An annual beer tasting event will feel — and taste — a bit different this year.
Electric City Craft Brew Fest not only offers more than 100 types of craft beer, but, for the first time, guests also have the chance to grab a bite from local food trucks and peruse wares from locals vendors. Brew Fest takes place Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, at Montage Mountain’s lodge, 100 Montage Mountain Road.
“We want to keep growing the event,” Jeff Slivinski, Montage Mountain director of marketing, said. “We know by now people are expecting a certain craft beer style and offering food and more things to do is only going to elevate that.”
Food vendors like Peculiar Culinary Company, Notis the Gyro King, Jerkey Hut, Sweet Lush Cupcakery plus about a dozen more will serve up their specialities for the crowd while it samples brews from all over the country. Guests can look around and shop items from local retail vendors like AOS Metals, On A Whim Jewelry, Jerky Hut, Keystone Cheese Farms and more.
Electric City Brew Fest provides two types of tasting experiences. The VIP session, on Saturday, April 29, from 12:30 to 4 p.m., makes for more of an exclusive offering with food pairings, a $5 food truck voucher, swag bags and the opportunity for beer lovers to immerse themselves in malts, stouts, ales and more and chat with experts on all things hops and barley.
“There’s a lot of cool opportunities with VIP sessions,” Slivinski said, adding that the VIP sessions are capped at 300 tickets, so potential guests should secure them as soon as possible. “It’s a little bit of a more intimate opportunity for guests to talk with brewers, sample some food and beer choices, and just relax and have a good time.”
As for general admission sessions, Slivinski said they carry more of a “party atmosphere” where guests have the chance to taste more than 100 beers from 65 different local, state and national breweries. General admission sessions are Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Tickets to the 21-and-over event are $59 in advance and $70 at the door for the VIP session, or $29 in advance and $40 at the door for the general admission session.
Great beer is something guests expect each year, Slivinski said, but the presence of local breweries is something festival organizers strive to expand each year.
From Wilkes-Barre Twp.’s Breaker Brewing Company and Pittston’s Susquehanna Brewing Co. to North Slope Brewing Co. from Dallas and Irving Cliff Brewery from Honesdale, Slivinski said the local brewers rise to the occasion.
“The list is extensive at this point,” he said. “They’re the guys that everyone wants to see at Brew Fest.”
Weather permitting, crowds can enjoy parts of Brew Fest outside and around the property at Montage Mountain. With so many beer options, plus the addition of food and shopping, the festival aims to provide all guests with a great day out that keeps them coming back for more.
“We get the diehards each year but there’s always some new faces in the crowd,” he said. “The Brew Fest is definitely something we and the area have come to look forward to year after year.”
— gia mazur
If you go
What: Electric City Craft Brew Fest spring session
Where: Lodge at Montage Mountain, 1000 Montage Mountain Road
When: Friday, April 28, general admission session, 5:30 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, April 29, VIP session, 12:30 to 4 p.m., general admission session, 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Details: Tickets to the 21-and-over event are $59 in advance and $70 at the door for the VIP session, and $29 advance and $40 at the door for the general admission sessions. They can be purchased online at ecbrewfest.com or by calling 855-754-7946.
photos by jesse faatz
Comic books reflect culture in Everhart Museum’s latest exhibit
It’s a bird!
It’s a plane!
No, it’s science — the science of superheroes and villains, that is, and the cultural significance behind these characters.
Everhart Museum’s newest exhibit, “Here I Come To Save the Day! The Science, Culture & Art of Superheroes,” opens Friday and looks at comic book classics’ roots in nature and the ways comics affect society and change with the times.
“Comics are seen all over the world, but there is something uniquely American about comic book superheroes,” curator Nezka Pfeifer said. “Comics are a reflection of American culture being more diverse and interesting.”
An exhibition preview and cocktail party takes place Thursday at 6 p.m. with tours starting at 7. Tickets are $75 or $100 for patron level and include themed cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres. The exhibit runs through July 17 in the Maslow Galleries.
