Around Town: Fine Arts Fiesta, a baptism, and honoring military veterans

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Memorial Day is upon us and that means a few things: burgers, cookouts, beer, backyard pool openings and more.

As I sit and write, I have no plans. None. Nada. Zilch.

Surely I jest, you say?

While I know it’s surprising, it’s actually a welcomed reprieve because today and tomorrow I’m not locked into doing a thing.

Last weekend, I had some rounds to make, but most of my time was spent at the Fine Arts Fiesta — a grand celebration of art, music and history on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.

It was previewed and covered extensively in this publication with stories and photos found in the news and features sections, as well as a whole separate special section printed in advance of the opening. We created a separate page on our website too, for all Fiesta enthusiasts to reference.

The highlight for me was Drew Baldridge, the national country singer and songwriter who took command of the band shell Saturday night, wowing the audience with his original and cover music.

Introduced by marketing committee chair Kathy Bozinski, Baldridge dashed on stage to entertain the sizable crowd that was happy to sit outdoors after a rainy start to the day.

The rain didn’t deter me from spending part of the early afternoon there, though. Earlier in the day, I stopped by to visit co-worker Hartt Lang, a creative type who can design a full newspaper page more easily than I can tie a shoe.

She designs handmade Morse code jewelry and other trinkets that are truly unique.

I snagged a teal and brown Morse code bracelet that means “imagine” and — again, despite the rain — she had quite a few visitors and buyers entering her tent.

The business, Dots and Dashes Jewelry, is on Etsy. There, you can see all her work and inquire about her custom-made pieces. To say I’m a fan would be an understatement.

Also last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the baptism for Miss Scarlett Lois Kennedy, a neighbor’s new granddaughter who also happens to be the granddaughter of Ned Rowan, my former photography professor at King’s College.

It’s nice seeing people from the past — especially those as pleasant and friendly as Mr. Rowan.

The baptism was at St. Nicholas Church on South Washington Street in Wilkes-Barre.

A Bishop Hoban High School graduate, I spent a lot of time at St. Nick’s — the grandiose church with all sorts of magnificent adornments — so it was a special treat to be back with close friends.

I hope you spend time with friends this weekend too.

While the long weekend is great for reconnecting with loved ones and pals you don’t see often, let’s remember the real reason for the weekend: to honor those who died serving our country.

They deserve our utmost respect — this day and every day.

Happy weekend.

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Mike McGinley is the Times Leader Media Group’s major accounts executive. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-704-3945.

Mike McGinley is the Times Leader Media Group’s major accounts executive. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-704-3945.