By Emily Fedor
For months, members of the Sherwood Youth Association have been preparing for the 5th annual Dunmore Summer Festival at Sherwood Park, and finally party time is right around the corner. This year, the festivities will take place from 5 to 11 p.m. on August 17 and 18, and from 4 to 11 p.m. on August 19.
The festival got its start when the borough of Dunmore celebrated its Sesquicentennial back in the summer of 2012. Ever since, the annual event has become a tradition for many in little old Bucktown — a tradition filled with good food and good friends. And the cherry on top is that all that fun benefits a wonderful cause.
“The park’s mission is, and always has been, to keep the children playing,” said Sherwood Youth President Matt Fedor. “The proceeds from the festival will be used to upkeep and improve the park’s facilities.”
Every year, it seems more folks come out to catch up with friends and enjoy a bite to eat. The festival hosts a wide array of vendors, who offer all kinds of sweet, spicy and savory foods.
Villa Maria Restaurant has been a part of the summer festival since it first began five years ago. The American-Italian style eatery is based on Washburn Street in West Scranton, but the business first got its start in little old Dunmore back in 1982.
Owner Joe Macciocco says he likes coming back to Bucktown each year to pay a visit to those who have helped make his business a success.
“It’s phenomenal. It’s a great time of the year. They raise money for the park, and there’s something for everybody,” said Macciocco.
Members of the Sherwood Youth Association also man a stand, from which they serve up beverages, potato pancakes, wimpies, pizza fritte, fresh-cut french fries, clams and more.
This year, homemade hot wing bites will also be on their menu.
“The success of the festival and the continued improvements at the park would not be possible without the association’s hard-working and faithful members, said Fedor.”
Members of Keystone UNICO, the Dunmore High School Crimson Company and other non-profit organizations will also be part of the festival.
Another big part of the annual event is the musical entertainment. This year’s line-up features two new-comers and one returning act, who will take the stage at 7 p.m. each night.
Tony Bouselli, Mike Bertha and Dave Arneli make up the band known as Take 3. Together, the rock and roll trio will open the festival on Thursday, August 17.
On Friday, August 18, the Luongo Brothers Band will take the Show Mobile stage. The band features Pat and Nick Luongo, who are founding members of another area band called The Poets, as well as Alan Shields and Rich Marmo. They play a variety of hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
The Fabulous Fortunes will return to the Dunmore Summer Festival for the fifth year to close out the festival on Saturday, August 19. The rock group has been performing for decades in Dunmore and beyond.
The Dunmore High School cheerleaders and marching units will also make an appearance at the festival on Friday, and gymnasts with the United Sports Academy will perform Saturday.
“There will also be a bounce house, horseback riding, face painting and lots of games for the kids,” said Fedor. “We hope the community comes out to support our festival and the park.”