Most superheroes and supervillains are based on animals or plants found in nature, taking their powers and other dispositions from those origins, Pfeifer said. The exhibit will feature these specimens from the museum’s collection.
“It’s the key characters that we can represent through our collections and the scientific and cultural look behind why and how they were created,” Pfeifer said.
The exhibit explores the development of characters and comics from the 1930s to present day in addition to tracking the impact comics had on society and vice versa. Dave Romeo Jr., owner of city comic book shop Comics on the Green, thinks the combination of science, art and cultural reflection plays a huge role in the public’s interest in comics.
“The best characters always have some tie to the real world,” he said, adding that comic books also promote literacy in young children and follow them through adolescence and adulthood. “There’s cool characters, and they’re also visually interesting. It fuels the imagination more.”
Romeo and local artist Mark Schultz offered their expertise, materials and guidance to the show, Pfeifer said. Aside from specimens, “Here I Come To Save the Day” features pieces from 12 contemporary artists who “all interpret comics in personal and socially interesting ways,” Pfeifer said.
“(The art explores how) we need to be superheroes of our own lives to conquer our own challenges,” she added.
In tandem with the main show, the museum’s Gallery One hosts “Animal Powers Activate,” an exhibition of works by community artists, adults and children who each created a new superhero or supervillain based on an animal.
To completely immerse guests in the superhero and supervillain theme, Pfeifer said, the museum will offer activities that tie in with the exhibit throughout its run. These include a superhero- and supervillian-themed tasting on Thursday, Feb. 23; the annual free Community Day, which will feature superhero-themed activities, workshops and more on Saturday, April 22; and the monthly museum book club, Everhart Reads. The club reads selections related to exhibit subject matter and meets the first Thursday of each month at Library Express, on the second floor of the Marketplace at Steamtown, at 6 p.m. (except for February).
While the exhibition is not a large overview of the history of comics, Pfeifer said it is an interesting and distinct look at a staple of American popular culture.
“Comic book themes and the stories themselves are universal,” she said. “They’re uniquely poised because of their extreme popularity and accessibility to culture.”
— gia mazur
If you go
What: “Here I Come To Save the Day! The Science, Culture & Art of Superheroes “
When: Friday through July 17
Where: Maslow Galleries, Everhart Museum, 1901 Mulberry St.
Details: Exhibit preview and cocktail party takes place Thursday at 6 p.m. with tours starting at 7. Tickets are $75 or $100 for patron level and include themed cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres. For tickets or more information, call 570-346-7186, email email@example.com or visit everhart-museum.org.
Charles Havira and his collaborators hope fans “turn the volume up quite loud” to listen to his recently released album, “Actual.”
The new work came together over the past few years, mostly because of coordinating the schedules of the other musicians who appear on the folk, rock and roots artist’s album.
“I hope they enjoy it and stop and really listen,” said Havira, an Archbald resident. “I hope it strikes them in some way and makes them think. … Stops them and kind of catches them off-guard.”
Artists Havira collaborated with on “Actual” include guitarist Justin Mazer and drummer Al Smith from varied-genre group Tom Hamilton’s American Babies and bassist Dylan Skursky from bluegrass band Cabinet. Hariva not only admires their talent but also said their dedication to the songs on the album makes him want to collaborate with them more.
The musicians also accompanied Havira during his most recent performances. He enjoys the moments when everything and everyone come together on stage.
“Sometimes, it feels like you’re playing the guitar, and it seems like a challenge,” he said. “Sometimes it feels effortless. … That makes me very happy — definitely fulfilled.”
Fans can catch Havira on Saturday when he and guitarist Jon Nova open the show at a benefit for Standing Rock Indian Reservation beginning at 4 p.m. at Sandy Valley Campground, White Haven. Havira also takes the stage Sunday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. at Turkey Hill Brewing Co., Bloomsburg.
