Veteran’s Promise group plans bike ride, day of activities to help vets

Veteran’s Promise group plans bike ride, day of activities to help vets

Veteran’s Promise wants to shed light on local veterans and the community that helps them.
Comprised of veterans and vet supporters that provide outreach and support to service members and their families, the group’s event, Rock the Night on Shine the Light, is an all-in-one ride, vigil and benefit that promotes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder awareness and suicide prevention.
Veteran’s Promise president and founder Dave Ragan said the event aligns with the group’s mission to start a dialogue about the struggles military members face when they come home and to educate the community and advocate for them.
“People are so afraid of the word or stigma and the only way to change that is to just it it out there,” said Ragan, a Pennsylvania Army National Guard veteran, who also is a suicide survivor himself. “When (military members) come home, they struggle … It takes a lot of work to put that back together again and when we reach out to those veterans, that’s a way to help.”
The event kicks off Sunday, June 4, at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill, 120 Lincoln St., Olyphant. A day-long schedule of events is planned, beginning with the ride to honor fallen soldier Staff Sgt. Joseph Granville. Registration is from 10 a.m. to noon and kickstands come up at 12:15 p.m. The pack will ride to Granville’s former home, where a flag will be lowered and presented to Granville’s mother. Then, the pack and limos filled with Granville’s family members, led by police escorts, will ride back to Thirst T’s. The flag will fly at the event for the rest of the afternoon.
Though the event is a fundraiser, Veteran’s Promise will give back by saying thanks to the community members who are there for them. At 2 p.m., the vigil and ceremony starts during which local people, businesses and police officers who support the group will be honored. A veteran also will be honored with an award in Granville’s name.
From 3 to 7:30 p.m., the day loosens up a bit and bands will play inside the bar, with food for purchase, basket raffles and tattoos by the Rock Shop Tattoo Gallery available for guests, as well.
The event differs from last year, Ragan said, as it was just a vigil and ceremony then. With the poignant activities occurring earlier in the day, it allows the group members and the crowd to relax and catch up with each other to end the night, he added.
“We tackle those deep, dark secrets that people don’t want to talk about, hence, ‘Shine the Light,’” Ragan said. “But, we’re also letting people know that we want to have fun and do things that are lighthearted.”
The group is always looking for new members and serving is not a requirement, Ragan said, adding anyone that loves their country and its military is welcome to join. The group looks to expand their reach and services offered, and give back to those who support them. They help many local families and individuals and, in turn, receive kindness from the community, like Thirst T’s owner Thomas Tell Jr., who donated the space to host the benefit.
Going forward, Ragan hopes Veteran’s Promise will work with more leaders, businesses and neighbors and, hopefully, solidify a permanent home for the group to work out of as well as hold meetings and events.
“As long as people need our help, we will be there to do it however we can,” Ragan said. “We try to dream big. It’s not just about promoting Rock the Night, it’s about making a difference.”
— gia mazur


If you go
What: Veteran’s Promise Rock the Night on Shine the Light
When: Sunday, June 4; Ride registration, 10 a.m. to noon; best bike contest, 11:30 a.m.; kickstands up, 12:15 p.m.; vigil and ceremony, 2 p.m.; benefit with entertainment, 3 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Thirst T’s Bar & Grill, 120 Lincoln St., Olyphant
Details: Ride registration is $20 for riders, $10 for passengers and admission to the benefit portion is $10. All proceeds benefit Veteran’s Promise. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

How to help
To donate, including baskets, please contact Veteran’s Promise through the group’s Facebook page.

Fight Night – ‘WWE Raw’ returns to area after near decade-long absence with Superstar champ Alexa Bliss

Fight Night – ‘WWE Raw’ returns to area after near decade-long absence with Superstar champ Alexa Bliss

When “WWE Raw” last rolled through Northeast Pennsylvania, women wrestlers were referred to as “Divas” and no woman had ever held two women’s division titles.
Neither statement applies to Alexa Bliss, who will appear on “Raw” on Monday, June 5, during the show’s first stop in the region in nearly a decade at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp.Tickets start at $18 and are available at ticketmaster.com, the arena box office, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Bliss, who was selected for the roster of “SmackDown Live!” last July during WWE’s draft, won the blue brand’s women’s title before she moved to the company’s other weekly live show, “Raw,” as part of the Superstar Shake-up in April. Later that month, Bliss cemented herself in the WWE history books when she won the Raw Women’s Championship and became the first woman to hold both the SmackDown and Raw Women’s titles.
“It’s amazing and something that will go down in history,” Bliss, known as Alexis “Lexi” Kaufman outside the ring, said during a recent phone interview from Orlando, Florida. “It’s awesome to have this opportunity WWE has given to me, and I couldn’t be anymore thankful. And I’ve never made history before, either, so it’s definitely amazing.”
Bliss also is a Superstar, just like her male counterparts on the roster, another change WWE made in 2016 during what was dubbed as the “Women’s Revolution,” where more emphasis was put on women wrestlers and their talent and matches. Gone are the days of 30-seconds-long women’s matches for the pink butterfly-emblazoned Diva’s Championship belt.
Though Bliss said she was not part of the “Four Horsewomen” (Superstars Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Bayley) who worked to usher in the new era of women’s talent, Bliss follows their lead.
“It’s our turn to take it to the next level of the revolution,” said Bliss, who signed to WWE’s developmental property NXT in 2013. “We’re constantly stepping our game up. Every time I’m out in that ring, I take every opportunity and just try to run with it.”
A lifelong athlete, Bliss competed in kickboxing, track and professional bodybuilding and also was a gymnast and cheerleader. The latter two helped with Bliss’ air and body awareness in the ring, but she admits there’s no sport like pro wrestling.
“(Cheer) and gymnastics helped that, absolutely, but nothing can ever prepare you for what your body goes through in the ring,” she said. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
Bliss, a bad guy, (or “heel”) will defend her title against good guy (or “face”) Bayley, whom she said she loves to work with, the day before the stop in Wilkes-Barre. The pair are feuding and Bayley is known for hugging her opponents while Bliss is known for her attitude and sass. Though Bliss was hesitant to play the villain, she quickly settled into the role.
“It’s so much easier to get people to hate you than to like you,” she said, laughing. “It’s so much more fun.”
Bliss’s work in WWE is far from done. She feels excited to be part of the new generation of Superstars who continue the evolution of women’s wrestling. For girls who want to follow in the footsteps of Bliss and her fellow women on the roster, she advised not to be discouraged if success doesn’t come right away, and echoed the sentiments a coach once gave to her.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” she said. “Learn the process and respect the process and love the process.”
— gia mazur


If you go
What: “WWE Raw Live” featuring Superstar Alexa Bliss
When: Monday, June 5, 8 p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Boulevard, Wilkes-Barre Twp.
Details: Tickets range from $18 to $103 and are available at ticketmaster.com, the arena box office, or by calling 800-745-3000. There is a $10 fee to park in the arena’s lot.

