Surprise procession replaces canceled Pittston City St. Patrick’s Parade

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PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – Saturday would have marked the 8th annual Pittston City Saint Patrick’s Parade, but doe to the pandemic, it was canceled.

However, organizers still wanted to do something to commemorate the day, so they held a small procession.

It’s the last thing Hailey Russ and her brother, Tanner, expected to see while visiting their grandmother at work.

“I was like is there a parade outside? So I just went around to the door and Tanner was telling me about it and I was like oh my there’s a parade out here,” said Russ.

A small group of locals including bagpipers marched down Main Street in Pittston on Saturday, surprising the city.

“Something like this will put their spirits way up cause they’ll see we’re starting to do something. You know, not just sitting behind locked doors,” said Butch Modvelewski, member of the Wyoming Valley Pipe and Drum Band.

This would have been the weekend the popular Pittston St. Patrick’s Day Paade was held, but it was canceled due to the pandemic. Organizers say they still wanted to do something for the community because they know just how much the parade means.

“I asked people to send me some photos for a virtual parade. And looking through all those photos, just so many smiles, so many happy faces. So we know that people are making lifelong memories here in our hometown in Pittston which we love dearly,” said Sarah Donahue, Organizer of the parade.

In order to further help stop the spread, the community wasn’t given a heads up about the plan for the procession.

“We didn’t wanna announce it because we didn’t want people to gather to watch. That would obviously be the opposite of what we were looking for. If we wanted people to gather, we would have had a parade,” said Donahue.

But the surprise sure made the day for those who watched.

“It’s nice to see a parade back out after the pandemic started. We couldn’t do any last year so it was really good to see one again,” said Russ.

Organizers say they are hopeful that the parade will be held next year in Pittston.

The procession route ended at the Firefighter’s Memorial Statue on Kennedy Boulevard in Pittston and honored the fallen heroes.

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