La Festa gives Scranton economic boost

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — La Festa Italiana wraps up Monday night in the Electric City. Despite the pandemic dozens of vendors took part, and say it was a much-needed boost to their businesses.

Lots of business owners said that with the great weather and tons of people, it was a huge success and just what their business needed.

“It was a smashing success this weekend,” said Carmella’s owner Eugene Padula.

La Festa Italiana is in its final stretch on Monday after a year hiatus due to the pandemic.

“It was a hard road to get here because of missing last year,” said Cusumano’s Restaurant owner TJ Cusumano.

Businesses and vendors, big and small, say it started strong Friday and went up from there.

“Friday was one of the best Fridays that they had ever,” said Carmella’s employee Danielle Kersavage.

Carmella’s cannolis were flying off the shelves and the Potato Bin was also doing well for itself.

“Everything’s been up, booming, everybody’s just excited to be out,” said Matthew Figura who works with the Potato Bin.

Long lines and packed sidewalks made for great revenue for everyone.

“We’ve done better than any other year,” said Heather Revello owner of Revello’s.

The owners of Revello’s and Cusumano’s say they owe their success to the customers who came out in droves.

“Now you never know who’s coming out so we took a chance and came up here again this year and it definitely paid off for us,” said Revello.

La Festa organizers say the festival attracted more than 150,000 people from near and far. Downtown hotels were booked for the weekend

Some people opted to mask up because of the crowd.

“It works for the people who don’t feel comfortable indoors and it works for the people just trying to be outside,” said Cusumano.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Lackawanna County has a COVID-19 positivity rate of 8.3 percent over the past seven days.

But businesses say they see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“It seems like we’re coming out of it and we’re coming out of it stronger than ever,” said Padula.

La Festa will wrap up around 8 p.m. Monday night.

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