Volunteers’ love of art, community help make Fine Arts Fiesta run smoothly

By Brigid Edmunds - [email protected] | May 14th, 2017 11:38 pm - updated: 8:25 am.

IF YOU GO …

What: The Wilkes-Barre Fine Arts Fiesta

Where: Public Square

When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday

ENTERTAINMENT

Thursday

• 10 a.m.: Wyoming Valley West Chorus

Noon: Opening Ceremonies

12:30 p.m.: Wyoming Valley West Middle School Jazz Band

1:30 p.m.: Coughlin High School Jazz and Concert Band

3 p.m.: Holy Redeemer Royal Singers

4 p.m.: Wyoming Valley West High School Jazz Band

5 p.m.: Scott Edmunds Jazz Quintet

7 p.m.: Perfect Harmony Center for the Arts

Friday

10 a.m.: Wyoming Valley West Middle School Orchestra

Noon: Dallas Middle School Select Chorus

1 p.m.: The Treble Makers

2 p.m.: Jazz Saxophonist Anthony Natiello

4 p.m.: Wilkes-Barre Academy Glee Club

5:15 p.m.: Nitya Rhythm Dance Academy

6:30 p.m.: Flaxy Morgan

Saturday

11 a.m.: Joan Harris Dance Center

Noon: YOUniversal Suzuki Strings

1 p.m.: The Mozart Club

2 p.m.: Dance Theatre of Wilkes-Barre

3 p.m.: Rising Stars Performing Arts

4 p.m.: Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre

5 p.m.: Conservatory of Dance

7 p.m.: Tom Rush

Sunday

11 a.m.: The Wyoming Valley Poetry Society

1:30 p.m.: Hansel & Gretel by the Tri-Cities Opera Company

3:15 p.m.: Keystone Kids

4:15 p.m.: Fine Arts Tribute to George Wesley

WILKES-BARRE — Starting Thursday, thousands of area residents will descend on Public Square to listen to music, peruse art, enjoy some tasty food and even possibly purchase a few unique items from artists from throughout the East Coast.

The first signs of life of this coming weekend’s Fine Arts Fiesta could be seen Sunday morning as workers set up the tents that will hold the event’s featured attraction — the art.

However, the 62nd annual Wilkes-Barre Fine Arts Fiesta, which runs Thursday through Sunday, wouldn’t be much of an event at all without the work of more than 300 volunteers who have spent the last year preparing for this weekend.

“The volunteers make sure (the fiesta) goes off without a hitch,” said Kathy Bozinski, who sits on the Fine Arts Fiesta board and is a member of the board’s publicity committee.

Bozinski said the volunteers spend pretty much the entire year preparing for the fiesta, which she said is the oldest, full-scale continuous arts festival in Pennsylvania. They meet once a month, starting in the fall, Bozinski said, and they have about 350 people volunteer every year, helping with every aspect of the festival.

“It does take a lot of behind-the-scenes work,” she said.

A lot of behind-the-scenes work.

Bozinski and Fiesta President Mary Anne Fedrick said they have volunteers helping year-round, including holding monthly planning meetings, helping when artists drop off their work in April to be judged, helping put up the artwork on Public Square, setting up at information booths and even helping vendors on Public Square selling goods.

“You name it, we can use volunteers,” Bozinski said.

There is even a grounds crew to help keep the square clean throughout the week, Fedrick said.

They get a variety of help, as well. Bozinski and Fedrick said they have people who have volunteered with the festival for more than 20 years, but they’re also always looking for new recruits.

“They’re all kinds of people,” Fedrick said. “It becomes a tradition for volunteers.”

Above all, Bozinski and Fedrick said it’s a love for both art and the community that keeps volunteers coming back year after year.

“They love the event,” Fedrick said.

Helene Reed, of Mountain Top, has been volunteering with the festival for about 20 years. She started volunteering with her late husband, Bill Reed, and continues because she believes the arts are an important aspect of the community.

“It’s the best Wilkes-Barre has to offer,” Reed said. “I love the excitement and the color.”

The work the volunteers do doesn’t go unnoticed, either. Every year, the board throws a thank you event for the volunteers to recognize all the work done throughout the year preparing for the festival.

“We know we couldn’t do it without them,” Fedrick said.

Students from Conservatory of Dance in Mountain Top perform in the bandshell at the 2015 Fine Arts Fiesta on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_fineartsfiesta02-1.jpgStudents from Conservatory of Dance in Mountain Top perform in the bandshell at the 2015 Fine Arts Fiesta on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre. Times Leader file photo
Ray Becker hangs photographs he has taken with a 75-year-old camera in his tent on the square for the Fine Arts Fiesta during last year’s Fine Arts Fiesta.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL051916Fine-Arts1-cmyk-1.jpgRay Becker hangs photographs he has taken with a 75-year-old camera in his tent on the square for the Fine Arts Fiesta during last year’s Fine Arts Fiesta. Aimee Dilger file photo | Times Leader
The Fine Arts Fiesta runs Thursday through Sunday on Public Square.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_Fine-Arts-Fiesta-Poster-2017-RES-791x1024-2.jpgThe Fine Arts Fiesta runs Thursday through Sunday on Public Square. Aimee Dilger file photo | Times Leader
A woman is seen through stained glass art at the 2013 Fine Arts Fiesta.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_16fine-arts4-1.jpgA woman is seen through stained glass art at the 2013 Fine Arts Fiesta. Aimee Dilger file photo | Times Leader
Volunteer Harry Grozio ensures that the back of a photograph is properly labeled for entry in the Fine Arts Fiesta on April 22 in the Mid-Town Village on South Main Street. Fiesta, which begins Thursday, relies on more than 300 volunteers each year.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_fa2_faa-1.jpgVolunteer Harry Grozio ensures that the back of a photograph is properly labeled for entry in the Fine Arts Fiesta on April 22 in the Mid-Town Village on South Main Street. Fiesta, which begins Thursday, relies on more than 300 volunteers each year. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

By Brigid Edmunds

[email protected]

IF YOU GO …

What: The Wilkes-Barre Fine Arts Fiesta

Where: Public Square

When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday

ENTERTAINMENT

Thursday

• 10 a.m.: Wyoming Valley West Chorus

Noon: Opening Ceremonies

12:30 p.m.: Wyoming Valley West Middle School Jazz Band

1:30 p.m.: Coughlin High School Jazz and Concert Band

3 p.m.: Holy Redeemer Royal Singers

4 p.m.: Wyoming Valley West High School Jazz Band

5 p.m.: Scott Edmunds Jazz Quintet

7 p.m.: Perfect Harmony Center for the Arts

Friday

10 a.m.: Wyoming Valley West Middle School Orchestra

Noon: Dallas Middle School Select Chorus

1 p.m.: The Treble Makers

2 p.m.: Jazz Saxophonist Anthony Natiello

4 p.m.: Wilkes-Barre Academy Glee Club

5:15 p.m.: Nitya Rhythm Dance Academy

6:30 p.m.: Flaxy Morgan

Saturday

11 a.m.: Joan Harris Dance Center

Noon: YOUniversal Suzuki Strings

1 p.m.: The Mozart Club

2 p.m.: Dance Theatre of Wilkes-Barre

3 p.m.: Rising Stars Performing Arts

4 p.m.: Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre

5 p.m.: Conservatory of Dance

7 p.m.: Tom Rush

Sunday

11 a.m.: The Wyoming Valley Poetry Society

1:30 p.m.: Hansel & Gretel by the Tri-Cities Opera Company

3:15 p.m.: Keystone Kids

4:15 p.m.: Fine Arts Tribute to George Wesley


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