Rain no match for spirit of Fine Arts Fiesta

By Geri Gibbons - For Times Leader
A character from ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ performs on stage at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. The free performance was staged in conjunction with the Fine Arts Fiesta. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Characters from ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ are shown on stage at the F.M. Kirby Center during Saturday’s free show for children and families. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Matthew Brewer, 4, of Kingston, wore a pirate hat, eye patch and sword as he watched ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ on Saturday at the Kirby Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre. - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Characters from ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ act on stage at the F.M. Kirby Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre during Saturday’s free children’s show. - - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Cooper Jarrett, 8, of Swoyersville, waves his pirate pistol as he watches ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ at the F.M. Kirby Center on Saturday. The free children’s show was put on in conjunction with the ongoing Fine Arts Fiesta. - - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Jamie Smith keeps dry inside a tent for the Social Fabic Collective as rain fell Saturday at the Fine Arts Fiesta on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre. - - Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Kassandra Janiszewski, 10, of Plains, has her face painted at the Fine Arts Fiesta on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. She came with her great-grandmother Dianne Janiszewski. Children could get their faces painted for free at the fiesta. - - Fred Adams | For Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — Despite persistent rain that forced many to take refuge under tents and umbrellas, the arts came to Public Square on Saturday, with residents enjoying both the third day of the 63rd annual Fine Arts Fiesta and a free children’s program at the nearby F.M. Kirby Center.

Just Plain Crazy face painting, occupying a tent on the corner of the Square, saw a steady stream of eager youngsters requesting face art that ranged from butterflies to flowers to pirates.

The Fine Arts Fiesta committee makes it possible for youngsters to get their face painted during the event at no charge.

“It was nice to see the elementary school children come through,” said Ruth Casey, a co-owner of the business. “Face painting was free, so they could spend their money on food and other things.”

Mary Ann Fedrick, fiesta board chair, said it’s that spirit of community and generosity that keeps artists and residents coming back year after year.

Fedrick said art vendors from all over the country return annually, citing the friendliness of patrons and hospitality of the festival organizers.

As for Saturday’s rain, Fedrick said it posed only a minor challenge.

“Many of our vendors have been doing this for a long time. They’re troopers,” she said.

And although some entertainment Saturday morning was canceled, it seemed as soon as the rain let up at about 2 p.m., residents quickly made their way to Public Square for shopping, eating or entertainment.

Virgil Cardamone, of Blue Mountain Vineyards, Bethlehem, took the opportunity to provide not only flavor, but warmth. He offered customers hot apple wine.

“Its a bit cold and rainy — and I thought it was a way to draw customers in,” he said.

Cardamone says sangria has been a hit during the six years he’s been attending the fiesta.

“I always say we have a sweet crowd here,” he said. “We love the area, the people. It’s a beautiful thing. It keeps us coming back.”

Across the street at the Kirby Center, hundreds of children were enjoying “The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told,” offered free to the public.

The improvised, interactive musical production brought the actors into the audience to the delight of the children and was consistent with the cultural energy that filled downtown.

Gavin Sayre, 6, Mountain Top, was attending with mother Diane Sayre and looking forward to the color and excitement offered by the unique presentation.

“Afterward, we hope to cross the street to the art festival,” she said. “We’d love to see the artwork.”

A character from ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ performs on stage at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. The free performance was staged in conjunction with the Fine Arts Fiesta.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_finearts1_faa-1.jpgA character from ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ performs on stage at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. The free performance was staged in conjunction with the Fine Arts Fiesta. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Characters from ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ are shown on stage at the F.M. Kirby Center during Saturday’s free show for children and families.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_finearts3_faa-1.jpgCharacters from ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ are shown on stage at the F.M. Kirby Center during Saturday’s free show for children and families. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Matthew Brewer, 4, of Kingston, wore a pirate hat, eye patch and sword as he watched ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ on Saturday at the Kirby Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_finearts5_faa-1.jpgMatthew Brewer, 4, of Kingston, wore a pirate hat, eye patch and sword as he watched ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ on Saturday at the Kirby Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Characters from ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ act on stage at the F.M. Kirby Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre during Saturday’s free children’s show.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_finearts2_faa-1.jpgCharacters from ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ act on stage at the F.M. Kirby Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre during Saturday’s free children’s show. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Cooper Jarrett, 8, of Swoyersville, waves his pirate pistol as he watches ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ at the F.M. Kirby Center on Saturday. The free children’s show was put on in conjunction with the ongoing Fine Arts Fiesta.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_finearts4_faa-1.jpgCooper Jarrett, 8, of Swoyersville, waves his pirate pistol as he watches ‘The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told’ at the F.M. Kirby Center on Saturday. The free children’s show was put on in conjunction with the ongoing Fine Arts Fiesta. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Jamie Smith keeps dry inside a tent for the Social Fabic Collective as rain fell Saturday at the Fine Arts Fiesta on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_finearts7_faa-1-1-1.jpgJamie Smith keeps dry inside a tent for the Social Fabic Collective as rain fell Saturday at the Fine Arts Fiesta on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre. Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Kassandra Janiszewski, 10, of Plains, has her face painted at the Fine Arts Fiesta on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. She came with her great-grandmother Dianne Janiszewski. Children could get their faces painted for free at the fiesta.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_finearts6_faa-1.jpgKassandra Janiszewski, 10, of Plains, has her face painted at the Fine Arts Fiesta on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. She came with her great-grandmother Dianne Janiszewski. Children could get their faces painted for free at the fiesta. Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Day includes free children’s show at Kirby

By Geri Gibbons

For Times Leader