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Around Town: Communicate with friends and make a plan for fun

She was comparing her post-pandemic life to her pre-pandemic life and feeling drab. She said she used to have so much fun and that there was “more to do” pre-pandemic.

In some ways I see her point, but I reminded her that the pandemic changed many of our habits. We aren’t all in offices and heading to happy hour after work like we once were. It was easy to offer and accept invitations at the 4 p.m. hour when we were in-person. Things just happened back then. Now, for many, it takes some work and planning, but that’s not so bad, is it?

I reminded her that just this past week were three fabulous events in and around Wilkes-Barre. I encouraged her to communicate with friends and make a plan. Relationships of any kind are work, and positive relationships make us all feel better.

On Thursday night, there was Sunsets on SOMA in Midtown Village. That’s the happy-hour outdoor series in Downtown Wilkes-Barre with live music and Susquehanna Brewing Co. It’s a fun outdoor event right after work. The next ones are Aug. 17 and Sept. 21.

Also on Thursday was the Party on the Patio at Mohegan Pennsylvania. I haven’t been there all year (that must change), but The Idol Kings, a tribute to Journey and REO Speedwagon, reportedly had a great crowd. This week the Red Not Chili Peppers are there. You have to love these tribute bands that put their heart and soul into their work.

And then Friday was Rockin’ the River with An Evening With Stevie: A Tribute to Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac at the River Common along the Susquehanna River in Downtown Wilkes-Barre.

While Friday was a bit gloomy, the sun came out just around 5 p.m. as the event got underway.

Everyone I talk to is mesmerized by these amazing riverfront music experiences, so I encourage you to attend the last one this Friday. The Badlees, a local favorite, along with special guest Joe Burke & Co. will perform.

By the end of the conversation with my friend she was more hopeful than she had been. She acknowledged how easy it is to get down in the dumps, especially as life has changed so much.

As change is a constant in life, I encouraged her to not only consider the aforementioned upcoming events, but to embrace these life changes and make the best of them.

If we didn’t change, it would be a boring existence.

We both left the conversation feeling fulfilled. I hope I helped her a little bit, and now she’s gearing up for a fun next weekend.


Mike McGinley is a Times Leader columnist who is often called a man about town. Email him thoughts at