues north along Main Street, looping around Public Square and concluding on North Main Street. Immediately following the parade, the tree-lighting ceremony will take place on Public Square with a performance by Wilkes-Barre Mohegan Sun Choir. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

What: Santa Parade
When: Saturday, Nov. 17, 9:15 a.m.
Where: Throughout downtown Scranton; begins at Spruce Street and Franklin Avenue and ends at Adams Avenue and Spruce Street
Details: Lackawanna Avenue from Cliff Street to Penn Avenue, Mifflin and Franklin avenues from Lackawanna Avenue to Linden Street, and Spruce Street between Mifflin and Franklin avenues will close to traffic for parade line-up that morning. Admission to the all-ages event is free. For more information, visit santaparade.net.

What: Christmas Parade and Tree-Lighting
When: Saturday, Nov. 17, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; parade, 3 p.m.
Where: Wilkes-Barre Public Square
Details: Admission to the all-ages event is free. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

Students to immerse audiences in fears

Students to immerse audiences in fears

From snakes to clowns, face your fears this weekend.
West Scranton High School Players present Haunted Hallways of West Scranton High School, a theatrical horror guided tour, on Saturday, Oct. 27, and Sunday, Oct. 28, at the school, 1201 Luzerne St.
The event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. with each guided tour lasting about 40 minutes, said Angela Franek, high school speech and drama teacher and theater arts adviser. Haunted Hallways is different from a typical walkthrough haunted house, as guests are lead from room to room with a scene happening in each, she said. This year’s theme centers on fears, phobias and manias, and, like in the past, the students wrote the scripts and designed the costumes, makeup and more to bring their ideas to life.
“They have a lot of fun with it. They’re doing the research, working on character development, there are storytelling elements — beginning, middle and end — doing the props, the costumes,” Franek said. “They do a really nice job. They really love it.” 
Action starts with the tour guide, a “psychiatrist,” leading the group throughout the school hallways. Each scene depicts a different fear or phobia, from coulrophobia (fear of clowns) and claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces) to pediophobia (fear of dolls) and iatrophobia (fear of doctors), and the tour guide will give a little background on the fear. Then, the guests will find themselves immersed inside the fear.
Senior and drama club president Enzo Cicco said he’s playing someone with intense arachnophobia, or fear of spiders. After a short scene between Cicco’s character and his “doctor,” the group will find itself inside his mind and biggest fear. And the more realistic for the audience, the better, Cicco said.
“It’s a really good feeling when people have to leave the room or when they turn back since it’s not for them,” said Cicco, who’s been involved with the event throughout all of high school. “It’s always fun to know something you did was that scary.”
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for students 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the door, and proceeds benefit the drama club. A limited number of pre-sale passes for specific times cost $20 and are available through the West Scranton High School Players Facebook page.
Another fun part for the 100-plus students involved is the time they spend together over the weekend. After school Friday, they transform the hallways and rooms into horror scenes, perform all weekend and then tear down the sets on Sunday night before school resumes Monday. It’s a long weekend, but it’s worth it.
“It’s you and all your friends all weekend, so you get close with each other,” Cicco said. “It’s hard work and grueling hours, but it’s cool to see everything come together, working with each other and watching all the ideas come to life.”


If you go
What: Haunted Hallways of West Scranton High School
When: Saturday, Oct. 27, and Sunday, Oct. 28, 6 to 10 p.m.
Where: West Scranton High School, 1201 Luzerne St.
Details: Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for students 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the door, and proceeds benefit the drama club. A limited number of pre-sale passes for specific times cost $20 and are available through the West Scranton High School Players Facebook page.

