Downtown group meets to plan Veterans Day parade, holiday slate

i Nov 2nd 2018

By Bill O’Boyle, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — It was a meeting to bask in the glory of what’s been done to promote the city’s downtown and what is planned to continue to ride that wave.

The Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association met Friday at Best Western Plus Genetti Hotel & Conference Center to review recent activities and to plan upcoming events.

John Maday, president of the group, and Larry Newman, executive director of the Diamond City Partnership, took center stage at the session attended by about 25 members.

Maday and Newman reviewed the recent downtown Halloween party that was attended by some 2,000 children and parents.

They also discussed the upcoming Veterans Day parade and the Christmas parade. Newman said the Veterans Day parade will be held on Sunday, Nov. 11, beginning at Kingston Corners and ending on Public Square.

“We stressed how important it is for the community to come out and show support for all veterans,” Newman said.

The Veterans Day parade steps off at 2 p.m. This year’s theme is “Celebrating 100 years since the Armistice that ended World War I.”

On the following Saturday, Nov. 17, Santa Claus will come to town as the Christmas parade rolls through the city’s downtown. Newman said that will kick off the holiday shopping season, which will include Small Business Saturday and the return of the very successful Holiday Pop-Up Shops.

Newman said the city will also once again host the Old Fashioned Holiday Market on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

“It’s of civic importance for the downtown to be the venue for so many community events,” Newman said. “It’s the appropriate stage for so many of these events.”

Mayor Tony George announced Friday that city’s annual Christmas parade and tree-lighting ceremony Saturday, Nov. 17, will begin at 3 p.m. with the parade beginning at South and South Main streets and continuing to Public Square. The lighting ceremony will follow immediately after the conclusion of the parade.

There will be free activities downtown all day including:

• 11:30 a.m. — Ornament craft, story time, and the Grinch at Barnes & Noble Wilkes-King’s.

• 12:30-2 p.m. — Making a Difference Ministries presents Broken Road Duo.

• 1:30 p.m. — YOUniversal Suzuki Strings perform at F.M. Kirby Center.

• 2 p.m. — Christmas Carol Sing-along with Ms. Mary Baker on Public Square.

• 3 p.m. — 2018 Christmas parade steps off.

• Immediately following the parade — tree-lighting ceremony featuring Wilkes-Barre Mohegan Sun Choir Performance.

The city is still accepting parade sponsors and participants. Contact Special Events Coordinator Patty Hughes at 570-208-4149 or phughes@wilkes-barre.pa.us.

Newman said the Diamond City Partnership, the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association and the city work together to provide many events that help build and re-enforce the downtown brand.

“The events introduce many people to the downtown and all that is happening there,” Newman said. “People might not be familiar with the shopping, dining and entertainment available downtown. Each event is a brand-building exercise.”

The next meeting of the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association is set for Friday, Dec. 7, at the F.M. Kirby Center.