Nanticoke’s Big Bang draws thousands for fun, fireworks

By Geri Gibbons - For Times Leader
Ken Kasprzyk works the grill flipping hamburgers and hotdogs Saturday at the Nanticoke Big Bang celebration near the high school. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Toby Huey, 17, helps set up prizes for the Ball in a Can Game at Saturday’s Big Bang event in Nanticoke to mark the Fourth of July. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Todd Amos, of T&M Novelties, puts out plush animal prizes for the dart game at the Nanticoke Big Bang event on Saturday near the high school. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Whistle the cow is fed by Jennifer Zylo, right, as Emma, 11, pets his neck and Aaron Zylo holds him. Whistle was the star of Cow Pie Bingo on Saturday at the Nanticoke Big Bang celebration. - - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Donna Wall, Nanticoke City manager, sets out T-shirts for sale at the Big Bang celebration Saturday. - - Fred Adams | For Times Leader

NANTICOKE – For a fifth year, Nanticoke’s annual Big Bang celebration drew more than 2,000 to the fields behind the high school for food, friendly competitions and, of course, fireworks.

Besides the aerial entertainment, the event provides a chance for Greater Nanticoke Area sports teams and the student council to raise money while connecting with fellow students for a bit of summertime fun.

Council member Nicole Mackiewicz said funds raised at the event go toward community gatherings throughout the year.

“The event committee sponsors the Halloween parade and the Christmas parade,” she said. “And we will also put money toward next year’s Fourth of July celebration.”

Mackiewicz lauded the city’s fire and police departments for their help throughout the day.

“Especially when the weather’s so hot,” she said. “We want to make sure that everyone stays safe and healthy.”

Junior Zack Pelton, a member of the high school’s wrestling team, and mother Shaunah worked side-by-side making sales and providing information about the event to those entering the field area.

Standing behind an arrangement of colorful glow sticks and funky sunglasses, Pelton encouraged patrons to make a purchase, saying, “You want people to know you’re coming.”

His mother was also quick to suggest a spicy food item to those who approached the stand.

“Try this hot sauce. It’s homemade,” she told one attendee. “But make sure you have water to go with it.”

Across the way, Ken Kasprzyk was serving up hotdogs, hamburgers, kielbasa and kabobs to raise money for the football team.

Kasprzyk enjoyed time spent behind the grill for a good cause.

“I think we’re also selling salads and sides,” he said. “But my spot is behind the grill.”

Cow Pie Bingo was an event favorite featuring a drawn-out grid on the football field with letter/number combinations. Winners were determined by the area of the grid where the cow — um — did his business.

For a second year, Whistle the cow was selected to determine the winners.

She seemed to relish her role as she made her way onto the field, accompanied by owners Jennifer and Aaron Zylo.

And although Saturday was marked by stifling heat, attendees seemed to take it in stride.

“We’re making the most of the day,” said student council secretary Liz Redenski. “We’re selling Kool-Aid and water bottles, so we’re helping people keep cool.”

Ken Kasprzyk works the grill flipping hamburgers and hotdogs Saturday at the Nanticoke Big Bang celebration near the high school.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_big_bang1_faa.jpgKen Kasprzyk works the grill flipping hamburgers and hotdogs Saturday at the Nanticoke Big Bang celebration near the high school. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Toby Huey, 17, helps set up prizes for the Ball in a Can Game at Saturday’s Big Bang event in Nanticoke to mark the Fourth of July.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_big_bang3_faa.jpgToby Huey, 17, helps set up prizes for the Ball in a Can Game at Saturday’s Big Bang event in Nanticoke to mark the Fourth of July. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Todd Amos, of T&M Novelties, puts out plush animal prizes for the dart game at the Nanticoke Big Bang event on Saturday near the high school.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_big_bang4_faa.jpgTodd Amos, of T&M Novelties, puts out plush animal prizes for the dart game at the Nanticoke Big Bang event on Saturday near the high school. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Whistle the cow is fed by Jennifer Zylo, right, as Emma, 11, pets his neck and Aaron Zylo holds him. Whistle was the star of Cow Pie Bingo on Saturday at the Nanticoke Big Bang celebration.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_big_bang5_faa.jpgWhistle the cow is fed by Jennifer Zylo, right, as Emma, 11, pets his neck and Aaron Zylo holds him. Whistle was the star of Cow Pie Bingo on Saturday at the Nanticoke Big Bang celebration. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Donna Wall, Nanticoke City manager, sets out T-shirts for sale at the Big Bang celebration Saturday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_big_bang2_faa.jpgDonna Wall, Nanticoke City manager, sets out T-shirts for sale at the Big Bang celebration Saturday. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

By Geri Gibbons

For Times Leader