Crack the case at murder-mystery fundraiser at Cultural Center

Crack the case at murder-mystery fundraiser at Cultural Center

This killer fundraiser is sure to be a scream.
Leadership Lackawanna hosts an interactive Murder Mystery Dinner Theater on Thursday, Oct. 25.
With an Old Hollywood theme, guests are encouraged to wear glamorous gowns, Veronica Lake-esque hairstyles, sleek suits, dapper top hats and more to the event inside the Grand Ballroom at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Tickets cost $60 and include a buffet dinner, one drink and the show. A cash bar also will be available. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 570-342-7711 or visiting
Kristen Shemanski, vice chairwoman of the nonprofit’s board of directors, said Leadership Lackawanna held a similar event a few years ago and decided to replicate it since it was such a hit. This time, the group hired an outside acting company to spice things up.
“You won’t know who the actors are and who the guests are. Everyone will be intermingled,” Shemanski said. “It will be very interactive and, if you want to play a part, you’ll have the chance to do that.”
The night starts with cocktails at 5:30, and Shemanski said the actors will find specific guests to give them stories and roles to play. At 6:30, guests will sit down for a buffet dinner from Stirna’s Restaurant, and the show will begin. The cultural center’s history and aesthetic will make for an ideal setting for the event, Shemanski said.
The event raises money for Leadership Lackawanna, a self-sufficient nonprofit. Events fund tuition and training for community leaders while also engaging the people in the county they serve. Information on how to get involved with Leadership Lackawanna will be available at the dinner, but overall, the night looks to be a fun way to celebrate the spooky season.
“(We) hope they have a really great time. It’s going to be fun,” Shemanski said. “It’s the perfect time to do it, right around Halloween.”

If you go
What: Leadership Lackawanna’s Murder Mystery Dinner Theater
When: Thursday, Oct. 25; cocktail hour, 5:30 p.m.; buffet dinner and show, 6:30
Where: Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Details: Tickets cost $60 and include buffet dinner, one drink and show. A cash bar will be available, and costumes are encouraged. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 570-342-7711 or visiting leadershiplackawanna.com. Proceeds benefit Leadership Lackawanna.

Double thrills
Murder at the Ritz Chicago, an interactive murder-mystery experience, takes place Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Ritz Theater building, 222 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, at 5 and 9 p.m. Hosted by Creative and Performing Arts Academy of NEPA, the event also features basket raffles, a musical performance and after parties at POSH at the Scranton Club and Backyard Ale House. Tickets cost $75 for food, the show, and wine and cocktail tastings and $70 for food and the show only. A cash bar also will be available, and costumes are encouraged. Proceeds benefit CaPAA’s scholarship program. Reservations are required and can be made by visiting murderattheritz.com. For more information, call 570-252-4156.

In living color Everhart to display artist Hunt Slonem’s work

In living color Everhart to display artist Hunt Slonem’s work

Scranton residents, meet your colorful neighbor.
Neo-expressionist artist Hunt Slonem, known for his vibrant and colorful paintings, bought the Col. Louis Watres Armory on Adams Avenue in 2015 and gave the space a multicolor makeover that includes bright wall treatments, quirky and rare items, antique furniture and dozens of his paintings. This month, his influence moves into another historic building in the Electric City when an exhibition of his paintings opens at the Everhart Museum.
On display Friday, Sept. 28, through Monday, Dec. 31, the exhibit kicks off with a artist reception today from 6 to 8 p.m. at the museum, 1901 Mulberry St. Tickets cost $50 and include light fare, cocktails and a tour of the exhibit. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 570-346-7186, ext. 510. 
Slonem is best known for the way he combines expressionist techniques with mysticism. He focuses on animal subjects, including bunnies and tropical birds in bright colors.
It’s a rare chance to see an influential artist’s work that the public has seldom seen, museum executive director Aurore Giguet said. Slonem’s work hangs in museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim. Now, the Everhart joins that list.
The Scranton museum will display large-scale paintings from early in Slonem’s career that were inspired by time he spent in Mexico, enrolled at Universidad de las Americas. There, Slonem explored archaeological sites of ancient Aztec buildings, which featured colorful and gold-painted canvases as well as pre-Columbian ceremonial objects.
“Hunt uses expressive textural brushstrokes of intense color to create light, playful compositions that are calming and joyful, and you can sense that he has a spiritual connection to the work,” Giguet said. “We are excited to show a series that has been hidden and unseen for many years.”
On Saturday, Sept. 29, Slonem will sign copies of “Gatekeeper: World of Folly,” which will be for sale at the museum along with the artist’s previous books, “Bunnies” and “Birds.” “Gatekeeper” is a 300-page walkthrough of the 102,000 square feet inside the Watres Armory that Slonem has transformed into a vibrant explosion of color, prints and textures. The book also highlights rare and precious items he accumulated over the years from around the world as well as what he calls “collectorating” — or collecting and decorating — that makes his sanctuary a sensory playground. The Everhart will host a dinner with Slonem inside his colorful castle in November, and while that already sold out, Giguet said the museum is thrilled to give residents a peek inside through the exhibit and book signing, as well as the chance to meet the man himself.
“What Hunt has done to the Watres Armory is truly amazing,” Giguet said. “It is a feast for the eyes, and his new book, ‘Gatekeeper,’ really captures the lush, extravagant interiors. It is our pleasure to hold a book signing and to invite the public to meet this remarkable force of nature.”

