NOTHING IS so welcome as a sunny, warm spring day and the Fine Arts Fiesta.
A relentless, cool spring lingered into early May and even stared down the most frugal heat misers among us. So Thursday and the opening of the Fine Arts Fiesta on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre was a warm welcome to the promise of the weekend and summer ahead.
Once again the Square was overflowing with craft and art vendors, displays of the work of local artists, food stands and crowds of people, happy to be in Wilkes-Barre. Even a quick lunchtime stroll across the square was an opportunity to pass by a mime and a clown, browse through the handcrafted brooms, shop an array of jewelry and marvel at paintings, photographs and sculpture that reveal the exotic and everyday vision of artists from here and other places.
The Fiesta is a wonderful time to meet new people and reconnect with friends you might see but once a year. It’s also a chance to listen to an array of music, from high school bands and chorus to reggae, jazz and popular performers. Fiesta typically offers a musical surprise and this year it’s a Sunday night performance by ’80s pop musician Marshall Crenshaw.
This is the 58th time our community is embracing the fine arts, all thanks to the vision of founders including the late Annette Evans and Al Groh, who died in February.
The Fiesta has continued and flourished thanks to the persistence of a cadre of volunteers who plan, cajole, work, promote, fund, champion — name it — to offer a free event for all to enjoy. The Fine Arts Fiesta is a credit to them and the vision they follow.
Their effort is not unlike many other events — not as old or as large — throughout the Wyoming Valley and Northeastern Pennsylvania that are loved by many communities. It’s proof that people together can make good things happen.
So this is the answer to a winter that never seemed to want to go away. The mild weather is forecast to last through Sunday and the duration of the Fiesta. Embrace this signature event, the community we share and the promise of the future. Nothing says summer has arrived quite like the Fine Arts Fiesta.