SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — An annual arts festival is back in Lackawanna County.

Fringe Fest is back for the ninth year and this party is to kick things off for what’s to come this weekend.

Scranton Fringe is a multi-genre arts festival that takes place every year through downtown Scranton. The festival is about two weeks long and offers a variety of performances.

“This is our ninth year throughout venues in downtown Scranton, so people can see theater, music, film, children’s performances. We are loosely inspired by the world’s largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland,” explained Conor Kelly O’Brien the co-founder and executive director for Scranton Fringe.

Preparing for Fringe Fest is not easy work but O’Brien says it’s a labor of love. Especially seeing their members grow.

”We actually have an artist who started out doing our tween, open mic at the Lackawanna County Children’s Library, and she’s now starring in her own Cabaret performance that she’s producing here at the Fringe Festival we partner with the current technology center, their students design posters for us,” continued O’Brien.

Simone Daniel who used to be a performer at Fringe Fest and is now a director, says every year she gets something new out of the fringe experience.

“I remember in 2020 when we did fridge under glass, I had to stay just show you in a better place in a store window using silent disco headphones so there’s always new challenges and exciting things to learn,” added Simone Danie the director of Madame and Eve.

Danie has great memories of her first Fringe Fest in 2015.

”My favorite memory of performing I think the very first fringe festival. We did an original musical called Presenting the Spec Tracks with some friends or we played the 1960s girl group that died in a plane accident on the way to a gig we were on that big stage, singing and dancing with a live band, and it was the very first fringe and it was so exciting,” says Danie.

This free kickoff party will continue until 8:30 p.m. Thursday and the first show will be this Saturday, September 30.