Better together – Spouses Carol and Fred Linde make sweet music as Common Threads duo

Better together – Spouses Carol and Fred Linde make sweet music as Common Threads duo

Husband-and-wife duo Carol and Fred Linde have always felt they are “cut from the same cloth.” As he puts it, “Carol is the main ingredient,” and as she says, “Fred is my main man in this duo.”
The two met a surprise party where it was no surprise that they ended up singing with each other.
“Fred and his buddy opened the night with their acoustic act called Rock N’Rye. I couldn’t help myself and just naturally sang harmony with them. The rest is history,” Carol Linde said.
He remembers a similar story, with her chiming in “with some really sweet harmony.” The duo have been singing since the day they met and their duo, Common Threads, has played on stages in Northeast Pennsylvania for the past 30 years.

Q: How did you get involved in music?
Carol Linde: My mom always played her albums at home when I was growing up; she loved a wide range of music and played it loud and often. She also was self-taught on the piano. I am sure her love for music rubbed off on me. In high school, I had a friend who sang beautiful harmonies with her sister. I was intrigued and determined to learn to sing like that. So I started by listening to the Beatles albums and played one side at a time on the mono stereo, learning the different keys that blended together. I trained my ear to be able to sing harmony on command.
Fred Linde: Several of my family members played instruments and had a country band in the ‘50s and ‘60s. I always enjoyed people playing music and I got the bug.

Q: What do you remember about the first time you performed in public?
CL: I was seven years old and had my first piano recital at Greenridge Nursing home. I was a little bit nervous, but not about preforming. A nursing home can be a very scary place for a seven-year-old. But despite my fears, I performed “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” flawlessly.
FL: I played my guitar at a campsite in New York. The campers were kind, they made me feel comfortable and confident although I know I wasn’t very good at the time. It was a good start for me.

Q: How did you guys come up with your name?
CL: Fred and I used to listened to a college radio station in upstate New York called Common Threads. It’s a two-hour long show of singer-songwriters performing other singer-songwriters’ songs. It was a great concept.
FL: The name seem to fit our situation as a husband-and- wife duo.

Q: What is the process for choosing the songs you cover?
CL: For me, I find if it’s a song that I am singing lead on, I have to learn my singing parts first so it comes without effort, then I learn the bass parts. If I am singing backup, I learn the bass line first, and the harmonies just fall into place.
FL: We try to pick songs that work for both of us. We are limited, as we never use electronic or computer generated assistance.

Q: How have you changed as a musician over the years?
CL: That’s a hard one. Just about everything I know about performing I learned from my husband, Fred. He is a very patient man. My first years of playing the bass were frustrating and embarrassing at best. But with the encouragement from my family and friends and tons of practice, I have learned to relax and just be on stage and enjoy playing and singing.
FL: I’ve developed more patience, keeping temps and volumes at lower levels while using a softer touch. I tended to play too fast and too loud, but maturity has helped me in these areas.

Q: What are some of your favorite memories as a musician?
CL: The one that sticks out in my mind the most was one snowy December night, George Wesley and Annette Pinchotti joined us on stage in a little bowling alley in Elmhurst. Word spread like wildfire in our small North Pocono community and the place was hopping all night long.
FL: All the great musicians and friends I have played with over the years. Some gigs were better than others, but it is a great life experience I will never forget.

Q: How has the NEPA music scene changed over the years?
CL: People don’t stay out as late as they did back in the big rock club days and I believe the bar owners have learned to add live entertainment earlier and more often during happy hour and dinner hour.
FL: I don’t believe it has changed much. It seemed to have lost some momentum with the emergence of DJs. To me, that also has died off and live music is in more demand than ever.

Q: What is the biggest challenge?
CL: Keeping our music fresh and finding new venues to play.
FL: The instrument itself, you never stop learning it.

Q: What are your future goals for the band?
CL: We have played together for well over 30 years and the winters are hard here in the Northeast. I would like to see us as snowbirds and play music up and down the east coast and have the best of both worlds.
FL: Keep learning new music, looking for new venues and improving my craft.

— samantha stanich

Fab 5 – June 1, 2017

Fab 5 – June 1, 2017

  1. Scranton Zine Fest 2017
    Scranton Zine Fest returns for its seventh annual event with a two-day festival at AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton, on Friday, June 2, and Saturday, June 3.
    On Friday, the Zine Fest hosts a First Friday Preview Show from 6 to 9 p.m. with an ‘80s- and ‘90s-themed after-party at Irish Wolf Pub, 503 Linden St., Scranton, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. On Saturday, the festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    The festival brings together individuals who produce low-volume, independent literary publications, writers and artists to showcase and sell their products.
    The events are free to the public, and the after-party is open to anyone ages 21 and older. For more information, visit the events’ Facebook pages or scrantonzinefest.weebly.com.
  2. Saturday Night Live with the Oldies
    Theater at North, 1539 N. Main Ave., Scranton, hosts oldies and doo-wop band the Cameos with opening act the Swingtime Dolls on Saturday, June 3.
    The Cameos perform music by oldies favorites like Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and Johnny Maestro. The Swingtime Dolls are a trio from Easton who perform tributes to female legends from the ‘40s through the ‘60s.
    Reserved tickets are $25 and VIP tickets are $35. Reception doors open at 5:30 p.m., theater doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit theateratnorth.org or call the box office at 877-987-6487.
  3. Serving Seniors Summer Picnic
    On Sunday, June 4, Serving Seniors Inc. hosts its annual Summer Picnic at the Waldorf Park Social Club, 13 Waldorf Lane, Scranton.
    The picnic includes a hot and cold buffet served alongside grilled picnic foods, desserts from local bakeries and beer and wine. There also will be a volleyball tournament, entertainment by EJ the DJ and basket raffles.
    The picnic is $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. The event is scheduled from 3 to 7 p.m., rain or shine.
    To register, call 570-344-3931 or email servsen@epix.net.
  4. Fire Up the Furnaces Fundraiser Cocktail Party
    On Friday, June 2, Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum hosts a fundraiser to benefit the museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces.
    Tickets are $25 for the event at Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden St., Scranton.
    The evening will feature music from oldies singer Anthony Natiello, food and raffles. The event serves as a kick-off for the annual Arts on Fire Festival at the Scranton Iron Furnaces, 159 Cedar Ave., on Saturday, June 3.
    For more information or to purchase tickets, visit anthracitemuseum.org/events or the event’s Facebook page.
  5. NEPA Mom Made + Handmade Market Fundraiser
    Dickson City Civic Center, 935 Albert St., hosts the NEPA Mom Made + Handmade Market Fundraiser on Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    The event features mom-made and handmade items from local small businesses for sale. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Dickson City Civic Center and the St. Joseph’s Center Baby Pantry.
    Admission is $2 for adults and free for children 12 and under. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
Sounds of summer – Party on the Patio returns to Mohegan Sun Pocono with top musical tribute acts

