Overcast skies don’t stop Wilkes-Barre Cherry Blossom Festival

By Geri Gibbons - For Times Leader
Eleven-year-old Alyson Lenker, the 2017 Cherry Blossom princess, presents awards to 2018 Cherry Blossom princess contenders during the Cherry Blossom Festival Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
The reigning Cherry Blossom queen, Kelly Grevera, 13, of Nanticoke, crowns the new Cherry Blossom princess, Lily Davis, 9, of Wilkes-Barre, during the second annual Cherry Blossom Festival Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Miss Pennsylvania Outstanding Teen Madison Dompkosky, 16, of Mountain Top, speaks to the audience of the Cherry Blossom Festival Pageant. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Cherry Blossom Princess 2017 Alyson Lenker, 11, of Wilkes-Barre, right, gives awards to the Cherry Blossom Princess 2018 contenders during the Cherry Blossom Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday, April 29. 4/29/19. Sean McKeag | Times Leader - - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Cherry Blossom Queen 2017 Kelly Grevera, 13, of Nanticoke crowns the new Cherry Blossom Princess Lily Davis, 9, of Wilkes-Barre, during the 2nd annual Cherry Blossom Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday, April 29. 4/29/18. Sean McKeag | Times Leader - - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Miss Pennsylvania Outstanding Teen 2017 Madison Dompkosky, 16, of Mountain Top, speaks to the audience of the Cherry Blossom Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday, April 29. 4/29/18. Sean McKeag | Times Leader - - Sean McKeag | Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE – The second day of the 41st annual Cherry Blossom Festival was simply a walk in the park for Tresha Vehoski and Kyle Hoeffner.

The parents of three said taking a walk with their children was a weekend ritual, and so on Sunday morning, in spite of overcast skies and a few raindrops, the family made their way to the midway at Kirby Park, for some exercise and a bite to eat.

Their twins – Daltyn and Blake, 3 – dressed in weather-appropriate warm coats, complete with hoods, were fascinated by a display of toy cars.

And, in spite of colder temperatures, both were looking forward to finishing off their lunch of chicken fingers with ice cream.

Daughter Rory, at 3 months, napped quietly in her stroller undeterred by carnival music and activity, a coverlet shielding her from inclement weather.

“We come every year,” said Tresha Vehoski. “It’s something to do.”

Vendor Bryant Borowsk, Horri’s Hot Dogs, was weathering the thin crowd by taking time with customers to expound upon his menu.

“We have chocolate-covered bacon, peanut butter and caramel hot dogs,” he said. “It’s about trying new things.”

Many customers did indeed seem to be leaving the stand with unusual menu combinations that combined food and fun.

Across the way, members of the Giants Despair Hillclimb Association had about a dozen cars on display, eager to share information about the cars and the hill climb, which will be held this year on July 8.

Car enthusiast Billy Feist, standing near his 1986 Corvette, shared race history with interested fairgoers.

“The hill climb started in 1906, when cars were a lot slower,” he said. “Its only been for about the last 14 years that someone broke the one-minute mark.”

Stan Pryharski, of Hanover Township, who brought his white 2012 Camaro Convertible, with red stripes, said association members come out to support the car community and the race.

“It is cold,” he said, “but we want to get the information out.”

David Lewis, Wilkes-Barre Parks and Grounds supervisor, said city employees were more than happy to help make the festival a reality.

“We’re here each day early in the morning for setup and then in the evening for cleanup,” he said. “We put out extra garbage cans and do all we can to facilitate a positive experience for vendors.”

Lewis said he believes the success of the festival is one more indication that the city is moving in the right direction.

“City workers are always in tune with moving the city forward,” he said. “I’ve worked here for 13 years and I see it every day. I look forward to the future.”

Eleven-year-old Alyson Lenker, the 2017 Cherry Blossom princess, presents awards to 2018 Cherry Blossom princess contenders during the Cherry Blossom Festival Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_TTL043018CherryBlossom1.jpgEleven-year-old Alyson Lenker, the 2017 Cherry Blossom princess, presents awards to 2018 Cherry Blossom princess contenders during the Cherry Blossom Festival Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

The reigning Cherry Blossom queen, Kelly Grevera, 13, of Nanticoke, crowns the new Cherry Blossom princess, Lily Davis, 9, of Wilkes-Barre, during the second annual Cherry Blossom Festival Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_TTL043018CherryBlossom2.jpgThe reigning Cherry Blossom queen, Kelly Grevera, 13, of Nanticoke, crowns the new Cherry Blossom princess, Lily Davis, 9, of Wilkes-Barre, during the second annual Cherry Blossom Festival Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

Miss Pennsylvania Outstanding Teen Madison Dompkosky, 16, of Mountain Top, speaks to the audience of the Cherry Blossom Festival Pageant.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_TTL043018CherryBlossom3.jpgMiss Pennsylvania Outstanding Teen Madison Dompkosky, 16, of Mountain Top, speaks to the audience of the Cherry Blossom Festival Pageant. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

Cherry Blossom Princess 2017 Alyson Lenker, 11, of Wilkes-Barre, right, gives awards to the Cherry Blossom Princess 2018 contenders during the Cherry Blossom Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday, April 29. 4/29/19. Sean McKeag | Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_TTL043018CherryBlossom1CMYK.jpgCherry Blossom Princess 2017 Alyson Lenker, 11, of Wilkes-Barre, right, gives awards to the Cherry Blossom Princess 2018 contenders during the Cherry Blossom Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday, April 29. 4/29/19. Sean McKeag | Times LeaderSean McKeag | Times Leader

Cherry Blossom Queen 2017 Kelly Grevera, 13, of Nanticoke crowns the new Cherry Blossom Princess Lily Davis, 9, of Wilkes-Barre, during the 2nd annual Cherry Blossom Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday, April 29. 4/29/18. Sean McKeag | Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_TTL043018CherryBlossom2CMYK.jpgCherry Blossom Queen 2017 Kelly Grevera, 13, of Nanticoke crowns the new Cherry Blossom Princess Lily Davis, 9, of Wilkes-Barre, during the 2nd annual Cherry Blossom Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday, April 29. 4/29/18. Sean McKeag | Times LeaderSean McKeag | Times Leader

Miss Pennsylvania Outstanding Teen 2017 Madison Dompkosky, 16, of Mountain Top, speaks to the audience of the Cherry Blossom Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday, April 29. 4/29/18. Sean McKeag | Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_TTL043018CherryBlossom3CMYK.jpgMiss Pennsylvania Outstanding Teen 2017 Madison Dompkosky, 16, of Mountain Top, speaks to the audience of the Cherry Blossom Pageant in Kirby Park on Sunday, April 29. 4/29/18. Sean McKeag | Times LeaderSean McKeag | Times Leader
Overcast skies, rain greet final day of Cherry Blossom Festival

By Geri Gibbons

For Times Leader

Reach the Times Leader newsroom at 570-829-7242 or on Twitter @TLnews.

Reach the Times Leader newsroom at 570-829-7242 or on Twitter @TLnews.