Artist Hunt Slonem (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

If you go
What: Hunt Slonem exhibition and book signing
When: Preview reception today, 6 to 8 p.m.; exhibition, Friday, Sept. 28, through Monday, Dec. 31; book signing, Saturday, Sept. 29
Where: Everhart Museum, 1901 Mulberry St., Scranton
Details: For more information, call 570-346-7186.

‘American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times’
A look at the 35th president of the United States will go on display inside the Everhart Museum’s Gallery 7 from Friday, Sept. 28, through Monday, Dec. 31. The exhibit, “American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times,” features a collection of photographs of President Kennedy’s public and private life. Curated from public sources to private family albums, some images are iconic, and others have never been seen before. A reception for the exhibit will take place next month.

Eat your  heart out – La Festa Italiana full of treats and entertainment

Eat your heart out – La Festa Italiana full of treats and entertainment

During Labor Day weekend in Scranton, everyone can be Italian.
La Festa Italiana kicks off its 43rd year Friday, Aug. 31, from 4 to 10 p.m. with additional hours Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 3, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square, Scranton. The free, family-friendly event is a tradition in Northeast Pennsylvania, with lots of people behind the scenes working toward a weekend of food and fun, said La Festa president Chris DiMattio.
“People come for the food, the entertainment, to meet (up) with friends and meet new ones,” he said. “It’s a great event for everyone to get together with friends and family downtown.”
Weekend Times put together a handy guide to the tastes, sights and sounds of La Festa Italiana. Mangia!
Come hungry. More than 80 vendors will offer a variety of dishes and desserts from Italy and beyond, ranging from pasta, pizza and cannoli to Polish sausage and Greek delicacies.
La Festa favorites such as UNICO National’s porketta sandwiches and Diana’s Pizza, which has catered to crowds since the festival’s first year, will be back along with local staples.
“Nearly all the vendors are family businesses, and just like in each region of Italy, everyone prides themselves on their own recipes. That’s the way it is at La Festa as well,” DiMattio said. “Everyone’s pizza is different, everyone’s cannoli is different, the sauces are different and unique. There’s really something for everyone.”
Farmer’s market
Fresh fruits and vegetables will be available from John’s Corn. Grown on a farm in Ransom Twp., peaches, tomatoes, Italian beans, prunes and other crops will be ripe for picking up.
Music fans can catch performances from bands, dance groups and more across three stages around the square.
The year’s entertainment includes the return of festival favorite the Cameos. The eight-piece oldies/vocal harmony group will perform its renditions of hits from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Audiences also have the chance to see performances by Gene Dempsey Orchestra, Black Tie Stereo, Old Friends, Flaxy Morgan, Popstar Drive and more. Jim Cullen, Jim Waltich and Jack Bordo also will perform while strolling around the square.
Other entertainment
Aside from music, the Jersey Pizza Boys will display their skills spinning and tossing pizza dough. Brothers Michael and Nicholas Testa’s talents garnered them more than a combined 100 million views on YouTube and appearances on “Today,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Little Big Shots.”
“They’re quite the sensation on YouTube,” DiMattio said. “I haven’t seen them yet (live), but one of our volunteers saw them and said it was an incredible show.”
There also will be a cannoli-eating contest Monday at 3 p.m., and guests can play bocce with Danny Lovaglio. On Sunday night, a fireworks display will light up the sky at approximately 10 p.m.
For the family
La Festa, which does not allow alcohol, offers lots of family-friendly activities, too.
Kids can check out the bounce house and performances. Damien the Magician will perform Sunday and Monday at the Wayne Bank Stage on Adams Avenue at Spruce Street. Juggler Robert Smith will entertain on the square Saturday at the Fidelity Bank Stage and the picnic area on Linden Street, and Presto Pete and Incredulous Chris will perform kid-friendly magic on Linden Street on Saturday and Sunday.
Minicozzi Memorial 5K Run/
1-Mile Walk
On Saturday at 10 a.m., the annual James R. Minicozzi Memorial 5K Run/1-Mile Walk steps off. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. at North Washington Avenue and Linden Street. Proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of NEPA’s Christmas party and college scholarships. For more information or to sign up, visit lafestaitaliana.org or runsignup.com.
Continuing a tradition, Mass will be celebrated in Italian on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 10 a.m. It will take place at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 330 Wyoming Ave., since St. Peter’s Cathedral is undergoing construction.
More activities
Steamtown National Historic Site will hold its annual Railfest on Saturday and Sunday. Free trolley bus shuttles will run to Steamtown and from Wyoming Avenue and Linden Street during the park’s operating hours.
Street closures and parking
Five parking garages close to the festival will have a special weekend parking rate of $5 per day for La Festa patrons.
The festival will affect traffic surrounding Courthouse Square on Friday, Sunday and Monday. Staring Friday at 4 p.m., North Washington Avenue will close from Mulberry to Spruce streets, Spruce Street will close from Jefferson to North Washington avenues, and the 500 block of Linden Street will close. The 400 block of Linden Street will be open to allow people access to the parking garage and also be available as a space where people with disabilities can be dropped off. One lane of Adams Avenue will remain open to traffic.