Sounds of summer – Party on the Patio returns to Mohegan Sun Pocono with top musical tribute acts

Party to your favorite songs all summer long at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
The casino’s seasonal mainstay, Party on the Patio, offers popular tribute bands from across the country for 14 weeks throughout the summer.
Every Thursday from June 1 to Aug. 31, acts saluting some of music’s most legendary players take the stage at the Mohegan Sun Pocono racetrack apron, 1280 Highway 315, Plains Twp.
The summer concerts come back — in black — with AC/DC tribute, Halfway to Hell, on June 1, before Bon Jovi tribute, Bon Jersey, rides in on steel horses on June 8. Mötley 2, a Mötley Crüe tribute, kick-starts the crowd on June 15, Tom Petty tribute Damn the Torpedoes free falls into June 22 and Parrot Beach, a tribute to Jimmy Buffet, offers an escape to Margaritaville on June 29. The Eagles tribute, 7 Bridges, takes it to the limit July 6 and partygoers will twist and shout with the Beatles tribute, Beatlemania Again, on July 13.
Audiences can get what they want with Satisfaction, a Rolling Stones tribute band, on July 20, and dance in the dark with Tramps Like Us, a Bruce Springsteen tribute act, on July 27. Fleetwood Mac tribute Tusk runs in the shadows on Aug. 3, Ring of Fire, a tribute to Johnny Cash, walks the line Aug. 10, and, on Aug. 17, it goes on (and on, and on and on) with Journey tribute, Separate Ways the Band.
Finally, catch night fever with the Bee Gees tribute Stayin’ Alive on Aug. 24, and sing for the year with Draw the Line, an Aerosmith tribute, on Aug. 31.
Gates open at 6 p.m. and the bands perform two hour-long sets from 7:30 to 8:30 and 9 to 10. The shows are free and open to those 21 and older. For information, call 570-831-2100 or visit mohegansunpocono.com.
— gia mazur


Party on the Patio 2017
June 1 — Halfway to Hell (AC/DC tribute)
June 8 — Bon Jersey (Bon Jovi tribute)
June 15 — Mötley 2 (Mötley Crüe tribute).
June 22 — Damn the Torpedoes (Tom Petty tribute)
June 29 — Parrot Beach (Jimmy Buffet tribute)
July 6 — 7 Bridges (the Eagles tribute)
July 13 — Beatlemania Again (the Beatles tribute)
July 20 — Satisfaction (the Rolling Stones tribute)
July 27 — Tramps Like Us (Bruce Springsteen tribute)
Aug. 3 — Tusk (Fleetwood Mac tribute)
Aug. 10 — Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash tribute)
Aug. 17 — Separate Ways the Band (Journey tribute)
Aug. 24 — Stayin’ Alive (the Bee Gees tribute)
Aug. 31 — Draw the Line (Aerosmith tribute)

Folk artist releases album,  plans on more music to come

Folk artist releases album, plans on more music to come

Pianist and songwriter Chuck Paul found himself hooked on music from the moment he saw the Beatles on television in the 1960s.
“Sunday evening, 8 p.m. on Feb. 9, 1964, I saw the Beatles on ‘Ed Sullivan,’” Paul said. “The fate of the skinny little kid with the crewcut was sealed forever.”
Now the musician finds himself pumping out music, ranging from folk to Christian rock.
The Pittston resident recently spoke about his method of song writing, the release of his fourth album “LONEWOLF” and his future goals in music.

Q: What do you remember about the first time you performed in public?
A: How good it felt. The feeling overpowered the performance, and thank God, because it sounded like a train wreck. We didn’t know what we were doing, but it was OK, because the audience didn’t know what they were hearing.

Q: What is the process like for writing your music?
A: I don’t consider myself a “songwriter.” A song receiver is more accurate. Almost every song I’ve written just comes to me. I rarely sit and tinker around with lyrics or chords. I’ll be doing something unrelated and I’ll get a rush of melody and/or lyrics, then I’ll sit and run with it. How can I take credit for composing something that’s given to me? I don’t believe in writer’s block, either. I believe you have to stay open to receive the work. If you do, it’ll come. Not in your timing, but when it’s ready. That’s why I speak highly of my mate
rial. It’s not ego, because I don’t feel it came from me. It came from the outside, it’s a gift that was given to me. My name is on it for identification purposes only. I can write songs that I battle for, but they’re never as good as when I open my mouth like a baby bird and receive it.

Q: How have you changed as a musician over the years?
A: Well, if you’re serious about your music, as I am, one naturally gets better as the years go by. Not just in your abilities as a musician, but in your outlook.

Q: Are you working on new material?
A: Yes. I have enough music to release a full-length album every quarter for the year. Some are in the can, but as I’ve stated, it’s up to the fates. If the songs keep flowing as they have been, I’ll meet that goal.

Q: What are some of your favorite memories as a musician?
A: It was probably the solo performance I gave on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry in front of a packed house, sitting at their beautiful grand piano performing an original Christian song. Afterwards, I had to tell the stage manager that my little cheat sheet fell in the piano and I couldn’t get it out. Most embarrassing!
Q: How has the music scene changed over the years?
A: One thing is consistent— there has always been, and still is, a giant pool of great talent. But when you talk about a scene, it conjures up a sense of unity. This has never happened here. There has always been cliques, not unity. No widespread acceptance and respect. This area could very easily be another Liverpool, Seattle, Athens, etc., but it never will, for the simple reason that we have great talent, but we’ve always lacked a unifying heart.

Q: Who has influenced you over the years?
A: It’s always been the Beatles first, but I’ve got a great love for the singer/songwriters. Jim Croce is my favorite, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, John Prine. I also love big band music. I’m very impressed with their melodies and orchestral arrangements.

Q: What are your future goals for your music?
A: To keep moving, to always shoot for the next level. There’s an element of mystery in music. Some call it magic. You never know what’s ahead. This profession doesn’t tolerate stagnation. If you keep moving and don’t shoot yourself in the foot, great things happen.

