Dearly Departed Players to Host 20th Anniversary Tour

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Members of the Dearly Departed Players prepare for their annual Dunmore Cemetery Tour to be held on Oct. 1 and 8. Shown from left are: Wendy Belaski, Silas Robert Powell, Christine McGeachie, Nelson Wood, Julie Esty and Megan Esty.

Julie Esty has announced that the 20th anniversary Dunmore Cemetery Tour will be held this year on Oct. 1 and 8.  It’s always a bit funky with publicity when we have that October 1 tour day.

The tour this year is the “Guest Appearance” tour.

Julie was the recipient of a Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Grant, so she opened up the cemetery — this year it is “Death’s Playhouse” and the Dearly Departed Players are welcoming people from the past from different area cemeteries.  

Two people on the tour are buried a bit further but played significant roles here in the valley.  This year’s program will include are Forest Hills, Cathedral, St. Mary’s German Catholic in South Side, the cemeteries of Minooka, Cathedral,  Pittston Avenue, and St. Catherine’s in Moscow.

“For more than 20 years I have accumulated a significant amount of information on people from the past buried in the cemeteries around here and it’s nice to be able to

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Shown at Dunmore Cemetery are Dearly Departed Players including, from left: Christine McGeachie, Wendy Belaski, Nelson Wood, Megan Esty, Tom Fritz, Laura Micelli, Jennifer Ochman, Julie Esty and James Patterson.

address those people,” Julie explains. “I also get asked a lot to be in other cemeteries and do tours, especially Forest Hills and Cathedral, but it’s not possible to take this sizable audience on the road.  This was the easiest way to incorporate people from other places.”

For the third year, Kuhn’s Classic Memories of Williamsport will participate with their team of horses and Victorian hearse. They will appear for both tours, weather permitting.  Their driver,Lance Ohnmeiss, is the conductor of the Northern Appalachin Wind Symphony and is also an award-winning bagpiper.  He is going to lend his musical talents to the tour this year.    

Also participating will be Scranton Reads, who book selection of  Gilead works very well with a cemetery theme.  Sons of Union Veterans/GAR Memorial Association will be on hand, as well as the Friends of the Forgotten Northeast Wing will be out there.

One of  the people presented on the tour, a firefighter who died almost 100 years ago, did something amazing for his fellow man.  Because of what he did — because of his kind works — the tour is also partnering with Feed-a-Friend in his memory. People attending are asked bring a nonperishable to the cemetery gates on tour days only.  That firefighter will also be receiving a proclamation from the Mayor of the Scranton.  

Traditionally, the tour draws at least 1,500 people over the two weekends, including people from all over the East Coast.  This year, upgrades to the sound system are planned. This year’s tour will be performed in memory of Dunmorean Karl Wegforth, president of the Dunmore Historical Society, who recently passed away.

The tours, which last two hours, begin at 2 p.m. at the Dunmore Cemetery gates at Warren and Church Street.  Arrive early to see exhibits.  Comfortable walking shoes are suggested.  Admission is free. No reservations are required.   For more information, please call 570-344-3819 or visit Dunmore Cemetery Tour on Facebook.


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