One last time Motionless in White returns to hometown with final Warped Tour

One last time Motionless in White returns to hometown with final Warped Tour

As the Vans Warped Tour makes its final full run across the country, fans and musicians come together to celebrate the end of the alternative music festival.
For Northeast Pennsylvania-born metalcore band Motionless in White, a stop in its hometown makes the already poignant tour bittersweet. During a recent phone interview from Charlotte, North Carolina, lead singer Chris “Motionless” Cerulli credited Warped Tour with being the band’s launching point.
“It’s absolutely one of the biggest parts of our story over the past 13 years,” said Cerulli, a Pittston native. “I kind of feel like, without Warped Tour, I’m not really sure the band would have achieved the level of success (it has). That’s amazing to us to be part of the last Warped Tour … (to) help say goodbye to the tour and show our appreciation.”
Motionless in White, along with more than 70 other acts, will storm the Pavilion at Montage Mountain on Thursday, July 26. Gates open at 12:30 p.m., and set times will be announced that day. Tickets start at $45 and are available through the box office and livenation.com

Before Motionless in White won the chance to play at Warped Tour in 2008 through a Battle of the Bands, Cerulli and fellow band members played at area venues including the Staircase, Cafe Metropolis and Jessup Sports Dome.
During the band’s two-week stint on Warped Tour 10 years ago, a member of another band on the tour offered to manage the group and introduced it to a record label. Since then, Motionless in White has recorded four full-length albums; toured the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia; and signed to Roadrunner Records.
Coming home means a lot to the band. Cerulli recalled the 2016 Warped Tour as the largest crowd the band has ever played to in Scranton. Fans packed the area in front of the stage and were incredibly welcoming, he said. While some fans sang along to every word, others held up signs that read, “Welcome Home” and “570” — the name of a Motionless in White song dedicated its to roots.
“Playing ‘570’ to the Scranton Warped Tour was one of the most insane moments to me,” Cerulli said. “A top moment of my career for sure.”
As for the upcoming Scranton stop, Cerulli noted many friends and family members will attend. That combined with playing for fans will create a memorable experience.
“(The Scranton crowd) will probably see a grown man cry for a few minutes,” Cerulli said, laughing. “I know that it’s going to be [an] insane, overwhelming combining of emotions. Playing [‘570’] will be one of the hardest songs to get through that we’ve ever, ever performed live.”
When Warped Tour ends, Cerulli said, the band plans to take the rest of the year off to focus on writing and recording a new album. With everything on the horizon, Cerulli feels humbled to look back at the band’s roots. Playing the final Warped Tour in its hometown is a perfect way to do that.
“We’re grateful to play to fans new and old and grateful to be given this chance,” he said. “We’re proud to be from this area and spread the word about the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.”

Jam camp Festival opens season at Pavilion at Montage Mountain

Jam camp Festival opens season at Pavilion at Montage Mountain

Camp Bisco music festival features acts ranging from EDM to jam music to hip-hop to rock.
Started in the late ’90s as the brainchild of the Disco Biscuits, a Philadelphia-born jam band, Bisco found a home in Northeast Pennsylvania in 2015. The festival returns to the Pavilion at Montage Mountain from Thursday, July 12, to Saturday, July 14.
The event continues to grow with thousands of music festival lovers — called “festies” — descending on the mountain each year to dance, sing, meet friends and share in a love of live music. Electric City put together a handy guide to the sights, sounds and tastes of Camp Bisco.