— charlotte l. jacobson

Fab 5 – May 25, 2017

Fab 5 – May 25, 2017

  1. ‘The Wedding Singer’
    Act Out Theatre presents comedy musical
    “The Wedding Singer” on Friday, May 26, Saturday, May 27, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 28, at 3 p.m.
    The musical, based on the 1998 romantic comedy movie of the same name, is set in 1985 and tells the story of a New Jersey wedding singer, Robbie Hart, who’s left at the altar. He’s then heartbroken and determined to ruin other’s weddings until he meets and falls in love with a sweet waitress, Julia. Robbie must pull off the performance of a lifetime to win the girl of his dreams, who is coincidentally engaged to someone else.
    For ticket information, email actouttheatre1@gmail.com or text 570-881-4206.
  2. St. Ubaldo Day and Race of the Saints
    A Midvalley tradition, St. Ubaldo Day and Race of the Saints is Jessup’s version of the observance of La Festa dei Ceri in Gubbio, Italy, and takes place Saturday, May 27.
    The festival kicks off in the early morning with a band traveling through Jessup to awake the town. The celebration continues with activities throughout the rest of the day.
    The main event — the traditional running of statues of St. Ubaldo, St. George and St. Anthony through Jessup’s streets — starts at 5:30 p.m. at Powell Avenue and Ward Street, ending at Veterans Memorial Field, Jessup.
    For additional St. Ubaldo Day activities and more information, visit stubaldoday.com.
  3. Militia CD release party
    Scranton-based heavy metal band Militia will rock the night for the release their new CD, “Black Faith,” on Saturday, May 27, at 10 p.m. at The V-Spot Bar, 906 Providence Road, Scranton.
    Founded in 1993, the band has cranked out thunderous beats and head-banging riffs throughout the region. Though the band is known for sets dedicated to Slayer, Pantera, Metallica and more, this is Militia’s first CD of all-original music.
    Metal band the Aegean also will perform at the release party. Copies of “Black Faith” will be on sale for $5 and guests have a chance to win Marc’s Tattooing gift certificates.
    For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
  4. ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ screening
    Creative and Performing Arts Academy of NEPA presents cult classic musical “Little Shop of Horrors” Thursday, May 25, at 6:30 p.m., at CaPAA’s Theater at the Ritz, 222 Wyoming Ave., Scranton. The screening is part of the academy’s Musicals on the Big Screen series.
    The 1986 film, adapted from the off-Broadway musical comedy of the same name, centers on a nerdy flower shop worker who raises a vicious, raunchy plant which needs human blood to thrive. “Little Shop of Horrors” was nominated for two Golden Globe awards, including best picture — comedy/musical.
    The film is rated PG-13 and the screening is BYOB. There is a suggested $5 donation which benefits renovations to make the Ritz Theater and CaPAA studios wheelchair accessible.
    For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
  5. The Clairvoyants
    Austrian duo Thommy Ten and Amelie Van Tass, known as the Clairvoyants, bring their mentalist show to the Keystone Ballroom inside Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1280 Highway 315, Plans Twp., on Saturday, May 27, at 8 p.m. The Clairvoyants repertoire ranges from short magical scenes to illusions to mind reading. The pair has performed on Broadway and in a variety of shows, galas, cruise ships and corporate events. They toured with the Illusionists, the largest touring magic show in the world.
    In 2015, Ten and Van Tass were chosen as World Champions of Mentalism at World Championships of Magic. The Clairvoyants competed on season 11 of America’s Got Talent, where they placed second overall.
    Tickets start at $30 for the all-ages show and can be purchased through the box office, at ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. For more information, visit mohegansunpocono.com.
Open Season – Susquehanna Breakdown kicks off summer concerts at Montage

Open Season – Susquehanna Breakdown kicks off summer concerts at Montage

As the weather turns more moderate and the valley begins to bloom, the summer concert lineup for the Pavilion at Montage Mountain gears up to deliver months of music that spans numerous genres.
The 2017 season gets underway on Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20, with the fifth locally-produced Susquehanna Breakdown Music Festival, which spotlights local band Cabinet along with several other folk, bluegrass, Americana and alt-rock outfits. Additional acts slated include Keller Williams (who will sit in for a set with Cabinet), Greensky Bluegrass, the Wood Brothers, Billy Strings and fellow Northeast Pennsylvania groups And the Moneynotes, the Dishonest Fiddlers and Graham Mazer, among others.
As in the past, Susquehanna Breakdown offers two days of camping and vendors along with the music played over multiple stages. Festival director and co-promoter Bill Orner anticipates the biggest edition yet, judging by presale tickets, with the final count poised to hit almost 4,000, making it a sellout event.
“Overall, we’ve just grown with the ability to bring in some of the larger acts that are in Cabinet’s particular genre. The festival has grown to have a stature that (shows) we’re established,” Orner said. “We have more acts and agents coming to us, so our headliners increase in notoriety and marquee value.”
To maximize the guest experience, sets will not overlap, giving concert-goers the chance to travel between setups to see each act play. VIP music experiences will be available for upgraded purchase, and a vending village featuring a large variety of artisan foods, goods and crafts will remain open throughout the festival.
“What you’ll see is our local little flair, every kind of vendor you can imagine,” Orner said, which will include concert photography, a poster art gallery and other Breakdown-themed merchandise.
The festival is a family-friendly event, he added,
so music-lovers of all ages can enjoy the show and its
complements.
“There’s a little bit of food, shopping, art … It’s music, family and community, simply put,” Orner said. “It’s technically a festival, but the focus is on the music. We try to jam-pack it full and let the music do the talking.”
— patrice wilding


If you go
What: Susquehanna Breakdown Music Festival featuring Cabinet, Keller Williams, Greensky Bluegrass and more
When: Friday, May 19, gates open at 4 p.m.; and Saturday, May 20, gates open at 10 a.m.
Where: The Pavilion at Montage Mountain, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton
Details: Admission per person ranges from $50 for standing, two-day pass to $145 for VIP/camping, two-day pass. For tickets, visit the box office,
ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000.
For more information on the festival, visit susquehannabreakdown.com.

