Luzerne County develops new kind of music festival that keeps people distanced

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) A popular summer concert series has been cancelled due to COVID-19. But never fear—you can still get your groove on from your front porch.

The Rocking the River concert series will not be held in Wilkes-Barre this year. But officials announced a new traveling concert series today called Rockin’ the County. They say they’re not going to let the pandemic stop the music.

Luzerne County officials and Visit Luzerne County announced a new concert series called Rockin’ the County on Monday.

“After seeing all the parades that they do for essential workers and heroes and emergency workers and graduates and I came up with this idea on what would it be if we got a flat bed and put the band on a flatbed and took the music out into the community,” said Teddy Wampole, executive director of tourism for Luzerne County.

For five Fridays this summer, a truck will slowly drive through Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, Pittston, Nanticoke, Kingston and Forty Fort, bringing the music from local bands to your porch. The new concert series follows the cancellation of the Rockin’ the River concert series, which had 6,000 attendees last year.

“It absolutely broke our heart to do it because it was a wonderful event. Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic and CDC guidelines, we just couldn’t take that many people and put them in one spot,” said David Pedri, Luzerne County manager.

“We can choose to either sit around and say these are the things we don’t have and wallow in those things. Or I think we could be try to be creative and progressive. So I think this event is a gesture to do that,” said Pittston Mayor Mike Lombardo.

The concert series is presented by Discover NEPA and will kick off on July 10th in Wilkes-Barre. Pedri says he hopes the concert series helps bring a sense of community to people and considers it a thank you to everyone for their efforts to stop the spread during the pandemic.

“This is just a little payback for them to say ‘hey listen. Take a moment. Enjoy some music. Have a beverage on the front porch with your family. Get something to eat and enjoy this music’,” said Pedri.

The truck will drive through the neighborhoods from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. each Friday.

Officials urge people to continue to follow public health guidelines and follow social distancing.

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