The essentials
Camp Bisco is a three-day long music festival at 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton. Guests with RV passes may arrive Wednesday, July 11, at 4 p.m. Those with VIP camping parking passes can arrive at 8 p.m., and all other guests may arrive at 10 p.m. Single-day passes start at $90.50 for Friday or Saturday. Three-day passes start at $249.50 for general admission and $549.50 for VIP. Camp Bisco guests must be 18 or older with a valid ID.
Camp Bisco takes place rain or shine, so guests should come prepared with sunscreen, bug spray, rain gear, extra clothes and shoes, mud boots, hats for shade and factory-sealed water bottles.

What Camp Bisco provides
There will be refillable water stations on festival and camping grounds, as well as phone-charging stations, ATMs and 24-hour medical service and on-site emergency personnel. Camp Bisco’s General Store also will be stocked with essential items festival-goers may need, including soda, water and ice. Cases of beer also will be available for purchase by those 21 or older.

Fuel up
Dancing to live music works up an appetite, and Camp Bisco fans can grab food and drink at dozens of concession and vendor stands across the festival grounds. There will be typical concert hand-held foods plus some festival and carnival favorites and produce from farmer’s markets. Vegetarian options will be available as well. Guests also can cool off with a variety of beverages from mixed drinks to craft, imported and domestic beers for those 21 and older to soda, water and more.

The music

MIKE RYAN / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Electronic rock jam band Lotus will perform during Camp Bisco music festival at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain, which runs from Thursday, July 13, through Saturday, July 15.

More than 50 acts will perform during Camp Bisco, including five sets from the Disco Biscuits across three days.
The music kicks off Thursday at 3:30 p.m. with performances from Tipper, Bonobo, STS9, Boogie T, Boombox, Buku, G Jones, Jai Wolf, Lettuce, Snails, Ducky, Kidswaste, Naughty Professor, Space Bacon and Squnto (Megachop).
On Friday and Saturday, music begins at 10:30 a.m. Friday will include performances from Bassnectar, Lotus, 12th Planet, Anna Lunde, Desert Dwellers, the Floozies featuring Terminus Horns, the Funk Hunters, Papadosio, Quinn XCII, Space Jesus, Sunsquabi, Bass Physics, Bluetech, Cofreshi, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, the Hip Abduction, King Fu, Let’s Danza!, Mungion and Yheti.
On Saturday, crowds can catch sets from Excision, Illenium, Big Wild, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Ghostface Killah, Liquid Stranger, Mija B2B Justin Jay, Oliver Tree, Space Jesus (Downtempo), Tauk, Zion I x Lespecial, Agent Zero, Flamingosis, Horizon Wireless, Magic Beans, Orchard Lounge, Probcause and Zeke Beats.
Schedule, set times and lineup are subject to change. For updated set times, fans can download the Camp Bisco mobile app for Apple and Android.

Sights and sounds of summer

Sights and sounds of summer

Season filled with activities of all kinds

When the weather heats up in Northeast Pennsylvania, events stay cool. Weekend Times gathered all the fun around the region this summer, from theater to festivals to family-friendly events.

All the region’s a stage this summer with performances of musicals, plays and revues. Head to the Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre, 537 N. Main St., to see “Harvey,” from Friday, June 15, through Sunday, June 17; “Seussical the Musical Jr.,” from Friday, July 27, through Sunday, July 29; and “Seussical the Musical,” from Friday, Sept. 7, through Sunday, Sept. 16.
Clocktower Theater Co. presents “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” featuring West Scranton native Jessica Cadden Osborne on Saturday, June 16, at the Theater at North, 1539 N. Main Ave., Scranton, while Gaslight Theatre Company presents “The Taming of the Shrew” from Friday, June 22, through Saturday, June 30, at 200 East End Centre, Wilkes-Barre Twp.
“Showstoppers Cabaret” takes the stage Friday, June 22, through Sunday, June 24, at Diva Theater at Olde Brick Theatre, 126 W. Market St., Scranton, and Gamut Theatre presents its Shakespeare in the Park edition of “Macbeth” on Saturday, June 23, at Tunkhannock Riverside Park, Route 29. Scranton Shakespeare Festival takes over the city with “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” from Thursday, June 28, through Sunday, July 1, and Friday, July 27, at the Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton; “The Tempest & Sycorax,” Friday, July 6, through Sunday, July 8, and Saturday, July 28; “Hansel & Gretel,” on Saturdays, July 7 and 14; “As You Like It,” from Friday, July 13, through Sunday, July 15, and Sunday, July 29; and “Footloose,” from Thursday, July 19, through Sunday, July 22, and Sunday, July 29, all at Scranton Preparatory School, 1000 Wyoming Ave.