Susquehanna Breakdown Schedule
Friday, May 19
Breakdown Stage
6:30 p.m. — Dishonest Fiddlers
8 p.m. — Keller Williams
9:30 p.m. — Keller & Cabinet
10:45 p.m. — Cabinet
12:15 a.m. — Organ Freeman

Saturday, May 20
Breakdown Stage
11:30 a.m. — Serene Green
1:30 p.m. — Graham Mazer Duo
3 p.m. — Kitchen Dwellers
5:30 p.m. — And the Moneynotes
8 p.m. — Billy Strings
11 p.m. — Tom Hamilton’s
Breakdown All Stars

Susquehanna Stage
12:30 p.m. — Driftwood
2:15 p.m. — Cabinet (acoustic)
4 p.m. — The Wood Brothers
6:30 p.m. — Cabinet
9 p.m. — Greensky Bluegrass
12 a.m. — Turkuaz


2017 Concert Season
Friday, June 9
Impractical Jokers with the Tenderloins

Saturday, June 10
Dierks Bentley, Cole Swindell and Jon Pardi

Sunday, July 9
Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young

Monday, July 10
Vans Warped Tour

Thursday, July 13 through Saturday, July 15
Camp Bisco featuring the Disco Biscuits, Bassnectar and more

Tuesday, July 25
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Boston

Wednesday, July 26
OneRepublic, Fitz and the Tantrums and James Arthur

Thursday, Aug. 10 through Sunday, Aug. 13
Peach Music Festival featuring Widespread Panic, My Morning Jacket and more

Wednesday, Sept. 6
Luke Bryan and Brett Eldredge

Wade into Fun – Riverfest returns to Lackawanna River with activities on and off the water

Wade into Fun – Riverfest returns to Lackawanna River with activities on and off the water

On Saturday, May 20, RiverFest 2017 celebrates the Lackawanna River and promotes its protection with festivities centered at Sweeney’s Beach Recreation Area, 41 Poplar St., Scranton.
Organized by the Lackawanna River Conservation Association, RiverFest raises funds to support the community-based nonprofit’s mission.
Bernie McGurl, executive director of the LCRA, says the group has spent a number of years fighting on behalf of the river’s well-being. 
“We were organized and created in 1987, so we’re actually celebrating our 30th anniversary this year,” McGurl said. “Our mission is to engage the community in activities that are beneficial for the river … activities that help to conserve the river and watershed resources.”
The LCRA first put on RiverFest in 1988, but it has changed greatly since then.
“During the 1990s, we expanded it to be a whole day of activities,” McGurl said. “Originally, it was just a canoe race in the morning and everybody went home … it evolved into a whole daylong festival to celebrate the river.” 
Many aspects of the festival’s earliest incarnation remain the same. The Lackawanna River Canoe-A-Thon, a 12-mile whitewater canoe and kayak race, still packs the waters. 
McGurl said roughly 150 to 200 canoes and kayaks launch from Maslyar Park in Archbald  (for advanced paddlers) and Blakely Borough Recreation Park in Peckville.
People often wait along portions of the
riverbank to cheer on the paddlers before heading over to the finish line and festival at Sweeney’s Beach.
Later in the day, RiverFest features guided, instructional kayak paddle excursions among other water-based activities. 
The free-to-enter Lackawanna River Regatta offers prizes to winners. 
“The Regatta is sort of a fun-filled boat parade. We ask people to decorate themselves and their boats … we’ve had huge, pink elephants and big, blue sharks,” McGurl said. “You could just get a float together, and we’ll get you launched.”
Another, more comical, contest also offers prizes to those who purchase “duck” tickets. 
“At the end of the day, we have our famous Duck-A-Thon, which is a duck race that involves special Lackawanna River racing ducks made in America. The winning prize in the duck race is $500.” 
In addition to boating activities, there will be plenty of fun out of the water. 
The festival features popular local bands Lightweight, Jung Bergo Duo and Mountain Sky Orchestra. This year’s emcee, Don Jacobs of “Pennsylvania Outdoors Live,” kicks off the entertainment at 11:30 a.m. Various food and craft vendors also will be on site and festivalgoers can set up a picnic in the park.
McGurl has high hopes that  RiverFest 2017 offers education as well as entertainment.
“We want to involve the community with the river so that they understand that it’s our river, and we can enjoy it,” McGurl said. “We need to take care of it. We still have a lot of problems — pollution that affects the water — but those problems are being addressed across the spectrum … and we need the community to come on board.”
— peter shaver


If you go
What: RiverFest 2017
When: Saturday, May 20. Finish line activities begin at 11 a.m. following the Canoe-A-Thon launch at 10 a.m.
Where: Festival activities are held at Sweeney’s Beach Recreation Area, 41 Poplar St., Scranton
Details: Admission is free. Canoe-A-Thon registration is $50 per person. For more information, call 570-347-6311 or email lrca@lrca.org. Proceeds benefit Lackawanna River Conservation Association.

Many Happy Returns – Folk singer Tom Rush revisits NEPA to headline Fine Arts Fiesta in Wilkes-Barre

Many Happy Returns – Folk singer Tom Rush revisits NEPA to headline Fine Arts Fiesta in Wilkes-Barre

The last time folk and blues singer Tom Rush visited Wilkes-Barre, snow covered the downtown region.
“What I remember is that it was winter, there had just been a huge snowstorm that hadn’t been cleared yet and there was no parking for miles,” he recalled in a recent interview. “The show went up quite late, and about half the folks who bought tickets couldn’t get there. But those that did seemed to have a really good time.”
This time, Rush returns as the headlining musical act for the 62nd annual Fine Arts Fiesta on Saturday, May 20, at 7 p.m. on Public Square in downtown Wilkes-Barre, and there’s no sign of snow stopping fans from enjoying the show.
“I’m very blessed to have been able to make a good living doing something I love to do — and would probably do for free, but don’t let that get around,” Rush joked. “I love performing, I love writing songs and discovering little-known songs that others have written. I love recording. The hard part, and getting harder, is the travel, but it’s worth it.”
The 76-year-old musician began performing in the early 1960s while studying English literature at Harvard University, and released two albums while a student. After graduating, Rush’s impact on the American folk music revival exploded, melding his knack for finding wonderful songs to perform along with writing his own.
Many of his folk hits have been reworked into country, heavy metal and rap: a testimony to the widespread appeal of his music and its themes.
“You have to be inventive these days to connect with your audience — there is so much noise out there, so many people yammering for your attention that it’s hard to get anyone to focus,” Rush said.
In order to combat the noise, Rush recently recorded a new album in Nashville, which he said is slated to be released by the fall. To subsidize the project, he set up a crowdfunding platform through PledgeMusic, where people may choose from rewards like the album, old and out-of-print recordings, a Naked Lady guitar like the one Rush plays and even a private concert. Fans interested in participating can find it one his website, tomrush.com.
Although Rush said he experienced too many memories over the years to pinpoint one as a highlight, he agreed that his performance at the Fine Arts Fiesta would be one for the books.
“I’ll be trying out some new songs and doing some of my old favorites, sprinkled with a liberal helping of stories that are all absolutely true, to one extent or another,” he said.
— charlotte l. jacobson


