CLARKS SUMMIT — The Abington Business Professional Association (ABPA) brought back a Community Block Party, which was part of SummitFest (July 12-14) in downtown, marking the first time in over 10 years the event has been held. Last year’s attempt at a block party was rained out but this year was a different story.
Friday the 13th became good luck in terms of weather as people walked around and enjoyed festivities from The Gathering Place to Depot Street in the sunlight.
“We couldn’t ask for a better day, a better night,” said ABPA vice-president Jessica Nemetz.
Outside The Gathering Place, ABPA had a tent, co-sponsored by PS Bank. It had a bake sale for the first time, which included cupcakes, scones, and brownies. There was pizza from Rosario’s and the Abington Lions Club vended other foods such as hot dogs, soft pretzels, and popcorn.
“Part of our Lions Club International mission statement is to do things for the community,” said Lions Club immediate past president Ed Borek. “And provide assistance to the local community and do it as a deed of service for the community members. Our primary concern is to make it a successful annual event.”
ABPA Executive Director Laura Ancherani walked with her husband Anthony who dressed as Darth Vader and daughter Lorelea, dressed as Rey, to distribute brochures of the upcoming Clarks Summit Festival of Ice. The theme this February will be “Ice Wars,” based on the “Star Wars” movies.
There was also a rock performance by Metal Mob where vocalist Lance Miley had a stand for his Rock School: School of Music, promoting his non-profit organization called Making Music Matters, which offers free music lessons.
“We had fun,” said Miley, speaking for the band members, including bass player Jeff Cottorell, guitarist Craig Salitis, and drummer Jason Schaefer. Jacob Graham, a student of Rock School, played drums with the band.
Rock School also has a year-round raffle for a guitar signed by Paul McCartney.
Many vendors were inside The Gathering Place. Cervine Ceramics sold mugs, bowls, and other items made from antlers. Hall Woodworking sold handcrafted pens, bottle openers, and stoppers. Maria Grzybowski vended pet portraits from her business called Maria Grzybowski Fine Art. The Verve Vertu represented 30 local artists who featured handmade journals and batikbirds. A Verve Vertu studio will soon be added to The Gathering Place.
In the middle of Depot Street, Clarks Green Assembly of God had a stand to allow kids to sign up for the annual Vacation Bible School. Assembly of God Pastor Dan Miller, a tent sponsor of the event, assisted with registrations.
“I love it,” Miller said about the event. “The weather is great. Nice deals from the vendors. People are having a great time.”
Also from the church was Kaylee Benedict, who is running this year’s VBS for the first time.
“This is the first VBS I’m planning,” she said. “It’s going to be super fun and super exciting. The kids are going to learn about Jesus in the most exciting way possible.”
Tattoo artists Jon Powell and Jake Abplanalp sold jewelry tattoo and tattoo aftercare outside the building of the recently opened Renaissance Body Art located on Depot Street. Powell has been in the tattoo business for 15 years, opening his first location in Mayfield and then one in Scranton five years ago. Last month, he set up shop in the old Kids Quality Consignments store on Depot Street. Abplanalp, a Clarks Summit resident, introduced Powell to the Abington area.
“This is awesome,” Abplanalp said about the event. “I saw a lot of familiar faces.”
The community block party was a fun event for children, as well, especially at the pocket park on Depot Street where there was a bounce house and cornhole for them to play. Also, employees of Abington Community Library let kids draw on a mural which will soon be displayed in the library building.
“It was a lot of fun for the kids,” said Clarks Summit resident Rachel Charlton, who brought her 5-year-old daughter Maci and 2-year-old son Jonah.
“The bounce house is so fun,” said Jonah.
“I have tons of favorites,” Maci added. “They’re all my favorites.”
Congressman Matt Cartwright came all the way from Washington, D.C. to attend the block party.
“I lived in Clarks Summit for 10 years,” Cartwright said. “I can walk around blindfolded. I came directly from Washington, D.C. to be here. There are a lot more sensible people in Clarks Summit than Washington.”
Cartwright was accompanied by Clarks Summit Borough Council President Gerrie Carey, Councilman Frank Besten, and Colleen Eagen Gerrity, Cartwright’s campaign manager.