There are plenty of places to have fun throughout the region once the sun goes down. Have a laugh this summer at “Summer Yuk Yuks: A Night of Comedy” on Saturday, June 16, at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave. Check out comedy shows Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Wise Crackers Comedy Club inside Seasons Ballroom at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Route 315, Plains Twp., and at Comedy open mic night Tuesdays at Hammerjax Bar & Grill, 350 Phillips Road, Clifton Twp. For fun, just add water at Adult Swim Night on Wednesdays, June 20 and July 18, at Montage Mountain Resorts, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton. Also, sneak a peek at the legendary male revue, “Chippendales: About Last Night,” when it storms Keystone Grand Ballroom at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Friday, July 27.

Family fun is everywhere this summer. Artists of all ages and abilities can express themselves during Art in the Park events Tuesday, July 10, at Merli-Sarnoski Park, Greenfield Twp.; Tuesday, July 17, at Covington Park, Covington Twp.; and Tuesday, July 24, at Aylesworth Park, Jermyn. Head inside for an immersive art experience, Arts Engage, on Tuesday, July 31, at Electric City Trolley Museum, 300 Cliff St., Scranton.
Get ready to rumble at WWE “SmackDown Live!” on Tuesday, July 17, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp., and let your imagination run wild during the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders’ Princess & Pirate Night on Friday, July 27; “The Sandlot” Night on Saturday, July 28; and Superhero Night on Friday, Aug. 17, all at PNC Field, 235 Montage Mountain Road, Moosic.
Catch a family-friendly movie outside during Scranton Tomorrow’s Drive-In Downtown on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square during July and August, and charge full steam ahead into Steamtown National Historic Site, Lackawanna Avenue at Cliff Street, Scranton for its annual Railfest on Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2.


Nothing says Northeast Pennsylvania like a summer festival. Some already began, but you can head to St. John the Evangelist Parish Flea Market at St. Mary Magdalene Church Basement, 416 Church St., Honesdale, from Thursday, June 14, through Saturday, June 16. Next up is the Mary, Mother of God Parish at Holy Rosary Church Block Party, West Market Street and Wayne Avenue, Scranton, from Thursday, June 21, through Saturday, June 23; Tunkhannock Founders Day, Tioga Street, on Saturday, June 23; Elmhurst/Roaring Brook Volunteer Fire Company annual Picnic, 245 Blue Shutters Road, Elmhurst Twp., from Wednesday, June 27, through Saturday, June 30; St. Patrick’s Parish Summer Festival, 1403 Jackson St., Scranton, on Friday, July 13, and Saturday, July 14; Christ the King Parish Picnic, Betty and Main streets, Eynon, from Friday, July 27, through Sunday, July 29; St. Joseph’s Summer Festival, Friday, July 27, through Sunday, July 29, at Marywood University, 2300 Adams Ave., Scranton; Lackawanna Arts Weekend, which combines the First Friday Art Walk, Scranton Jazz Festival and Lackawanna Arts Festival at various venues in downtown Scranton from Friday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 5; SS. Anthony and Rocco Italian Festival at St. Rocco’s Church, 122 Kurtz St., Dunmore, from Friday, Aug. 10, through Sunday, Aug. 12; St. John Vianney Barbecue at St. Pius X Church, 3615 Route 106, Clifford Twp., on Saturday, Aug. 11; Rock Lake Picnic at St. Katharine Drexel Parish, 2048 Creamton Drive, Pleasant Mount, on Saturday, Aug. 18; and La Festa Italiana on Courthouse Square, Scranton, from Friday, Aug. 31 through Monday, Sept. 3.

To beat the heat, head inside a cool, dark movie theater such as Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock, which will host its Summer Film Festival from Friday, July 13, through Thursday, Aug. 2 (a preview day takes place Thursday, June 28). Take a trip down memory lane with the “Before the Kirby Was the Kirby” monthly Friday film series at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre.