La Festa Italiana kicks off in Scranton

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Hundreds of people in Lackawanna County kicked off Labor Day Weekend the Italian way!

Scranton’s La Festa Italiana returned Friday night after the pandemic sidelined it last year.

Savory smells of Italian cuisine filled the air in downtown Scranton for the first night of La Festa. The scent of delicious food had been missing here for two years.

“It’s wonderful to be out and back, and to come here and eat, eat, eat!” Joann Davis said.

Tents serving food of all kinds lined courthouse square attracting a massive crowd.

“What is more important in our heritage and culture than food. So, this festival is all about food, a lot of Italian food obviously, so it means a lot. Especially coming off this pandemic,” Sal Benvenuti, Executive Director of Unico National, said.

The Labor Day tradition back in the Electric City also brought out 70 organizations and small businesses to participate in the Lackawanna County staple event.

“Every year we wait for this. Even all my workers, they all wait for it. They’re long hours, but worth it at the end,” Eugene Padula, Owner of Carmella’s Italian Deli & Pastries, said.

For local restaurant owners like Eugene Padula, the festival means so much more than just serving delectable dishes. He says it’s a way to connect in-person with those in the community who have helped keep his store afloat.

“We’re still going, and we’re just proud to be in Scranton,” Padula said.

La Festa continues through Labor Day.

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