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The annual tradition known as Hazleton Funfest is a melange of festivities, fun and food.

Last updated: September 06. 2013 3:00PM - 334 Views
JOE SYLVESTER jsylvester@timesleader.com



'The Singing Troubadour' Danny Farole of Nesquehoning plays his guitar on Broad Street in Hazleton during Funfest last year.
'The Singing Troubadour' Danny Farole of Nesquehoning plays his guitar on Broad Street in Hazleton during Funfest last year.
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IF YOU GO

What: Hazleton Funfest

When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday

Where: Downtown Hazleton

How much: Free entertainment, activities, parking

More info: www.hazletonchamber.org/funfest



HAZLETON — Burrow into the back of your closet and dig out those parachute pants, Members Only jackets and acid-wash jeans, then go into your top drawer and find that old friendship bracelet.


You might need them this weekend if you plan to visit Hazleton, where, at the annual Hazleton Funfest, you’ll find an ’80s throwback party from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Broad and Wyoming streets. The period clothing might come in handy in the dress-up contest. Or you could just compete in the ’80s trivia competition or the air-guitar contest.


Not a child of that era? You might want to stand back and watch.


Not into any of it? Don’t bang your head; there’s plenty else to do at the two-day festival.


The highlight just might be a Radio Disney performance from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Broad and Laurel streets, right after the parade. The Philadelphia radio network will put on a musical performance, said Judiann McGrogan, Funfest executive director.


“It’s an interactive show, and they’ll give away tickets to a Selena Gomez concert.”


There will be other prizes as well.


And other fun to be had.


“There probably are about 20 different activities that take place and make up the overall event,” McGrogan said.


A classic car show will run from noon to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Organizers say the craft show over both days of the festival is one of the largest in the East. The giant parade, which steps off at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, will involve giant helium balloons, McGrogan said.


“We have a different theme every year,” McGrogan said of Funfest. “The ’80s theme is being carried over in the balloons that will be featured in the parade. They’re the same as in the Macy’s parade, but they’re cold air instead of hot air and on platforms rather than floating.”


And just because the word fun is in Funfest, there’s even more of it — a celebrity adult tricycle race at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on Wyoming Street; a bake-off from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Broad and Laurel streets (home bakers or professionals can enter their favorite cookie, cake, cupcake or pie); children’s activities in and around First Presbyterian Church, at Broad and Church streets; a Latin-music celebration from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Broad and Pine streets; a street fair all weekend; a pierogie-eating contest at 1 p.m. Saturday at Broad and Pine; a pierogie slapshot challenge at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the same location and a teen street party from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, also at Broad and Pine.


Also on tap are a Run for the Gold on Saturday, with a children’s run at 9:30 a.m. and a 5K run/walk at 10 a.m., which will start at the YMCA/YWCA at 75 S. Church St. and traverse FunFest territory. The Hazleton Art League is having a Ska music concert with five area bands at 6 p.m. Saturday at 225 E. Broad St. There is a $5 donation for that and light refreshments.


A kickoff concert by The Poets will start at 7 tonight at the J.J. Ferrara Center at 212 W. Broad St. Advance tickets are $12 and available at the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce or at Metallo’s Formal Wear.


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