AP NEWS

The Poets Performing Final Local Shows

March 30, 2019

A band that has been a staple of Hazleton Funfest will perform one of its last concerts in the area on Sunday.

“We want to go out on a high note,” said Nick Luongo, a member of the oldies group, The Poets.

The six-member band will play for the annual Funfest Kickoff Concert from Premier Catering and Events at Genetti Ballrooms in Hazle Twp. Seating for the buffet luncheon begins at 12:30 p.m. for those who have pre-purchased tickets. The show follows at 2:30 p.m., and tickets are still available.

Luongo said the band formed in 1963 and its members recently decided it’s time to retire.

“We’ve been together for 56 years although some of the guys had to take a little break back in the beginning because they were in the services,” said Luongo, who plays bass and provides backing vocals.

Sunday’s performance marks the popular party band’s 11th concert to benefit Funfest.

“The people in Hazleton are fabulous. They’re great people,” Luongo said. “We used to perform during the Funfests which are held in September. Then three or four years ago, we started doing the kickoff fundraiser for Funfest.”

The band plays tunes from the ’50s and ’60s, the Beatles, disco era and more. Members have appeared with the Righteous Brothers, the Four Seasons and the Monkees.

“We are just going to do our best for the people,” Luongo said of the upcoming gig.

Joe Scarcella, a Funfest founder, said The Poets always attract a crowd.

“People have asked for their return,” he said.

Scarcella has known band members since the early 1970s.

“For us, it’s sad that they’re retiring. But for them, we are very happy,” Scarcella said.

A cash bar and tricky trays will be available at the event. Tickets for the show only will be available at the door.

Contact the writer:

jwhalen@standardspeaker.com

570-501-3592