Tower Lighting Tradition in Scranton

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The weather certainly cooperated Wednesday night for a Scranton tradition that helps usher in the holiday season.

It’s that time of the year where families are traveling, getting turkeys ready and looking completely past the dinner table to the Black Friday chaos and holiday cheer. In any case, it’s the time to light the tower.

Thanksgiving Eve is a special day for the city of Scranton. It’s family and friends.

“Especially in November because nobody else is shooting off fireworks at this time,” said the advertising director for The Times-Tribune, Paul Ross. “It’s something very specific to us at The Times-Tribune and the city of Scranton.”

The fireworks are quite a spectacle, but there’s more sentiment to the Times-Tribune-hosted event than the explosions in the sky.

“I’m born and raised here, in Scranton, and this really would be the Scranton Christmas tree, for us,” added Ross. “For years and years and years as a kid, we couldn’t wait to see it go up.”

Music, dancing, everything Christmas, and food vendors lined the streets at Penn Avenue and Spruce Street, some for the first time.

“Oh, this is an honor. This is the very first time I’ve seen anything like this,” said Eat Up Now’s Charles Koepke. “Once the rain went away, oh–it exploded and we had a line.”

The standing tradition brings new eyes to the festivities with each passing year.

“To see the tower lighting, like, I always see it but have never gotten to see it getting lit,” said Scranton Prep student Avery McNulty. “With all the fireworks, it was really cool. Really nice.”

The Times-Tribune and the city look to build treasured moments for generations to come.

“We’re trying to make this an event and not just the tower lighting and fireworks so that people do have memories of it,” said Ross. They’ll come back over and over again with what we’re trying to establish here, good family fun.”

It’s a true team effort to put the annual tower lighting together and this year, even Mother Nature was onboard as a break in the wind and rain allowed the fireworks to accompany that flip of the switch.

The Times-Tribune works with the city, vendors, Boscov’s and Eyewitness News to time out the precise lighting moment.


The holiday season is kicking off in the Electric City with a decades-long tradition.

The tradition is more than a decade old and it officially kicks off the holiday season in Scranton. The tower above the Times-Tribune building was lit Wednesday evening. You can see the moment the tower was lit around 6 p.m. Wednesday in the video below.

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