“Actual” is available for purchase at Joe Nardone’s Gallery of Sound, Wilkes-Barre. For online availability, visit charleshavira.com or his artist Facebook page.
Meanwhile, folk rock musician Timothy Underberry, known to NEPA folks as Tom “T.L.” Lavelle from the Green Ridge section of Scranton, recently released his third album, “Nantucket Sound.” Now a Boston resident, Lavelle said the album was two years in the making. It follows a similar style to his previous albums, “Ketty’s Kitchen: A Tale in 12 Songs” and “The Moviegoer,” in that he first wrote the songs then enlisted musicians and vocalists to play and sing on the tracks. He hopes fans are ready for this new batch of songs, all sung by “American Idol” contestant Jesse McCullagh.
“It’s better for the listener, because singing is not my strong suit,” Lavelle joked. “I’m a ‘behind-the-scenes guy.’”
Lavelle said he wanted a more homegrown, raw tone on “Nantucket Sound,” available on iTunes, Spotify and his website, timothyunderberry.com. Fans also can find physical copies at Joe Nardone’s Gallery of Sound locations.
Listeners hear acoustic and electric guitars, cellos, accordion and fiddle on the album as well as something else that might be particularly special to locals. He wrote the song “A Scranton Girl” for his wife, Pat, but the playful, nostalgic song that mentions Green Ridge, South Side and Marywood University is devoted to the “loveliest, funniest and most genuine women” he has ever known who hail from NEPA.
“Being from Scranton is the gift that keeps on giving,” Lavelle said.
— gia mazur
Holiday Marketplace ignites nostalgia at old Globe Store
For ScrantonMade, home is where the holiday marketplace is.
The marketplace changed venue again this year, moving from Marketplace at Steamtown to the former Globe Store on Wyoming Avenue. The event stretches across three days this year, Friday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Globe Store building soon will convert to Lackawanna County offices, but in the meantime, ScrantonMade’s Cristin Powers said, her group saw a chance to bring life into an old building — especially one locals associate with Christmas magic.
“We’re hoping that the nostalgia will get people out,” said Maureen McGuigan, the county’s deputy director of arts and culture, which partners with ScrantonMade on the event.
For a full throwback experience, youngsters can visit Santa Claus or walk through Make-A-Wish Wonderland, a play on Santa’s Workshop from the Globe’s heyday. Children can buy small, affordable gifts for their family and friends in a shopping area, too.
Valley View and Scranton High School choirs perform starting at 5 p.m. in a ceremony to kick off the marketplace. Organizers then flip the switch to light up the Globe Store on Friday at 5:30 p.m.
In conjunction with the First Friday Art Walk, a trolley will make multiple stops throughout downtown Scranton, including one right in front of the holiday marketplace. Carolers will roam downtown and sing holiday tunes, and guests can ride a horse and carriage around the city.
With more than 150 vendors inside the marketplace, shoppers can snag something for everyone on their list. In recent years, Scranton-centric art and gifts popped up more frequently at the marketplace, and those items will be on hand this weekend as well.
“More artists saw people come through who wanted Scranton merchandise,” Powers said.
“I think more (vendors) have jumped on board with that.”
Hungry guests can drop by Terra Preta’s pop-up restaurant for small plates and cocktails each night. Local musicians provide entertainment all three days, and a large model train and scenery display by Anthracite High-Railers Club begins in the foyer and travels through part of the marketplace.
In the four years since its inception, the marketplace cemented itself as a one-stop destination for shopping, food and holiday activities.
“(When it started), we knew it was going to be a unique event and you were going to go and experience something really special,” McGuigan said. “People are finding a real interest in Scranton and Lackawanna County again, and we wouldn’t be able to (continue this event) without that support.”
