Children Can Combine COVID Vaccine with Pictures with Santa

The Wright Center for Community Health is combining holiday tradition and spirit with an important public health initiative in December to ensure every family member in Northeast Pennsylvania can safely celebrate the joyous holiday season.

“Pictures with Santa,” will enable children of all ages to carefully recite their wish list to the jolly old elf, as parents snap pictures of the treasured moment and participate in one of the vaccine clinics.

The Wright Center will be offering the pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children, ages 5-11, with their parent’s permission, and vaccines for adults.

The holiday-themed events will be available free to the public at The Wright Center for Community Health’s Scranton Practice, 501 S. Washington Ave., Scranton, on Friday Dec. 3 from 2-5:30 p.m., and Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn, on Sunday, Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The pediatric Pfizer vaccine will be available at both vaccination clinics. The Moderna vaccine will be administered at the Scranton Practice and the Mid Valley Practice will have the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for people who are 12 and older.

To schedule a vaccine appointment at the Scranton or Mid Valley practices, please go to and click on the “make an appointment” link at the top, center of the page and follow the directions. 

The vaccine clinic will be available simultaneously at both locations during “Pictures with Santa.” Parents can choose to have their children vaccinated before visiting Santa or after the annual tradition. The special event enables children and their families to participate in the holiday festivities in a safe and socially-distanced manner and meet Santa for a picture. Guests are invited to capture the special moments with their personal cameras. 

COVID-19 masking will be required for everyone who participates in the event. 

“Vaccination is the best tool to keep ourselves and our children safe from COVID-19,” said Geraldine McAndrew, the director of Patient & Community Engagement “We carry our mission directly into the communities we serve, and hope to take the opportunity to encourage children and families to get vaccinated.”

To reserve a time for a photo with Santa, please call McAndrew at 570-267-4199 or email her at

Free Christmas Party Planned for December 2nd

The 20th annual O’Malley Free Drive-through Christmas Party will be held on Sunday, Dec. 12, from 1 to 3 p.m. at McDade Park.

The party will consist of orange drink, GoodFellas pizza, McDonald’s cheeseburger coupon from the Keyser Avenue location, a bag of Utz potato chips, a free children’s meal from the Texas Road House, and coupons for Chuck E. Cheese. Children from preschool through fifth grade are welcome to meet old Saint Nick and DJ Jason Miller.

There will be lots of goodies and a candy cane from Santa Claus. RSVP by Thursday, Dec. 9 by calling 570-346-1828 to leave the number of children attending.

Shown from left: Gene Widdick, Hunter Marcen, Jayme Marcen, Patrick O’Malley, James Barrett, Matt O’Malley, Kieth Oleski, Mary O’Malley-Ruddy, Leo Ruddy, Vanessa Thomas, and Neil Marcen.

Calendar of Events: December 2021

Winter Market on Courthouse Square

The Lackawanna County Winter Market Weekend will take place Friday, Dec. 3, through Sunday, Dec. 5, on Courthouse Square, N. Washington Avenue, featuring 54 vendors, music by local musicians, and a host of other events.

The Lackawanna County Tree Lighting will kick-off everything on Friday, December 3, at 6 p.m. in Flag Plaza in front of the Courthouse with caroling by the Catholic Choral Society. Free carriage rides by Brookvalley Farms will also be provided from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., leaving from the N. Washington Street side of Courthouse Square.   

RISE: an installation of light & hope, designed by the Scranton Fringe with the Center for the Living City and the Marywood School of Architecture, will be on display on the lawn on the N. Washington Avenue side of Courthouse Square.  Performances by the Scranton Fringe Festival will be offered Friday and Saturday evenings as part of the installation. Carolers from the Wally Gordon singers and Patasphere will be walking around Courthouse Square and the Downtown on Friday evening.

On Saturday, December 4, free art activities will be offered from noon – 4 p.m. at The Fringe Gallery at 200 Adams Avenue, Afa Gallery at 101 Penn Avenue, and Creative and Performing Arts Academy (CaPPA) at 222 Wyoming Avenue.

