Preparations Underway for Pittston Tomato Festival

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PITTSTON — The Pittston Tomato Festival is still a few days from now, but preparations for the 30th anniversary of the big event are already underway in Pittston.

When in Pittston, you don’t have to look far to realize this city’s universe revolves around tomatoes. Just ask Jason Sabatelle, of Sabatelle’s Market. His pasta fagioli is already cooking for Thursday’s start to the annual Pittston Tomato Festival.

“We’re prepping our hearts out. We’re getting everything done for this humongous festival that happens once a year and it’s fantastic,” said Jason Sabatelle.

The tents are set up and soon, equipment will move in. Nearby, you’ll find a few new tomato murals downtown and Antonio Costaglio of Napoli’s Pizza, who will be open for business during the festival.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t know we’re here sometimes. They get the menu. They all come back. Sometimes they get something to eat too so it’s good. It’s all good,” said Costaglio.

Costaglio says the festival brings people to the city, and they bring the business. While business owners get food ready, people in Pittston are prepping their appetites.

“We do go to Tony’s for the pizza and I don’t know, just a little bit of everything,” said Barbara Borino, of Harding.

Barbara Borino says she comes to the festival every year, and Jason Sabatelle is thankful that the crowds seem to keep growing.

“About five or six deep, but moving real fast, moving real fast, getting them in and getting them out. I think we’re going to be our biggest crowd ever,” said Sabatelle.

The Pittston Tomato Festival starts Thursday night at 5 p.m. and continues through Sunday, with a 5K, beauty pageant, tomato fights and of course, lots and lots of food.