SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The inaugural Scranton Ice Festival kicked off this weekend. Not only are the sculptures a fun sight, but the money raised goes toward lifting up community businesses devastated by the pandemic.
Traveling through Scranton you might see people strolling through, taking photos next to the ice sculptures of Bernie Sanders, Yoda, cupcakes and more. It’s the Electric City’s Ice Festival.
“I’ve never seen so many people just getting out, walking around, which is what we thought we could do,” said Donnah Walsh Nasser, Founder.
Donna Nasser is the founder of the festival. Her son, Patrick, owns the popular food stop Backyard Ale House. She sees just how the pandemic impacted small businesses so she decided to lend a helping hand and partnered with local Scranton organizations.
“I’m not sure it’s much more sustainable. So how how can we, you know, help out,” said Nasser.
The money raised through sponsors will go to the Scranton Small Business Relief Fund.
“COVID completely devastated all small businesses, our downtown, beyond the downtown, beyond the county, every small business is suffering because of COVID and we have to step in and help,” said Mari Potus, Director of Membership & Events, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.
There are 50 ice sculptures spread throughout the City of Scranton. Business owners got to design their own sculptures themselves.
“This one was mine. I designed this one. And when I saw the memes my son had put Bernie, those memes out there, and he had one right here sitting at the table and I thought oh my gosh that would be great,” said Nasser.
The Scranton Ice Festival will continue Saturday night until 9 p.m. and again Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.