There’s something Peculiar in Pittston? Of course there is, if Gene Philbin has anything to do with it.
Philbin, the chef owner of Peculiar Culinary Company, is known for not only delicious food and catering services, but putting on pop-up restaurants around the area; that is, eateries that show up in random spots and are announced days before the event is to happen. He’s seen wild success with it, and is now going even further with bringing food and fun to the NEPA masses for the second annual Peculiar Music Festival.
Taking place from 2 to 10 p.m. on Aug. 30, this year’s festival brings a double treat: Philbin and company have paired up with the Hughestown Hose Company. Not only will the fest be hosted on their grounds at 30 Center Street, the Hughestown Hose Annual Beer Fest is also happening the same day. There’s a general entrance at which all are asked to donate $5 and, once inside, there’s the option to purchase a $25 ticket for the beer festival. All the proceeds from the $5 entrance will go right to the Greater Pittston Meals on Wheels.
“What makes people happier than hearing great local bands and having some great craft beer to go along with it, all for a great cause and at a great price?” Philbin asked.
The chef has always wanted to put on a music festival of his own and did so for the first time last year, raising $3,000 for rejuvenating Pittston’s parks. This year the money goes to another cause. Philbin clearly loves his city and the people in and surrounding it, and will jump at any chance he can to give back.
“We have a very close relationship with the city of Pittston,” Philbin said. “If I can do this and help in any way I can, I will. And if I’m going to put on that concert, why not do it for a good cause, not to make money? Let’s have an all day festival and put the money in the right place.”
The fest is geared for families, with much fine food and drink just the beginning.
Food vendors this year include Al-a-Cart catering, Tony & Deno’s Hughestown Sports Club, Gina’s Pizza and Maers BBQ. There will be a Chinese Auction, a bake sale by the Hughestown Hose Company Auxiliary and games of chance.
Local artists will show their skills, including Chad Stanley, who will do some live paintings during the event.
Not only will there be a main music stage outside, there’s going to be an acoustic set happening inside, with talents like Terry Childers, Miz, Robb Brown, and Matt Bennick.