5th Annual Dunmore Summer Festival Set for August 17th through 19th

Dunmore Summer Festival

The 5th annual Dunmore Summer Festival at Sherwood Park will be held Thursday August 17 through Saturday August 19. Shown in photo are officers and members of the Sherwood Youth Association at last year’s festival.

By Emily Fedor

For months, members of the Sherwood Youth Association have been preparing for the 5th annual Dunmore Summer Festival at Sherwood Park, and finally party time is right around the corner. This year, the festivities will take place from 5 to 11 p.m. on August 17 and 18, and from 4 to 11 p.m. on August 19.

The festival got its start when the borough of Dunmore celebrated its Sesquicentennial back in the summer of 2012. Ever since, the annual event has become a tradition for many in little old Bucktown a tradition filled with good food and good friends. And the cherry on top is that all that fun benefits a wonderful cause.

“The park’s mission is, and always has been, to keep the children playing,” said Sherwood Youth President Matt Fedor. “The proceeds from the festival will be used to upkeep and improve the park’s facilities.”

Every year, it seems more folks come out to catch up with friends and enjoy a bite to eat. The festival hosts a wide array of vendors, who offer all kinds of sweet, spicy and savory foods.

Villa Maria Restaurant has been a part of the summer festival since it first began five years ago. The American-Italian style eatery is based on Washburn Street in West Scranton, but the business first got its start in little old Dunmore back in 1982.  

Owner Joe Macciocco says he likes coming back to Bucktown each year to pay a visit to those who have helped make his business a success.

“It’s phenomenal. It’s a great time of the year. They raise money for the park, and there’s something for everybody,” said Macciocco.

Members of the Sherwood Youth Association also man a stand, from which they serve up beverages, potato pancakes, wimpies, pizza fritte, fresh-cut french fries, clams and more.

This year, homemade hot wing bites will also be on their menu.

“The success of the festival and the continued improvements at the park would not be possible without the association’s hard-working and faithful members, said Fedor.”  

Members of Keystone UNICO, the Dunmore High School Crimson Company and other non-profit organizations will also be part of the festival.

Another big part of the annual event is the musical entertainment. This year’s line-up features two new-comers and one returning act, who will take the stage at 7 p.m. each night.

Tony Bouselli, Mike Bertha and Dave Arneli make up the band known as Take 3. Together, the rock and roll trio will open the festival on Thursday, August 17.

On Friday, August 18, the Luongo Brothers Band will take the Show Mobile stage. The band features Pat and Nick Luongo, who are founding members of another area band called The Poets, as well as Alan Shields and Rich Marmo. They play a variety of hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

The Fabulous Fortunes will return to the Dunmore Summer Festival for the fifth year to close out the festival on Saturday, August 19. The rock group has been performing for decades in Dunmore and beyond.

The Dunmore High School cheerleaders and marching units will also make an appearance at the festival on Friday, and gymnasts with the United Sports Academy will perform Saturday.

“There will also be a bounce house, horseback riding, face painting and lots of games for the kids,” said Fedor. “We hope the community comes out to support our festival and the park.”

DHS Class of 1976 to host 40th reunion

DHS Class of 1976

The Dunmore High School Class of 1976 will hold their 40th reunion celebration on May 29 from 5-9 p.m. at the Waldorf Tiki Bar in Scranton.

Committee members include from left: Leo Woelkers, Ann Genett, Patty Rafalko, Renee Ragnacci, Ann Lacertoso, Patty Manci, Paula Kernan,  Jamie Decker, Betty Buck and Bill McAndrew.

Lanterns for the Lost Princess

Lantern Release to be Held in Memory of Kelcey Hallinan and Carissa Dartt
By Emily Fedor

On August 20, 2014, Alicia Hallinan sent out a simple tweet: “Sky lanterns for @kelceyhal tonight 8:30 at DHS.  If you have any bring them! This is gonna be beautiful!”

Alicia’s daughter Kelcey was 18 years old when she passed away on November 16, 2013 after fighting a brave battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But throughout the course of her battle, Kelcey became an inspiration to all who knew her—as well as many people who never had the pleasure.

