Hazleton Area, Wilkes-Barre Area holding pregame activities for Friday night football openers

Aug. 24—There will be more than football when Hazleton Area and Wilkes-Barre Area kick off their seasons on Friday night. Both schools will hold activities prior to the 7 p.m. starts.

Here's a look at the pregame.

Tailgate party at Hazleton Area

Hazleton Area in conjunction with the City of Hazleton will be holding a special pregame extravaganza — Opening Night Dressed In White — as the Cougars host Pittston Area at Harman-Geist Memorial Field.

The pregame activities will begin at 4:30 p.m. outside the Wyoming Street gate with the Opening Night in White Tailgate Party on Fern Street between Wyoming Street and Harman-Geist. The party will feature food trucks, cornhole and live music.

Participating vendors include Pierogi Joe's, J Zapata Mexican and Wood's Ice Cream as well as free frozen novelties courtesy of Fidelity Bank. Pennsylvania Special Olympics will sponsor cornhole and DJ Mike Sosar will provide music entertainment.

The festivities will conclude with skydivers from PA Skydiving Center who will deliver the game ball, the special ceremonial coin for the officials toss and the 12-by-18 American flag that will fly above Harman-Geist all season. There will be a recognition ceremony honoring life-long Hazleton Area resident Don Kellner, who passed away in 2021. Kellner holds the world record for parachutists with over 46,000 jumps, including the first-ever sky dive into Harman-Geist in 2018.

For opening night, the first 150 students will receive complementary admission courtesy of Fidelity Bank. Game day tickets and season tickets will be on sale at the Harman-Geist ticket windows beginning at 5:15 p.m. Game day tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students with discounts for season ticket purchases. The first 500 guests will receive a free Cougar T-shirt.

The concession stand and the Quarterback Club souvenir and Cougar apparel stand will open at 6 p.m.

WBA to honor veterans

Wilkes-Barre Area's home opener against Scranton will be a Veterans Appreciation Game honoring veterans. All veterans will be admitted free of charge.

A local honor guard will present the colors of the flag, fire a 21-gun salute, play Taps and lead the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem.

There will also be a flyover of a military plane, weather permitting.

WBA Wolfpack Football Booster Club president Rich Binker and treasurer Ed Yencha are both veterans and have served on the booster club for almost 49 years as well as our country.