Drive-Through Dunmore Cemetery Tour Draws Huge Crowds

By Julie Etsy

The tour was an tremendous success.  At least 300 cars went through on Oct. 3 and significantly more went through on Oct. 11.  And – just like with the walking tours – they came from all over.  We could tell by the license plates, and we asked.  So, it’s significant tourism for Dunmore. 

The cemetery was decorated beautifully in a harvest theme.  The autumn adornment for the cemetery included pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks, banners, gold and silver pumpkin totems, wreaths, scarecrows. and ghosts.  

The Lackawanna Historical Society, Space Time, Scranton Films, CaPaa at the Ritz Theater, Dunmore High School Crimson Company, Carlucci-Golden-DeSantis, Miller Bean Funeral Home, Pour Boys Pub, and a number of private citizens sponsored graves and mausoleums and decorated them. Gertrude Hawk Chocolates contributed a coupon for a discount on a purchase.  

The Dearly Departed Players were stationed throughout the cemetery.  Everything moved along beautifully.  Cemetery tour and cemetery activity books were distributed to those in attendance. 

We even had a local nursing home bring a van filled with their residents who we were told enjoyed their trip through the cemetery.  We also had people let us know that they had to attend a funeral in the cemetery and the harvest decorations were a great comfort.  

Griffin Pond Animal Shelter was on hand collecting non-perishable items for the pet shelter and they did a terrific job.  They filled two vans — and those vans were really packed with pet supplies.

I was out in the cemetery days before the tour decorating the place on my own.  I got so much peace out of it, going from mausoleum to mausoleum, putting a wreath on every door.  The weather was beautiful, so it made for a nice day out.  It is rewarding  to hear how much the regular cemetery walkers and tour attendees enjoyed the decorations.

As you can see from our photographs, we really covered a lot of time periods this year! The whole atmosphere changes with the harvest decor.  We reached folks on so many different levels and really showcased the cemetery as an open air museum and community friendly space. 

Dunmore Groups Nominated for SAGE Awards

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce has announced the finalists for the 2021 SAGE Awards, the Scranton Awards for Growth and Excellence, which honor outstanding local businesses for their talent, creativity, and innovation. 

Among the finalists from Dunmore are Fidelity Bank, FNCB Bank, DePietro’s Pharmacy, Dearly Departed Players at Dunmore Cemetery, and Space Time Mead & Cider Works.

The winners will be announced on Friday, March 19, at the Chamber Gala, a hybrid event held at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center and live via Zoom.

This year’s SAGE Awards have been enhanced to honor and recognize the innovation our local businesses employed due to COVID-19. In addition, the new IMPACT Award for 2021 iincludes three categories: Community Outreach, People and Culture, and Products and Services. 

Close to 100 applications were received for this year’s awards and nearly 40 community leaders and professionals volunteered to review applications and select finalists. The finalists, in each category, are: Best Practices in Community Involvement, Coal Creative, Scranton Area Community Foundation, Valhalla Veterans Services; Best Practices in Customer Service, Center City Print, Maternal and Family Health Services, Tech42 LLC.

Best Practices in Marketing and Communications,m Horizon Dental Care, Inspired Studio, Posture Interactive; Business of the Year, Benco Dental, Fidelity Bank, Horizon Dental Care; Hometown Star, Dearly Departed Players at Dunmore Cemetery, Scranton Memorial Park at Scranton High School; Food for All Campaign at The Settlers Inn.

Impact: Community Outreach, Center City Print, DePietro’s Pharmacy, FNCB Bank; Impact: People and Culture, DePietro’s Pharmacy, Golden Technologies, Penn Foster, Impact: Products and Services, DePietro’s Pharmacy, Hemotology & Oncology Associates of NEPA, Woodloch Resort.

New and Emerging Business of the Year: Birdhouse Outdoor, Scholars in Training Preschool, Space Time Mead & Cider Works;  Non-Profit Organization of the Year, Camp Freedom, Inc., Keystone Mission, Maternal & Family Health Services; Small Business of the Year, Center City Print, PennWood Financial Group, United Sports Academy.

In addition, all award finalists can also win the People’s Choice Award, where the winner will be chosen by a community wide online vote, available on www.scrantonchamber.com from Monday, March 1 through Friday, March 5.

New Documentary Focused on Dunmore Cemetery Tour

Luz Cabrales

Luz Cabrales is director of a documentary entitled “The Dunmore Cemetery Tour, with The Dearly Departed Players.”

Luz runs Scranton Films, a group of filmmakers in the area making films, TV shows and series, all featuring local resources and local talent. 

“We believe that this area is full of talented artists and beautiful landscapes that can be featured in many creative projects,” Luz explains. “Our goal is to bring film back to the area and to build a filmmaking community by fostering and highlighting the work of talented artists, local businesses and our beautiful community.”

The Dunmore Cemetery Tour Documentary takes a personal look into The Dearly Departed Players and tour director Julie Esty and follows their journey into making the tour a success every year. 

Due to the COVID-19 crisis,, a Virtual / Online premiere will be held on the group’s Facebook event page on Nov. 21, starting at 6 p.m. Go to facebook.com/scrantonfilms.

The direct link is: https://www.facebook.com/events/734810377132067/