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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2013:04:11 11:47:03

Sponsors of the Clarks Summit Earth Day Celebration are pictured. From left, front row: Mickey Mastriani, chair of the Raffle Basket Rally; Jeremy Bishop, artisan; Sharon Calvey, chair of the Flea Market Flip; Tara Walker, artisan; and Patty Lawler, Lawler's Affordable Elegance. Back row: Sonia Wysochanski, Sonia's Contemporary Clothing; Ryan Makinson, Everything Natural; Mary Elizabeth Alunni, Bella Natura; Dori Waters, Verve Vertu and The Gathering Place; Jason Zeidman, The Refill Station; and Ray Mercado, A-1 Gold and Diamond Mine.

Spring renewal is happening in the Summit this Saturday with a party of planetary proportions.

On Saturday, April 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Clarks Summit Borough will host its second annual Earth Day Celebration throughout the streets of the town. This year's celebration will include recycling stations, non-profit exhibits, artisans and other vendors - all with an Earth-friendly theme.

Event chair Patty Lawler, a borough councilwoman and the chair of the borough's recycling committee, explained why Clarks Summit decided to celebrate Earth Day.

"We needed to reach out more to the community than we have done in the past to get them energized about recycling, reusing, reducing and renewing, which is our theme," she said. "We also want to renew families and bring them back together."

Lawler also explained that the Earth Day Celebration would be the first of its kind in Northeast Pennsylvania and that it would be unique to Clarks Summit.

"I don't think any other little town or hamlet in our area does an Earth Day celebration; you have St. Ubaldo Day in Jessup and you have the Pioneer Days in Carbondale," she said. "We want to start a tradition that strengthens our town and our businesses and puts our community on the map as well and shows that we are growing stronger and stronger as an Earth-friendly community. Plus, it is spring time; people are anxious to get out, so it is a good fit for our municipality."

The event is sponsored by a Lackawanna County Arts and Culture grant as well as by J.P. Mascaro and Sons, which provides the borough's recycling and helped it successfully transition to single-stream recycling last year.

Lawler explained that in the spirit of renewing families, there will be exhibits specifically designed for children, including a children's recycled art tent on Spring Street, where they will get the chance to participate in activities such as "trash and treasures," where they will get to repurpose materials and create masterpieces with Styrofoam and bottle caps. Puppies from Laura's Hope Rescue and a brand-new non-commissioned recycling truck from J.P. Mascaro and Sons will also be on-hand for their enjoyment.

For Lawler, teaching children about recycling while they are young guarantees the future of the planet.

"At last year's festival, I saw a kid with his parents and he had a cloth bag with batteries and a cell phone and a pair of eyeglasses," she said. "We were recycling different things and his mother was showing him where to put his items. It was a great feeling to see the parents teaching this to their children."

Proceeds from the Clarks Summit Earth Day Celebration stand to help the borough continue its green theme right through to the holiday season.

"We are trying very hard to raise money for our Christmas lighting project so we can replenish our town for Christmas," she said. "We want to purchase a gently-used bucket truck, in keeping with the theme of recycling, so that the lights can be placed in the canopies of the trees. We've had to borrow it in the past or we've had to rent it. If we had one, we could place the lights in a timely way, so we are looking to do that."

The day's events will begin with an all-day flea market on the first floor of the Clarks Summit Borough Building, 304 S. State St., at 8 a.m. An Artisan's Alley will be located on Depot Street. The event is rain or shine. Call Lawler at 587-4099 for more information.