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.”
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