Fine Arts Fiesta Main Stage Performance Schedule
Thursday, May 18
10 a.m. — Wyoming Valley West High School Chorus
11 a.m. — Wyoming Valley West High School Orchestra
noon — Fine Arts Fiesta opening ceremonies
12:30 p.m. — Wyoming Valley West Middle School Jazz Band
1:30 p.m. — Coughlin High School Jazz and Concert Band
2:30 p.m. — Wilkes-Barre Orchestra
3 p.m. — Holy Redeemer Royal Singers
4 p.m. — Wyoming Valley West High School Jazz Band
5 p.m. — Scott Edmunds Jazz Quintet
6:30 p.m. — Fine Arts Fiesta awards ceremony
7:15 p.m. — Perfect Harmony Center for the Arts

Friday, May 19
10 a.m. — Wyoming Valley Middle School Orchestra
11 a.m. — Wyoming Valley West Middle School Chorus
noon — Dallas Middle School Select Chorus
1 p.m. — The Treble Makers
2 p.m. — Anthony Natiello
4 p.m. — Wilkes-Barre Academy Glee Club
5:15 p.m. — Nitya Rhythm Dance Academy
6:30 p.m. — Flaxy Morgan

Saturday, May 20
11 a.m. — Joan Harris Dance Center
noon — YOUniversal Suzuki Strings
1 p.m. — The Mozart Club
2 p.m. — Dance Theater of Wilkes-Barre
3 p.m. — Rising Stars Performing Arts
4 p.m. — Little Theater of Wilkes-Barre
5 p.m. — Conservatory of Dance
7 p.m. — Tom Rush

Sunday, May 21
11 a.m. — The Poetry Society
noon — NEPA Academy of Dancing
1:30 p.m. — Tri-Cities Opera (in memory of Jane Groh)
3:15 p.m. — Keystone Kids
4:15 p.m. — The I-tations — A Tribute to George Wesley

Fab 5 – May 18, 2017

Fab 5 – May 18, 2017

  1. Traveling Broke and Out of Gas at the Keys
    As part of a Northeast tour, Indiana-based band Traveling Broke and Out of Gas arrives at the Keys, 244 Penn Ave., Scranton, for a night of music supported by local acts. 
    Doors open at 7 p.m. and the music starts at 8. There is a $3 cover.
    Originally formed as a husband-and-wife duo, the group has since expanded in size and released three albums of folk-inspired sounds. The band delivers a passionate live act that includes songs inspired by social justice, sustainability, human rights, freedom, family, cooperation and love.  
    Supporting the band on Friday night are Wilkes-Barre-based acts the Charming Beards and Kali Ma and the Garland of Arms.
    For more information, visit the Facebook event page.
  2. Montrose Chocolate and Wine Festival
    Chestnut Street in downtown Montrose fills with food, drinks and music for the 10th annual Montrose Chocolate and Wine Festival on Saturday, May 20.
    Gates are open from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m., regardless of weather. Presale tickets are $20. Tickets at the gate are $30 or $10 for non-drinking guests ages 16 and over. Wine-tasting participants must provide a valid ID to gain entry to the festival.
    Attendees receive complementary wine glasses at the gate. The festival features 75 vendors for wine tasting and chocolate. Musical acts Driftwood, Woodshed Prophets, the Bones of J.R. Jones and Canary Circus provide entertainment all day long.
    The festival also marks the opening of the latest exhibit at the Butternut Gallery, which features works by local artists.
    Proceeds from ticket sales and donations benefit Montrose community projects, such as the Endless Mountain Health System, the Montrose Library and Early Education Projects.
    For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.chocolatewinefestival.com.
  3. M.J. Dougherty’s Red Umbrella Tour
    Actor, author and speaker M.J. Dougherty arrives on Sunday, May 21, at Lackawanna College, 501 Vine St., Scranton, as part of his Red Umbrella Tour.
    Tickets are $10 in advance and free for children and students. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $15. The “Red Umbrella Carpet” starts at 2:30 p.m.
    Dougherty, originally from Clarks Summit and currently living in Los Angeles, released his memoir, “Life Lessons from a Total Failure,” to high praise last year.
    The Red Umbrella Tour features Dougherty sharing stories from Northeast Pennsylvania, Hollywood and his life in general.
    Dougherty’s talk will be followed by a Q&A, book signing and light refreshments. Books will be available for purchase at event.
    For more information on Dougherty, visit www.mjdougherty.com. To purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.
  4. Donn’s Dash RunRaiser at the Susquehanna Brewing Co.
    On Thursday, May 18, the Susquehanna Brewing Co. hosts Donn’s Dash RunRaiser for a night of beer, food and raffle prizes to benefit a good cause.
    Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. The fundraiser starts at 6 p.m.
    Proceeds benefit the ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter, and will help provide assistance to ALS patients and their families throughout Northeast Pennsylvania.
    The event is organized by Donn’s Dash 5K Run, which hosts its third annual race and fun run this June in Wilkes-Barre.
    For more information, visit the event Facebook page.
  5. NEPA Cornhole Tournament
    The Radisson Lackawanna Station hotel, 700 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton, hosts the Northeastern Pennsylvania Cornhole Tournament on Saturday, May 20.
    Registration begins at 10 a.m., and the tournament starts at 11. Registration is $50 per team, with a 64-team limit for the event. 
    The top four teams that place will be eligible for $1,500 in cash prizes awards.
    The lawn game favorite features players throwing bean bags at a raised platform with a hole in its far end.
    To register, visit www.nepacornhole.com/tournaments. For more information, contact nepacornhole@gmail.com.
Fam Jam – Grateful for Spring returns to Mountain Sky with expanded lineup and kids’ activities

Fam Jam – Grateful for Spring returns to Mountain Sky with expanded lineup and kids’ activities