Other activities include: the annual Toys for Tots Fundraiser, Festival of Trees display on the Piazza dell’ Arte on the Spruce Street side of the courthouse, featuring 24 trees decorated by area organizations, and the downtown Scranton Tomorrow Holiday Window Showcase.  As part of the showcase this year, the County offered a special program to sponsor 15 windows to be decorated by local artists.  The displays will be up through January 7.

For more information, visit Lackawanna Markets Facebook page,, or contact the Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department at 570.496.1724.

UNICO December Meeting

The next monthly meeting for Keystone Chapter of UNICO is set for Fiorelli’s on Dec. 16. It will be the annual Christmas Party/Toys for Tots Drive with entertainment by song stylist Jimmy Cerminaro. Cost is $25. Contact the Keystone UNICO office at 570-343-7009 for a reservation. Membership is open to U.S. Citizens who have Italian lineage or are married to someone who does. If interested in joining Keystone UNICO, contact Ann Summa at 570-842-9336. 

Original Play 

411 Studio will present an original play Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Beautiful Dreamer, written and directed by Lou Bisignani. The production will be presented at Providence Playhouse, 1256 Providence Rd. for one weekend only on Thursday, Dec. 9, Friday, Dec., 10, and Saturday, Dec. 11, at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. For reservations, call 570-342-9707.

Ugly Sweater Contest

An Ugly  Christmas Sweater contest will be held in Olyphant on Dec. 16, coordinating with the “Third Thursday in the Queen City.”  This contest, which is open to everyone, will be at the Keystone Stage, 125 Lackawanna Ave, across the street from the Bank.  All sweaters must be worn on the person and  must be entered by 6:30 p.m, for the judging and prizes at 7:30. For more information, check  “Olyphant Borough information page” on Facebook. There will be free parking in town in that evening.

Christmas Concerts at Marywood

Christmas traditions at Marywood University continue this year, with protocols in place to ensure safe, in-person experiences, including cultural events. As part of its “Making Spirits Bright” Christmas event series, Marywood is offering three holiday concerts, which are free and open to the public. Masking protocols must be followed at in-person events. 

Concerts include: 

Chamber Singers Holiday Concert, Sunday, Dec. 5, 4 p.m., at the Marian Chapel. This performance will include the famous “Alleluia” by Randall Thompson, the popular setting of “Lux Aurumque” by Eric Whitacre, and Carol Barnett’s spectacular “Hodie,” as well as carol settings and other sacred and secular music by American composers.

Guitar Ensemble: Holiday Concert for a Global Community, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m., at the Marian Chapel. This concert is being produced in partnership with Marywood’s Center for Global Engagement. During the concert, hear a musical holiday message that Marywood President Sister Mary Persico IHM wrote especially for the event, spoken by the student musicians in several different languages.

String Project Holiday Gala Concert, Thursday, Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m., at the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts. This concert features the children and student teachers from Marywood’s String Project. They will be playing music from around the world and some holiday music to welcome in the season.

 For information on Marywood’s Christmas events, event registration links, and related resources, visit

Holiday Event at the Rossetti Estate

The Rossetti Foundation for the Arts and Culture (RFAC) will ring in the holidays with a spectacular Holiday Event at the Rossetti Estate located at 1005 Vine Street, Scranton, on Friday, Dec. 17, from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

Renowned pianist Ken McGraw, and other local performers will provide holiday cheer and food and spirits will be served. Cathy Rist Strauch, mistress of ceremonies, will perform, along with : Llew Miller, Marina Luree, Frank Carey, Abigail Zieger, and Matthew Merolla. 

Also featured is the barbershop quartet, Vocal Accord comprised of Raleigh Block, Don Overdorff, Lou Volpetti, and Dane Bower. In addition, Jason Pasnikowski, of Sundry Borosilicate Glass Creations, will demonstrate the technique of blowing glass into a glowing Christmas ornamental masterpiece. 

The Gourmet Guys, who also catered the Rossetti’s first gala, will feature several dishes to make the evening special. Guests will also be invited to sing some well – known Christmas carols.  

Space is limited. Make reservations by Dec. 11. Suggested donations for this event are highly appreciated. Contact us at 570-445-3610, or at Or visit us on Facebook.