WEST PITTSTON — Locals with talent took advantage of the opportunity to strut their stuff Sunday during West Pittston Cherry Blossom’s Got Talent show.
The 43rd annual West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival was held Saturday and Sunday giving local residents a chance to shake off the winter blues with a blend of arts-and-crafts vendors, food, pony rides and Moonwalk for children, and a wide selection of musical performances.
This year, the Got Talent Show was a new feature to showcase local abilities. Participants were separated into four age groups, 7 years old and under, 8-to-10-year-olds, 11-to-13-year-olds, and 14-year-olds and older.
The chilly weather and biting wind did not deter hundreds of audience members, who filled the seats in front of the bandstand. Many zippered up their coats and pulled up their collars, refusing to let the wind and rain pull them away from the performances.
After two hours and 20 performances, the judges announced the winner of each age group. They are:
Ashlyn Loyack, 7, for her ballet to “From this Moment” by Shania Twain; Carmella Karcutskie, 9, for her rendition of “What a Feeling” by Irene Cara; Tori Viccica, 12, and Albert Hite, 13, for their duet of John Legend’s song “All of Me”; and Cassidy Jones, 17, for her performance of “At Last,” originally sung by Etta James.
Winners were awarded a $25 cash prize.
The West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival wrapped up it’s 43rd year with other performances by the David Blight Dancers, Damian the Magician, the Emerald Isle Step Dancers, Beth Connor with Perfect Harmony School of Music and Jeanne Zano.
The two-day celebration saw a slight drop in attendance this year, said Toni Valenti, event treasurer. At the start of the day, Valenti said, they were down by about $1,000 from last year but hoped Sunday’s turn-out would make up the difference.
“The weather was better last year,” Valenti said.
All money raised from the festival is reinvested into the community, Valenti said.
“We give back to the community by donating funds to the library, the hose company, the ambulance company, the Salvation Army, and replace cherry blossom trees, and $500 for a scholarship for a Wyoming Area student,” she said.