Rich Howells

Curry Donuts in Wilkes-Barre hosts free Halloween show and Trunk or Treat on Oct. 31

Curry Donuts in Wilkes-Barre hosts free Halloween show and Trunk or Treat on Oct. 31
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For years, the Curry Donuts of South Pennsylvania Avenue in Wilkes-Barre has hosted free DIY concerts in its parking lot. In March, the coronavirus pandemic canceled the first shows of the season and kept the summer quiet, but now that government restrictions have loosened a bit, it will squeeze in at least one day of events before the bitter cold weather sweeps over Northeastern Pennsylvania.

On Saturday, Oct. 31, the donut shop will have its first Halloween Trunk or Treat from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Participating vehicles can arrive as early as 2 p.m. to decorate. Due to COVID-19, limited parking spaces will be marked off and cars will be parked in every other spot. Masks are required for everyone, whether they are giving out or receiving candy.

At 6:30 p.m., local musicians will take over the lot for a free all-ages Halloween show by Wilkes-Barre punk band Decomposition, Scranton doom/sludge metal band Dour, Scranton noisecore band Coke Nail, and Ashland folk punk band Condition Oakland. Masks and social distancing are required.

Decomposition vocalist/guitarist Cody Novitski and bassist George Rittenhouse have booked and organized a majority of these shows at Curry Donuts (178 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Wilkes-Barre), along with some of their many friends in the local music scene. The band released a new single called “81 North” on July 3.

“I think that the shows are a good place for the music community to meet on common ground. Some bands can only get booked in basements, some can only get booked at bars, but everyone can come together here. They have a strong DIY ethic to them and everyone helps in some way. My friend D.J. Laury usually does the flyers, and George Rittenhouse, my bosses’ son, has always been a huge help also,” Novitski told NEPA Scene in a 2017 interview.

“My bosses Ann and Lester Rittenhouse have been letting us do these shows for years now, and it has a lot to do with them being a good thing for younger kids to do in a safe place. The shows are always free and they always will be, so no matter what, you can come enjoy some music.”

“We have certain bands out of the area where [we ask], “Hey, want to play a donut shop? They’re like, ‘Maybe? That sounds kind of weird but that sounds kind of of cool.’ It’s definitely interesting. We love it. We have a blast. We have skate jams and bike jams. They’re like a giant party as well. So much fun,” Rittenhouse said on Episode 60 of the NEPA Scene Podcast.

“The owners of Curry have always been extremely cool and supportive of local music,” musician Derek Jolley said to NEPA Scene when he was helping to book some Curry shows in 2015.

“The Curry shows are always fun. All-ages, drug-free, alcohol-free, and free admission – you can’t beat that. Everyone just hangs out and listens to music. Some people skate around and sometimes we have fire dancers show up to dazzle us. It’s downtown Wilkes-Barre; you never know what is going to happen until it does.

For more information on the Halloween show, see the Facebook event page.