The fifth annual Grateful for Spring festival kicks off Friday, May 12, at Mountain Sky, 63 Still Meadow Lane, Jermyn, for two days of music set to an idyllic background.
Mike Rogowski, owner of Mountain Sky,  says the concert venue maintains a focus on “music, arts, creativity and the children.”  Rogowski noted that as schools cut budgets for music and the arts, the venue strives to be family-oriented to pass on musical traditions to younger generations, drawing everyone from “infants to elderly people.”
“We’re trying to keep it alive, as far as providing music and arts to the community,” Rogowski said. 
Grateful for Spring ushers in the venue’s festival season each year with a simple and true inspiration. 
“Basically, we’re grateful that winter’s over and spring’s here, so we’re going to have a concert,” Rogowski said. 
The venue officially began to operate five years ago and has grown since, with its festivals becoming increasingly popular. For Rogowski, this growth has been satisfying.
“It’s great to be able to reach out and get these bigger bands now as we progress… because we’re grassroots and we’ve been building up to this over the past five years,” Rogowski said.
Rogowski describes a particular excitement for this year’s addition of headliners John Kadlecik and Flux Capacitor. 
John Kadlecik is best known as an original co-founder of Dark Star Orchestra and as a sideman to Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir in the band Furthur. Flux Capacitor, a younger band from outside Philadelphia, has gained a strong cult following in the festival scene. 
The festival also features Stronger Than Dirt, Village Idiots, The Jakobs Ferry Stragglers, Mountain Sky Orchestra, Diane Brigido & Friends, Friends of the Family and Riffmatik.
In addition to all the bands, the festival features art, craft and food vendors.
The growth of the venue has translated to more changes than larger profile performers. Mountain Sky is in the process of adding a recording studio and garden to the grounds. Additionally, this year’s Grateful for Spring features various new activities for children and families, such as a horse-drawn hayride. 
Jami Novak has performed with Scranton-based band the Village Idiots —aside from a few breaks for other musical endeavors — since the early 1990s. At the upcoming festival, Novak pulls triple duty, playing with Jami Novak’s Inner Space Project on Friday night, the Village Idiots on Saturday and sitting in with Stronger Than Dirt for their closing festival set. Though Novak performs at Grateful for Spring for the first time this week, he is well acquainted with the grounds and its festivals.  
“It’s a treasure of a place … it’s on the top of the mountain, and it’s really beautiful and spacious,” Novak said. 
Even more than the grounds, Novak has praise for Mountain Sky staff and volunteers, who he says emphasize the festival experience over all else. 
“The people work very hard just to make the place happen … it’s a good family up there, and they’ve come a long way from throwing little shows to having full-fledged festivals,” Novak said. “They really did something that’s super special that a lot of people really like.” 
Novak said he hopes new people will come out for this year’s Grateful for Spring festival.
“Anybody that hasn’t been there should really come up … and they won’t be disappointed. It’s a really sweet, sweet spot and the sky up there is really as good as its gets,” he said. “Everybody’s usually really enchanted by the vibes there, because it’s a smaller festival, so it’s even more enjoyable, in a way, because it’s not overloaded with people and craziness.”
Moving forward from the fifth year of Grateful for Spring and the opening of the festival season, Novak remains excited for the future of festivals at Mountain Sky. 
“It’s only getting better and better, and its going to be a really bright future for that place, I’m sure,” Novak said.
— peter shaver


If you go
What: Grateful for Spring music festival
When: Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13. The gates open May 12 at 11 a.m. with the first show starting at 3 p.m.
Where: Mountain Sky, 63 Still Meadow Lane, Jermyn
Details: Weekend pass pre-sale tickets are $55 or $65 the first day of the show. For tickets, visit www.ticketfly.com. For more information, visit www.mountainsky.net or contact ragu@mountainsky.net.

Move to ‘Her Mountains’ – CD release party to celebrate Brenda  Fernandes’ ‘inspiring’ new music

Move to ‘Her Mountains’ – CD release party to celebrate Brenda Fernandes’ ‘inspiring’ new music

On Friday, May 12, the AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton, hosts a CD release party for Brenda Fernandes, who plans to fill the space with tranquil music off her new album, “Her Mountains.”
Fernandes, a Scranton-based musician and visual artist, classifies her album, which incorporates mantra and world music, roughly as “new age or meditative.” 
“The music itself is very inspiring,” Fernandes said. “It’s uplifting.”
For Fernandes, making music is not a new experience. She generated about six albums in the past, but she decided to approach the marketing for “Her Mountains” differently. 
“The albums that I did create, I sold out of the trunk of my car,” Fernandes said. “So, I never really counted them as ‘real.’” 
Fernandes’ approach to making music has “completely changed” since she first started playing in 2001. 
“[At] first, music for me was putting music to poetry … so it was more like expressing myself through my feelings,” Fernandes said. “I tried to explore all musical genres until I found a niche, my own style.” 
Lyrically, she drifted away from more “typical” themes. 
“The songs that I write are … I guess they’re more like prayers than songs,” she said. 
Fernandes’ sound has changed, as well. Her new album most heavily features her on the harmonium, a free-reed organ. 
“I originally play the piano, so that’s my main instrument, and the harmonium came to me through learning how to chant.”
In creating this album, Fernandes had the opportunity to take on many roles. 
“I created all the drum beats, I did all the harmonies and, with the use of my iPhone, it has something called a tanpura,” she said.  “So, that acts like a drone, and it almost sounds like a sitar.”
Her focus on creating meditative and peaceful music serves her well in other pursuits, too.  
“Currently, I’m a part of a program at Geisinger (Community Medical Center),” Fernandes said. “It’s called the Art Heals project … they hire musicians to play music in the ICU units to soothe and relax the patients’ families, the patients themselves and the people that work in the hospital.” 
Melissa Carestia, gallery coordinator at AFA, says Fernandes has played at the space before, and her connection to it stretches back a long time. 
“She’s a long-time member and participating artist of the gallery,” Carestia noted. 
Carestia looks forward to the performance and atmosphere she expects Fernandes will create.
“I think she’s a wonderful person and you can definitely get a sense of her personality through her artwork and music,” Carestia said. “It’s going to a be beautiful evening.”
— peter shaver


If you go
What: Brenda Fernandes CD release party
When: Friday, May 12; party runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m., with a performance at 7
Where: AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton
Details: For album information, contact brendafernandessings@gmail.com.

For the troops – Covington Twp. restaurant pays tribute, gives back to those who served

For the troops – Covington Twp. restaurant pays tribute, gives back to those who served

