Plans for next year’s Rockin’ the River already begin

i Aug 1st 2019

BY Patrick Kernan, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — While there won’t be another entry in Luzerne County’s Rockin’ the River summer concert series tomorrow, plans are already in the works to make next year’s event bigger and better.

Yes, they’re already planning for next July.

A meeting was held in the Luzerne County Council meeting room at the county courthouse Thursday afternoon discussing the success of the three-week concert series. Held for three Friday evenings throughout July, Rockin’ the River saw the Millennium Circle park on River Street in Wilkes-Barre turn into a concert venue, hosting a free concert that attracted nearly 6,000 guests over the course of the series.

Thursday’s meeting was largely headed up by Ted Wampole, executive director of the Luzerne County Convention and Tourism Bureau, and C. David Pedri, county manager.

Wampole started the meeting by recognizing those who made the concerts possible.

“It’s a thank you, thank you, thank you, to every person in this room, and some that aren’t here, too,” he said.

Those in the room included representatives from Wilkes-Barre city, including councilman Tony Brooks, the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, and Luzerne County Sheriff Brian Szumski.

According to Szumski, the concert series went off mostly without a hitch — no arrests were made over the course of the series, and only a handful of medical emergencies occurred, mostly concentrated on the evening of the second concert, when temperatures hovered around 100 degrees. All of the medical issues were handled by Geisinger, who were present at the site.

The meeting largely focused on what could be changed to make the formula of Rockin’ the River even better next year.

While it’s still in the very early planning process, Pedri said he plans to bring the concerts back next July. Some possible additions include a local winery to join Susquehanna Brewing Co., which sold beer at the concerts, and possibly even a fourth concert, since next July has five Fridays in it.

The group also discussed possibilities of holding an Oktoberfest in the space in the autumn of 2020.