TUNKHANNOCK — Residents of the borough get in the autumn spirit by making and displaying scarecrows in the downtown area. On Bridge Street, the front gate of Ebb’s Candy Jar has a big display of scare “crows” inspired by the wise-cracking birds from Disney’s Dumbo. The candy store’s owner Eileen Barziloski made them from recycled plastic bags and felt.
“I wanted them to be fun and whimsical,” Barziloski said.
Ebb’s Candy Jar was host to an outdoor fall bake sale with apple cider and maple-glazed donuts while violinist Candice Blake performed near the garden. This was one of the many festivities of the annual Hometown Fall Fest held Oct. 6.
Artists and musicians showcased their talents on the sidewalks of East Tioga Street. In the hallways of the Dietrich Theater, the Wyoming County Historical Society put together a World War I exhibit with the theme, “What We Did Out Here to Help Those Out There.” The exhibit displayed a rescued quilt made during the Great War, a photo of the “Welcome Home” parade on July 4, 1919, and a photo of Eva Adams Finch, grandmother of Mark T. Mitchell, president of the historical society. In the photo, Finch wore a Home Front Service pin to honor her three brothers who served in the war.
Inside one of the theater’s movie houses, co-host of Pennsylvania Outdoor Life Rick Koval showed children and parents a Power Point presentation called “The Reptiles & Amphibians of Northeast PA.” He taught them the difference between the two classes of animals.
“Scales are on reptiles and smooth skin is on amphibians,” he said.
Koval also showed some of his reptiles and allowed kids to give high-fives to a turtle and handle a milk snake.
Outside the Dietrich Theater, there was a mortgage-burning presentation. John Keker, president of the board of trustees, announced the Dietrich Theater was able to raise $278,286 out of the monetary goal of $335,000. The theater had faced financial problems from the recession and the Flood of 2011.
“Thanks to our hardworking sustainability campaign committee and through generous gifts, we were able to raise 83% of our goal but we need help to raise the last 17%,” he said. “With this progress, the Dietrich is able to retire one of our mortgages, increasing the cash flow by $423 a month.”
Donations were made by Sardoni Construction, Cabot Oil & Gas to help pay off the first of three mortgage loans.
“I love the Dietrich Theater because it’s a happy place,” said Bob Boyce, who sometimes volunteers to project the movie screens. “I love seeing the kids’ eyes during the decorations of Christmas.”
The fun continued with arts and crafts near local bakery Keystone Konfections where kids put fall sticker decorations on paper tote bags.
“It’s really fun,” said 5-year-old Jackson Milgate, who designed his bag with stickers of leaves, a pumpkin and a turkey. “I like the candy from Ebb’s.”
Keystone Konfections served caramel apple wedges and cinnamon/sugar donuts. It also had a pumpkin-pie eating contest where eight participants had a few minutes to finish one pie each. Kids were able to use a fork while adults used just their mouths. Judges determined the winners by weighing the remainder of the pies. Ten-year-old Blaze Healey, of Kingston, came in first place in the kids’ division.
“I recommend other kids to try it,” Healey said, talking about the contest. “The pie was awesome.”
Lexi Corby, of Tunkhannock, managed to finish the entire pie before time ran out.
“I was surprised because I usually don’t like pumpkin pies,” she said. “The festival is really nice.”
Healey and Corby were each awarded a $25 Keystone Konfections gift certificate by Sprinkles, the bakery’s mascot.
The Hometown Fall Fest, formerly known as Airing of the Quilts, continued with the quilting tradition. Tunkhannock United Methodist Church displayed 161 quilted pieces, including quilts, table runners, placemats, and pillows on the pews and tabernacle of the sanctuary. The church is also donating seven quilts to Haiti. Church member Cheryl Sands, a retired teacher of Tunkhannock Area High School, made and displayed about 10 to 15 quilted pieces this year.
“I love to quilt,” Sands said. “It’s good for the soul.”
A yard sale outside the church is raising funds for church member Gabrielle Roote to take a mission trip to the Philippines from Dec. 27 to Jan. 11, 2019 where she will interact with youth in schools and churches.
“I’m excited to go on the trip and experience cultures who believe in the same faith as me,” she said.
Roote will travel with nine other youngsters and five chaperones in the Mission of Peace through Northeast Jurisdiction Council on Youth Ministries.
The Tunkhannock Business & Professional Association hosted another successful Hometown Fall Fest.
“I think we have a great turnout,” said Nancy Parlo, director of TBPA. “There’s a variety of activities. There’s something for everybody.”
TBPA also hosts Founders Day in June and the upcoming Christmas in our Hometown.
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