The inspiration for Anne Griffiths’ military-themed restaurant, the Mess Hall, stemmed from the love within her own family.
The mom of two soldiers — Christopher, 28, in the Navy, and Chase, 20, with the Army — had her children in mind when she opened the American-cuisine eatery in April.
The space at 1064 Drinker Turnpike, Covington Twp., celebrates the accomplishments, bravery and dedication of the members of the Armed Forces in everything from the decor to the 15 percent discount offered to all on active duty or with veteran status.
Griffiths, a Gouldsboro resident, brought years of waitressing and managing experience to the business, but maintained a specific vision for what she wanted when she opened her own place.
“People thought I was nuts naming it the Mess Hall,” she said. “I think we’re all so busy in our own lives, we forget about the men and women serving and why we have our freedoms. I wanted them to think about it.
“When you eat here, you’re giving back, and you don’t even know it.”
Griffiths founded To Help a Friend Foundation, which gives back to military families in a variety of ways, whether it’s helping out spouses and kids who run into obstacles while a family member is deployed or making sure homeless vets have a place to stay and a hot meal to eat.
A collection box in the front of the restaurant collects donations, while a portion of the weekly food profits go to the fund. The Mess Hall gives back in sentimental ways, too, like the donated T-shirts and the small plastic toy soldiers that are free for the taking to remind customers to pray for those serving. So far, more than 1,500 tokens have been given away.
The atmosphere in the Mess Hall is undeniably patriotic, from the giant American flag draped across the front of the dining room to the large murals painted on the walls, one of which was drawn by a formerly homeless vet who lived in the restaurant for five months to work on it before it opened.
In one corner, a replica bunker was built, and one table set for two remains ever empty as a nod to those who remain missing-in-action. The walls have begun to fill up with framed photos of military personnel donated by diners as well as historic pictures of platoons and units. All manner of relics can be found scattered throughout, from MREs to used helmets to a jar of sand from Normandy beach.
On the menu, diners find an eclectic mix of breakfasts, lunches and dinners served six days a week. Saturdays and Sundays offer a made-to-order breakfast buffet (and chocolate fountain) manned by head chef Mario Santos and his fellow chef Joel Allman. Heartier dishes available for later meals include seafood platters like the Fra Diavolo, seafood bread bowl and loaded French fries and more than half a dozen gourmet varieties of foot-long hot dogs.
The restaurant is BYOB with seating for up to 30 at a time, though a new outdoor deck currently under construction will open this summer to add more room. The Mess Hall also offers catering and delivery within a 10-mile radius. Each day after 3 p.m., linens and seat covers adorn each table on site to transition into a more fine dining experience. The wait times occasionally run long, but Griffiths promises patience pays off.
“Nothing is frozen. It’s all made to order, so it takes longer, but it’s fresh,” she said.
Even more than the friendly service, bolstered in part by Griffiths’ own daughters, Destiny and Brittany, and the reasonably priced food, the camaraderie found within the Mess Hall draws a crowd.
“It’s like social hour in here,” Griffiths said. “This table asks that one, ‘When did you serve?’ They make friends, they take pictures by the mural and stay in touch.”
She also leaves her own impression her guests, choosing one (or sometimes several) veterans to honor each day with a meal on the house. She signs their check with the same note: “Thank you for your service. You’re my hero of the day.” It’s a gesture that’s earned heartfelt gratitude and occasionally tears from the recipients. And for Mother’s Day, she also has something special planned for her fellow military moms.
To Griffiths, it’s one more way to underscore the Mess Hall’s motto: “A place where memories are made.” And it’s another reason she said her sons are proud, even though they’ve only been able to see it in pictures while they’re away on duty.
“They think it’s awesome. They think we forget about them while they’re gone, but this shows them we’re always thinking of them,” Griffiths said.
— patrice wilding


The Mess Hall
Address: 1064 Drinker Turnpike, Covington Twp.
Phone: 570-842-3942
Established: April 8, 2017
Owner: Anne Griffiths
Cuisine: American
Hours: Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Online: Visit the restaurant Facebook page.

Fab 5 – May 11, 2017

Fab 5 – May 11, 2017

  1. Sip, Shop and Stroll Milford
    On Thursday, May 11, Girls Night Out, in conjunction with participating businesses, hosts Sip, Shop and Stroll Milford.
    The event is free to attend and starts at 5 p.m. During the event, Bar Louis at the Hotel Fauchere offers a complimentary glass of wine with store receipts of $30 or more.
    Highlights of Sip, Shop and Stroll Milford include complimentary fitness classes at Jen Murphy Fitness, a meet-the-musicians open house at Waterwheel Guitars, a prize drawing from New Mindset Massage, refreshments at various store locations and more.
    Girls Night Out is hosted by Milford Presents, a nonprofit organization responsible for producing special community events.
    Visit www.milfordpa.us/home.html for more information and to find a map of participating Milford stores.
  2. Live on Stage, The Rainforest
    A tropical rainforest takes over Valley View High School, 1 Columbus Drive, Archbald, on Friday, May 12. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door. The show starts at 6:30 p.m.
    “Live on Stage, The Rainforest” presents attendees with the sights and sounds of the Amazon rainforest and features exotic birds, kinkajous, monkeys and snakes.
    The roots of the show date back to the 1980s, when the its founder and director, Mike Kohlrieser, became aware of threats to the rainforest. He sought to use his skills as an animal trainer and stage entertainer to educate others on the rainforest and its animals facing possible extinction through the nonprofit Understanding Wildlife Inc. Kohlrieser presents it as a unique comedy animal show.
    For more information, visit http://therainforestlive.com/.
  3. Coaches vs. Cancer of Northeast PA’s Basketball Gala
    On Saturday, May 13, Coaches vs. Cancer of Northeast PA’s fifth annual BasketBall Gala raises funds for a good cause in the hotel ballroom at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, 1280 Route 315, Wilkes-Barre.
    Tickets are $150 each or $1,500 for a table of ten. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. with a VIP reception for honored guests. Cocktail hour starts at 6, and the night features dinner, live entertainment and a silent and live auction. This year’s gala honoree is Patti Lynett.
    Coaches vs. Cancer Northeast PA is part of a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches, which empowers college basketball coaches as well as their teams and local communities to help fight cancer. The events supports the ACS’s mission, which seeks to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.
    To donate or purchase tickets, visit http://gala.acsevents.org.
  4. Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox
    Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox arrives at Peoples Security Bank Theater at Lackawanna College, 501 Vine St., Scranton, with new spins on modern hits on Saturday, May 13.
    Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8. Tickets range from $40 to $45.
    The rotating music collective is best known for performing present day pop hits in a vintage style influenced by jazz and swing. Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox has amassed more than 600 million YouTube views, traveled on two international tours and performed on “Good Morning America.”
    The group returns to Lackawanna College for the second time as part of Community Concerts at Lackawanna College.
    To purchase tickets, call 570-955-1455 or visit the school’s box office or www.lackawanna.edu.
  5. Parrots of the Caribbean: A Tribute to Jimmy Buffet
    Parrots of the Caribbean flocks to Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., Scranton, for a tribute to Jimmy Buffet on Friday, May 12.
    The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, or for $35, guests can attend the concert and the Post-Show Parrot Party in the venue’s Grand Ballroom. This includes one free margarita, light fare and a meet-and-greet with the band.
    Parrots of the Caribbean is a five-piece group of skilled musicians who bring energy and enthusiasm to their Buffet tribute act. The Ohio-based band has been devoted to the act, touring heavily since formation in 2000. To purchase tickets, contact the box office at 570-344-1111 or visit ticketmaster.com.