Summer entertainment in Pennsylvania relies on local events

Photo Courtesy: Wendy Wei

Pennsylvania is moving into the “green zone” these days. Slowly. The offer of real life summer entertainment is still very limited. This is one of the reasons why online attractions like Hollywood in PA are going strong, being able to reach a larger public at home. As for live events, the 2020 summer seems to be destined to rely on small local initiatives. All large concerts have been cancelled or rescheduled in 2021. In the meanwhile, community organizations are resorting to their own resources and creativity. Here are some interesting examples.

Concerts on a flatbed truck parading along neighborhood streets: this is the original initiative launched by Visit Luzerne County, the local tourism bureau. The Rockin’ the County series has been conceived to replace the riverfront concert series that had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. Local bands will play from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for five Fridays from July 10 through Aug. 7. The musicians will drive slowly on top of a truck along the streets of Forty Fort, Kingston, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, Nanticoke and Pittston.

The Lansdale Department of Parks & Recreation is organizing the White’s Road Park Concert Series. The event is planned to run from July to September with live concerts every Tuesday from 7 p.m. Guests are welcome to bring their own blanket or lawn chair. The organizers have promised to satisfy the taste of a very diverse listening audience. The performances will range from classical to country “performed by the finest bands in the Tri-State area”.

Danville Area Arts is the host of the Summer Concert Series that will take place in Memorial Park on Tuesdays in July and August. The lineup of musicians includes Bob Richardson (July 7), Strawberry Ridge (July 14), The Becky Blue Band (July 21), Such & Such (July 28), and Uptown Music Collective’s CL & The Blues Company (Aug. 4) in collaboration with The Exchange. Here too, the public is invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on in the park. Danville Area Arts is a subcommittee of the Danville Business Alliance. Their mission is to promote and support regional art, artists and artistic culture for the citizens of Danville.

The Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre is organizing ‘Come Together’, a series of concerts in their parking lot that can host up to 1000 cars. “We’re kind of staging them in a checkerboard fashion to allow for a vacant spaces on each side,” explains Mohegan Sun Arena general manager Will Beekman. “We can allow for social distancing so that patrons can get out of their vehicle and utilize that parking space to their right to watch the show.” Twelve band will perform in the series and the proceeds will benefit local venues and programs suffering from the consequences of the pandemic. Among the beneficiaries there are the F.M. Kirby Center, Karl Hall, The Ritz Theater, The Scranton Cultural Center, The Dietrich Theater, and many more arts and non-profit organizations.