Alicia went to the school with about 20 lanterns, expecting to meet, at most, a dozen of Kelcey’s closest friends. But to her surprise, far more than 12 people came out that night to honor her daughter.

“Like 75 people showed up,” said Alicia. “I wished I had more lanterns, but it was nice to have everyone together.”

The idea for the lantern release came from Kelcey’s favorite movie, Tangled. The animated film, which tells the tale of Rapunzel, features a moment that shows Rapunzel gazing at hundreds of paper lanterns floating up in sky from her window. The lanterns were released every year by Rapunzel’s family. The gesture was meant to let the lost princess know that wherever she was, she was remembered and loved.

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lantern

The lantern release is inspired by Kelcey’s favorite movie, Tangled. Kelcey painted this picture as part of an art therapy session during her time at CHOP. (Photo Credit: Alicia Hallinan)

This past month, Alicia paid a visit to the home of Jim and Karen Dartt to get together with some friends who also lost loved ones. The Dartt family lost their daughter Carissa in 2002. Carissa was a 22-year-old pre-med student attending Temple University when she tragically passed.

During the gathering, Jim brought out two paper lanterns of his own to set off.

“Over the years, we’ve seen these lanterns going up occasionally around Dunmore. I ordered them and started sending them up,” said Jim. “We brought some down to Puerto Rico…to visit my son…and we try to do them on the beach for our daughter.

Alicia told Jim about last year’s lantern release for Kelcey and how her family waned to hold the event again this year, but on a larger scale. Together they decided to turn the release into a fundraiser that would support both the KelceyStrong Scholarship and the Carissa Dartt Foundation.

Between the Hallinans, the Dartts and other donors, over one thousand lanterns have been made available for purchase to be a part of a massive lantern release on Friday, August 7. Gathering places currently include Dunmore High School and Sherwood Park, but all are invited to participate from any location. Lanterns will be promptly set off at 9 p.m.

Additionally, participation is not closed off to only those in the Dunmore area. According to Facebook, many people will be setting off lanterns from all over the country. It has also been confirmed that a rather famous friend of Kelcey’s has been contacted and informed of the event plans.

The idea is to light up the sky as a sign to all of our lost loved ones—especially Kelcey and Carissa—letting them know they have not been forgotten and are still very much loved.

If all goes well, as it is expected to, the fundraiser will most likely become an annual occurrence.

“We’ve never had a fundraiser for the scholarship for Kelcey, so I said this would be a really good idea,” said Alicia. “And I just can’t believe how many people are responding. It’s amazing.”

“I think no matter what direction you look that evening, you’re going to see these lanterns,” said Jim Dartt.

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The lanterns can currently be bought for $5 each at various locations in Dunmore including but not limited to Cara Mia’s on East Drinker Street, DePietro’s Pharmacy at intersection of 3rd Street and Wheeler Avenue, and Lox Unlimited on the corner of Apple and Harper Streets. They will also be on sale on the day of the release at the Dunmore High School student parking lot.

All participants are encouraged to share photographs on social media using the following hashtags: #LanternsForTheLostPrincess, #LightingUpDunmore and #KelceyStrong.

Note: The rain date for the event is scheduled for Saturday, August 8 at 9 p.m.

Former Dunmoreans Take Historical Road Trip

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God save the queen. Former Dunmore natives and close friends Brian McAndrew and Bill Ciccotti embark on a road trip every year. On Friday, March 20, the duo traveled to Ontario, Canada on an international and historical road trip. They were involved in the anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Queenston Heights, the first major battle in the War of 1812.

“We traveled around Ontario with a Dunmore towel and displayed it everywhere we went,” said Ciccotti.

The Dunmoreans also visited Fort George at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario and Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York — capturing both for America, but more specifically Dunmore.  The Bicentennial of the War of 1812 was only three years ago, and both men are still celebrating Dunmore’s recent 150th anniversary.

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All photographs courtesy of Bill Ciccotti and Brian McAndrew.