PITTSTON – The 4th Annual Little Miss and Little Mister Leprechaun Pageant kicked off the town of Pittston’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Saturday at noon, followed by the 6th Annual Pub Crawl in the evening.
The 9th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Saturday, March 5.
The Little Leprechaun contest was held at the Pittston Memorial Library for children ages 3-7.
Each contestant, dressed in Irish-themed clothing, answers a few questions about the leprechauns and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade by event host Sarah Donahue. Everyone gets a clover-themed gift for spawning.
Five-year-old Ari Dempsey was selected as Little Miss Leprechaun 2022 while Harrison Lucas won the Little Mr. Leprechaun title. The two winners will participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade next week.
The runners-up for Little Miss and Mr. Leprechaun were Giavanna Maye and Gavin Metric, respectively.
Ari is also the reigning little Miss Tomato, becoming the first double winner of both pageants.
“Ari was very excited (about the contest) and said this morning whoever wins, wins, she’s just as excited to be here,” said Kelly Whitek, Ari’s mother. “She loves to dance and loves being on stage.”
Harrison, also 5, was also happy to enter the competition. His mother, Victoria Lucas, noted that Harrison’s grandfather is from Ireland, which makes the pageant even more special.
“I didn’t know I was going to win but I won,” Harrison said. “I had a feeling I was going to win, then I won.”
Harrison said he was excited and looking forward to being in the parade next week.
Sarah Donahue has been involved with the Little Miss and Mister Pageant since its inception and has been the host for all four years. She thinks the pageant is a great way to kick off the St. Patrick’s Day festivities for the week leading up to parade day.
“I think events like this really start to get the community excited for the parade in a week,” Donahue said. “I think it’s a good thing to do and parents are always looking for something to do for their children. This is a great activity for learning public speaking early and becoming comfortable and confident talking with people.
Donahue was pleased with the turnout as a total of boys and girls participated in the pageant this year.
The pub crawl
The annual Pub Crawl has become a favorite in recent years where the Pittston St. Patrick’s Parade committee escorts crawl-goers to three dining establishments in Pittston beginning at 6 p.m.
The Wyoming Valley Pipe & Drum Band accompanied the band at each location playing several Irish tunes. Video here.
“I think the Pub Crawl is just another great event to get people excited for next week’s parade,” Donahue said. “It’s very demographic of the pixie contest and the pub crawl, but I think a lot of people came out and were really excited after what we’ve been through for the past two years.”
More than a dozen members of the Wyoming Valley Pipe & Drum Band along with 30 Pub Crawlers made the trip from facility to facility.
The festivities began at the Knights of Columbus where the group stayed from 6-7 p.m. before moving the visit to the Tomato Bar from 7:15-8:15 p.m., ending at the Red Mill from 8:30-9:30 p.m.
Before the pub crawl, the Wyoming Valley Pipe and Drum Band performed at the Susquehanna Brewing Co. in Jenkins Township from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
During the night’s activities, Donahue said it was great to hang out even though she felt a little rusty not having both the Little Leprechaun and the Pub Crawl last year.
“Now, after taking part in the Little Leprechaun contest this afternoon and starting the Pub Crawl, it feels good to be feeling normal again,” Donahue said.