Julie D. Imel

Writer ● Editor ● Public Relations Professional

Hula Hoop Dreams

They say that “to hoop is to smile with your body.” Those are words to live by for the founders of the Whirligig Hoopers, Jennifer Hill and Susan Anderson. When we first met these hoop dancing friends back in November of 2010, they had just begun offering hoop dancing classes in the Wyoming Valley and their hoop jams in the park were starting to take off. Nothing beats spending a sunny afternoon in the park with friends hooping under the shade of a beautiful old cherry blossom tree. At that time, word was also beginning to spread about their artistic and practical handmade hoops, too. Like any sport or artform, one needs the right equipment and tools for the job, and hooping is no different. Photo by Tom Bonomo. Cover design by Eric Toffey.

The Wonderful Story of Planters Peanuts

You just can’t help but smile when you see Mr. Peanut. We see images of the iconic character who represents Planters Peanuts with distinguished style and good taste (pun intended) everywhere – from the company’s unmistakable, classic cans of peanuts to the pages of Facebook. This delightful character, who was created by a 12-year-old boy in 1916, is timeless; as is the success story of the men who brought Planters Peanuts to life, Amedeo Obici and Mario Peruzzi.

Spinning Yarns

When it comes to the art of storytelling, it seems folks in the Electric City can really appreciate a great tale. Zoe McNichols introduced Scrantonians to the area’s first StorySlam in March and the event received rave reviews. A second Scranton StorySlam will be held on Saturday, June 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Banshee, 320 Penn Ave. We recently caught up with the McNichols family—Zoe and her parents, Pam and Ed, who have been working in conjunction with Maureen McGuigan, deputy director of arts and culture in Lackawanna County, to keep this new tradition alive in the area. Photo by Tom Bonomo. Cover design by Eric Toffey.

Bundle Up and Belly Up

Step inside the Winter Garden Ice Bar at Damenti’s Restaurant in Mountain Top, and a frozen world of flora, fauna and hand-carved fun await you. Chef/owner, and expert ice carver, Kevin McDonald and his team of world class ice sculptors have transformed a bocce court in the restaurant’s back yard into a true work of art. After spending just a few minutes with Mc- Donald, who describes himself as a “slice of P.T. Barnum, a pinch of Peter Pan and a dash of Mel Brooks,” it’s easy to see that his approach to ice carving is one that encompasses wild creativity, a great sense of humor and a fearless spirit.