Free entertainment at Funfest’s three stages will offer something for every musical taste, according to Funfest Officials. Funfest Weekend is September 7 and 8, and the free admission event will offer popular, oldies, classic rock, and Latin music, among others. And as part of its 2013 theme, “A Totally 80s Weekend,” Funfest will include an “80s Throwback Party,” featuring music from that decade. The schedule will also include showcases by local music and dance studios, karate schools, and others.
“We are certain that everyone will find a type of music they enjoy through the course of Funfest Weekend,” said Funfest Entertainment Committee Chairman Mike Sosar. Sosar said the best news is that all of the entertainment is free. “Our event-goers can enjoy all of our entertainment at no cost, thanks to our sponsors.”
Luzerne County Community College and the Greater Hazleton Health Alliance are both continuing longtime sponsorships of performance venues. L.C.C.C. will sponsor Stage 1 this year, which was moved last year to its new location near Broad and Church Streets. G.H.H.A. is the sponsor for the Wyoming Street Performance Area, which will be right at the intersection of Wyoming and Broad. And as part of a larger sponsorship, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is sponsor of Stage 2, to be located at Broad and Pine Streets. “We are very appreciative to these three institutions for their continued support of Funfest,” Sosar said.
Sosar noted that because Funfest’s hours are changed for this year, the entertainment schedule has been modified. The event starts at 10:00 a.m. Saturday and at 11:00 a.m. Sunday, but will end both evenings at 7:00. Because of that, keynote entertainment on the main stages will get an earlier start, at 4:30 p.m.
Gone Crazy will be the keynote on Funfest Sunday beginning at 4:30 p.m. on the LCCC Stage. The local band was featured at Funfest’s “Eighties Throwback Prom,” earlier this year, and plays everything from current rock music to classics. Their appearance is made possible through the support of Funfest Gold Sponsor the Standard-Speaker.
Saturday night keynote entertainment will be by Wilkes-Barre Area band Flaxy Morgan. This band spotlights female vocalists, and performs songs by everyone from Poison to Pink to Bon Jovi. Flaxy Morgan’s performance will begin at 4:30 on Saturday at the L.C.C.C. Stage.
Earlier in the day, Hazleton Area oldies band The Legends will perform at the L.C.C.C. Stage as a backdrop for the Funfest Car Show. The Legends, whose appearance is sponsored by Auto Zone, will be onstage from 12:30 to 3pm.
Sunday Afternoon’s keynote entertainment will be by another local band which has become a Funfest favorite. Rail is comprised of young musicians from the area, and they have appeared at Funfest for the last two years, performing classic rock. Rail will be on the LCCC Stage beginning at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
Some new faces to Funfest will also be featured at the performance venues. The Band “Substitute” will share their talents Saturday from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. at the Blue Cross Stage, playing classic rock, as well as music from the 80s and 90s. And the Hill City Church Praise Band will be at the G.H.H.A. Performance Area on Sunday from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
The G.H.H.A. Area will also be the base for all things 80s. The Funfest “80s Throwback Party” will begin Saturday at 5:30 and Sunday at 5, with Sosar as the host. “We’ll be playing all the best music from the 1980s, and there will be contests each night, with prizes to the winners.” The contests will include 80s trivia, an air guitar contest, and a “Show Us the 80s” contest, with prizes given to those who dress the part.
The Blue Cross Stage will once again be the venue for the annual Funfest Latin Music Celebration Sunday night. Hosted by Funfest Committee Member Amilcar Arroyo and DJ Rode Umana, the event will feature live and recorded music, and will get underway at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. DLP Law Firm is the sponsor.
Funfest continues its tradition of providing a showcase for local music schools and other performance studios. All That Dancin’, Church of God, Crosswinds Karate Kai, Core Fitness Center, DeMelfi School of Music, Drama in Motion School, Elite Dance Company, Christian Deejay Michael Klesh, and Lopez Tae Kwon-Do Ctr. are all scheduled to perform.
The Teen Street Party will once again be the featured event late Saturday at the Blue Cross Stage. Starting at 4:30, the night will include a Basketball Shootout, coordinated by the Hazleton YMCA/YWCA, as well as the popular “Hazleton’s Hunk” contest. New this year, the Teen Street Party will feature a live band, Shock Value, which spotlights local teens. The band will perform throughout the evening. WYLN-TV personality Ann Gownley and Kristina Papa of SSPTV will host the festivities.
The Blue Cross Stage will be all about the Pierogies on Saturday afternoon. The 6th annual Pierogie Slapshot Challenge will begin at 11:30, and will be immediately followed by a Pierogie Eating Contest at 1:00. T&L Pierogies of Hazleton is the sponsor and provider of pierogies. And the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins are Slapshot sponsors.
Strolling entertainment for the Weekend will include well known song-man and troubadour Danny Farole, who will perform with both his guitar and accordion from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. WMGH and WLSH Radio sponsor Farole’s appearance at Funfest.
Sosar and fellow Funfest committee member Tony Pacelli, as well as deejay Matt Straub, will provide music at the entertainment venues throughout the Weekend between performances. A complete Funfest entertainment schedule, as well as other information about Funfest, can be found at www.funfestpa.org. Or call 455-1509 or 1-800-OK-FFEST.