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La Festa Italiana

Featured Item on the DiscoverNEPA Bucket List.

A Celebration of Culture… and Cannoli

 

Every Labor Day Weekend, Courthouse Square turns into Scranton’s own piazza.

Downtown Scranton will be a hub of live music, craft vendors and mouthwatering food during La Festa Italiana, a four-day festival held over Labor Day Weekend. Since 1976, it has brought together people of all backgrounds to celebrate the region’s Italian heritage.

The city goes all out for La Festa, which attracts about 150,000 people each year. Visitors wander among the vendors, sample their way from one food stall to the next and even join a friendly game of bocce on the courthouse lawn.

La Festa Italiana kicks off on Friday, August 30, and continues through Monday, September 2. Bring the family and enjoy a well-deserved holiday weekend in the Electric City.

 

You Better Come Hungry

 

 

Seriously, start saving up your appetite now.

La Festa is essentially a garlicky, marinara-covered, food lover’s paradise. Over 80 vendors will set up shop, and most of them offer homemade Italian dishes. They’ll have all the comfort foods, from pasta to porketta. Whether you’re a fan of classic New York pies or a die-hard for Old Forge pizza, you’ll find some of your favorite pizzerias serving up slices.

In addition to the Italian food, you’ll also find other ethnic dishes like kielbasi, pierogis and potato pancakes. A NEPA festival just wouldn’t be complete without them.

As for sweet treats, sip a frothy cup of cappuccino or indulge in a rich, creamy cannoli. If you’re up for a challenge, try the famous cannoli eating contest on Monday (and check off another box on the DiscoverNEPA Bucket List). For the record, last year’s winner put away 17 cannoli in 5 minutes. The bar is set pretty high, so be sure to save enough room!

 

Footraces, Fireworks and Family Fun

 

 

The entire weekend boasts back-to-back entertainment and activities.

Of course, there’s more to La Festa Italiana than the food. The festival features three stages and a lineup of live music, dancing, comedy acts and children’s entertainment.

The Cameos are always one of the most popular acts. They’ll kick off La Festa with some oldies tunes on the main stage on Friday night. Throughout the weekend, traditional Italian bands will set the perfect mood, while other performers will pay tribute to icons like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Connie Francis. Local pop and rock bands will also take the stage.

On Saturday, hit the pavement for the 8th Annual Captain James R. Minicozzi Memorial Race. The 5K race and 1-mile fun walk benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the West Scranton High School Scholarship Program.

On Sunday morning, the Cathedral of Saint Peter will hold mass in Italian. This stunning church is located on Wyoming Avenue, just two blocks from the festival.

Later on Sunday evening, stick around for a dazzling fireworks display.

 

Send Summer Off in Style

 

 

The Electric City is hosting two festivals in one action-packed weekend.

While you’re in town, check out Railfest at Steamtown National Historic Site, which will coincide with La Festa Italiana on Saturday and Sunday. They’ll have train rides, music and family entertainment. You can catch free shuttles between the two festivals.

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer (although there’s still plenty of outdoor fun in NEPA). Make the most of it by gathering the family, eating until you can’t take another bite and soaking up the sunny days in downtown Scranton.

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