Shoppers can give back this holiday season, too, at a food and essentials drive inside the market. Scrantonmade, along with Valerie Kiser Designs and the Century Club of Scranton, will collect items for local food pantries and charity organizations. Non-perishable items like peanut butter and canned tuna or chicken will be accepted, as well as toothpaste, soap, hats, gloves and socks.
Holiday Marketplace welcomes change each year to better serve guests. Though, ScrantonMade never loses sight of why the event began.
“The goal is to support local artists, crafters and designers, and branch out to regional (ones),” Powers said. “We’re excited about it and that people want to buy local and support their community.”
— gia mazur
If you go
What: Scrantonmade Holiday Market at the Globe Store
When: Friday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: The former Globe Store,
123 Wyoming Ave., Scranton.
Details: The first 200 shoppers on Saturday will receive a free goodie bag. For more information, visit www.scrantonmade.com or the event’s Facebook page.
Everhart Museum’s free Community Day offers programs, relaunches gift shop
Aurore Giguet wants to change the notion that museums are stuffy.
The executive director of the Everhart Museum, its staff and volunteers welcome all to its upcoming free Community Day, set for Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., filled with presentations, workshops, a re-launch of the museum’s gift shop and more.
“People perceive museums to be static spaces,” said Giguet, who assumed her new role in July. “Having presenters, educators, people in the gift shop really brings the space alive.”
Community Day, possible through a Lackawanna County Arts Engage grant, started as a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters. The organization still participates and will have a sign-up for prospective Bigs at the event, but the day also offers interactive crafts, visual art and story workshops, a magic potion scavenger hunt and guided tours of museum exhibits for the entire community.
Artist Mark Ciocca will draw caricatures, Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple’s youth theatre program will perform scenes from “Shrek the Musical Jr.,” and stylists from Alexander’s Salon & Spa will braid hair into Rapunzel-inspired designs.
Amy Everetts, Aurore Giguet, Dawn McGurl, Anthony Grigas, Michael Sorrentino, Elizabeth Davis, Stephanie Colarusso, Jen Shoener, Miranda Morgan, Zak Zavada, BethBurkhauser, JoAnna McGee, Valerie Kiser, Tiffany Rose Harris and Mary Ann Kapacs are participants of Community Day at Everhart Museum gather inside the gift shop that is in the final stages of renovation. MIchael J. Mullen / Staff Phtoographer
“It’s a day to show what the Everhart has to offer all year round, and it’s a showcase of all of the different organizations, businesses and people in the area we partner with for these programs,” said Stefanie Colarusso, director of interpretive programs. “The day is all of what makes up the Everhart coming together.”
The museum will unveil a new shopping experience for visitors, too. During the gift shop’s re-launch Saturday, guests can shop body products, accessories, home goods and more from vendors, which will change every few months.
“You can purchase items from artists who may not have storefronts, and (Community Day) is an opportunity to meet these artists,” said Amy Everetts, director of development and marketing.
Exclusive items from Valerie Kiser Designs will there, too, as well as ornaments by fine artist Jack Puhl. Puhl will sign ornaments, unveil some new designs and bring some old favorites. The ornaments then will be available in the gift shop, with all proceeds going to the museum.
“(Everhart Museum) is amazing to a child, but as you get older, you appreciate the artworks and understand a little more about culture and diversity and how art relates to your life,” Puhl said. “It’s so wonderful to me, professionally and personally, to give back to that.”
This event kicks off a year-long transformation of the museum, which also offers 200-plus educational, all-ages programs that take place regularly, Giguet said. Pending grants, the Everhart plans to add more dynamic programming, exhibits and events.
“You think because you’ve been here when you were a kid that that’s what it is, but we’ve really grown and will continue to grow,” Giguet said.
— gia mazur
If you go
What: Community Day and gift shop relaunch
When: Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.
Where: Everhart Museum, 1901 Mulberry St.
Details: Admission is free, but some workshops require reservations. There will be a Fidelity Bank tote bag giveaway for the first 350 people.
For more information, visit