Doin’ Dunmore: Bucktown Music Fest Kicking Off This Month

By Steve Svetovich

Ready for the music, fun and dancing? 

The anticipated Bucktown Music Fest will kick off at Dunmore Corners on four Sunday evenings July 11, July 18, July 24 and August 1, all from 5 to 8 p.m,

Admission is free. Those who attend are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to sit and relax, enjoy the music and dance in the streets.

Dunmore Councilman Tom Hallinan, former Dunmore Mayor Patrick “Nibs” Loughney, and local Dunmore musician Brian McGurl are chairpersons for the event. 

Dunmore Borough is sponsoring the four Sunday evenings through a grant from the Lackawanna County Commissioners and donations from local businesses. 

“On behalf of Dunmore Mayor Tom Burke and Dunmore Borough Council,” said Hallinan, “we want to thank Lackawanna County Commissioners Notariani, Domenick and Chermak and the local merchants for their generous support of events. We will continue to accept business donations right through the Festival dates to help offset ongoing expenses.”

Opening night on Sunday, July 11 will feature music by the Luongo Brothers Band, Dunmore’s own Pat and Nick Luongo. The duo, formerly of The Poets, have been performing for decades. The Luongo Brothers will be joined by veteran favorites Alan Shield and Rich Marmo.

Sunday, July 18, will feature the Dashboard Mary Duo, the spinning grooves of the popular E.J. the D.J., and a special appearance from “Old Blue Eyes” himself in the form of Chris DiMatteo singing the hits of the late Frank Sinatra. Dashboard Mary features Dunmoreans Rob Roman and Joe Del Rosso who have been performing for the past three decades.

Sunday, July 25, will feature QBall with Dunmoreans McGurl and John Quinn along with Jim Davis and Bob Crossman. QBall plays classic rock, including the music of The Doors, Tom Petty, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones. 

Sunday, Aug. 1, will be a “Dunmore Musicians Family Reunion.” Young musical performers will come together for three hours at Dunmore Corners to play together and entertain the crowd. It will be a true celebration.

Dunmore residents have filled the rosters of many of the area’s top bands over the past seven or eight decades. The Shindig shows at Dunmore High School in the 1960’s and 1970’s were incubators for so many talented performers. The same can be said for Dunmore’s marching band and school talent shows, class nights and plays at Dunmore and Holy Cross High Schools. Many young performers show talent and promise which will be exhibited Sunday, Aug. 1, at Dunmore Corners.

“I think it is going to be a great night of music for the young and old,” McGurl said regarding the final event on Aug. 1. “Everyone is volunteering their time and talent and it is going to be a lot of fun.”

Bands, singers and musicians slated to perform the final night include the East Coast Trio, The Violet Sisters, Corner Pocket Blues Band, The Mesos, Dashboard Mary Duo, Pappa, Beckage, and Boylan; English, Tim McGurl, Janice Gambo, Katie Errico, Donna Polizzi Loughney, Luke Tinklepaugh, Emma Pasko, Julia Pasko, Lenny Carlucci, Mike Kwaitek, Dan Zayac, Paul Arduino, Len Nole, Jack Garvey, Kevin Regan, Mike Seamon, Joe Pannick, Marty Ort, Chuck Scrimalli, Brian McGurl, Phil Rossi, Mara Hennigan, Dan Cox, Jim Kernan, Dom Fortese, Rob Roman and Joe DelRosso. 

“I first thought about this while driving through Dunmore Corners one Sunday about 5 p.m.,” said Hallinan. “It looked desolate, like a bit of a ghost town. I thought it would be nice to bring some life back to Dunmore Corners. What better way than with music?

“Music would be the best way to bring people back together after months of isolation due to COVID. I ran the idea through Brian McGurl. He thought it was great and we ran with it. 

“Now Dunmore Borough can’t wait for all of the music and entertainment. It’s going to be a lot of fun at Dunmore Corners.” 

Dunmoreans Vito Ruggerio, Sally Judge and Jean Hill also assisted with the coordination of events.