No Bandshell for the Bazaars

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WILKES-BARRE -- The city of Wilkes-Barre's bandshell got tossed in the wind during Friday's strong storms that swept through Forty Fort.

The bandshell was heavily damaged. It's owned by Wilkes-Barre but rented out to all kinds of festivals, bazaars and events. 

This happened in the heart of bazaar season.

Now the bandshell sits dented and out of service at the city's public works lot unable to be used by those depending on it.

"Usually in January, we send in our check to the city. There's a lot of people waiting for them," said Monsignor Joe Rausher.

Msgr. Rausher at St. Nicholas Church in Wilkes-Barre has been trying to find another bandshell.

He said Wilkes-Barre's cost around $600.  Msgr Rausher is getting a quote of more than $1000 now.

The church bazaar is coming up in a few weeks and he said they must have an enclosed stage. Especially with the strong wind in the open, a makeshift tent would not be secure.

In Luzerne, the Luzerne Merchants Association have a festival where they block off the main street and make use of the bandshell.  Now they too are scrambling to find a replacement.

"We were very disappointed because we rent it from Wilkes-Barre city and pretty much depend on it," said Shirley Keller, treasurer of Luzerne Merchants Association.

Keller said she has a little more time to get another bandshell. He has until September.

But Wilkes-Barre is still trying to determine if this can be fixed or must be replaced. It isn't expected to be ready by then.

"So if we can get a good deal for a bandshell, that would be great...That's what we're looking for," said Keller.

Wilkes-Barre officials say the bandshell is worth about $75,000.

Insurance will likely pay for the damage, but again it's not clear if it is totaled or can be fixed.