Celebrate Scranton’s La Festa Italiana all weekend.

The annual festival runs Friday, Aug. 30, from 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Monday, Sept. 2, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square.

The free, family-friendly event is a tradition in Northeast Pennsylvania filled with food and fun, said La Festa president Chris DiMattio.

“It’s a great weekend with a lot of great vendors old and new, entertainment, activities,” DiMattio said. “It’s a nice way to get together and go downtown. We’re looking forward to it just like we do every year.”

To help you navigate what to eat, where to go and who to see this year, we put together this handy guide to La Festa Italiana.



Come hungry. More than 80 vendors will offer a variety of dishes and desserts from Italy and beyond, ranging from any kind of pasta, pizza and cannoli you can imagine to Polish sausage and Greek delicacies to favorites such as UNICO National’s porketta sandwiches.

“We’ve got a few new vendors and a bunch of familiar standbys everyone loves,” DiMattio said.



Music fans can catch performances from bands, dance groups and more across multiple stages around the square.

This year’s headliners include vocalists Austin Giorgio, who fans may recognize from NBC reality singing competition show, “The Voice,” and Nick Fradiani, who won season 14 of Fox’s “American Idol” in 2015. Fradiani also will play the role of Lorenzo in the national tour of “A Bronx Tale: The Musical” this fall (the show will play Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple from Oct. 25 to 27).

“They’re two very talented individuals, and we’re excited to see what they can do on our stage,” DiMattio said. “We’re lucky they’ll be here in Northeast Pennsylvania.”

The year’s entertainment also includes the return of festival favorite the Cameos. The eight-piece oldies/vocal harmony group will perform its renditions of hits from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Audiences also have the chance to see performances by Gene Dempsey Orchestra, Black Tie Stereo, Old Friends, Daddy-O and the Sax Maniax, Flaxy Morgan, Popstar Drive and more. Jim Cullen, Jim Waltich and Jack Bordo also will perform while strolling around the square.

Guests can play bocce with Danny Lovaglio on Sunday and a cannoli-eating contest takes place Monday at 3 p.m. On Sunday night, a fireworks display will light up the sky at approximately 10.


For the family

La Festa, which does not allow alcohol, offers lots of family-friendly activities. At the Fidelity Bank Stage and picnic area on Linden Street, juggler Robert Smith will perform on Saturday, and Damien the Magician takes the stage on Sunday. Kids also can check out Mock Turtle Marionette Theatre on Saturday and Monday at 1, 3 and 5 p.m.

“It’s a nice event for the whole family,” DiMattio said.


Minicozzi Memorial 5K Run/1-Mile Walk

On Saturday at 10 a.m., the annual James R. Minicozzi Memorial 5K Run/1-Mile Walk steps off. Registration starts at 8 a.m. The race begins at Wyoming and Lackawanna avenues, heads to Green Ridge Street then to North Washington Avenue, ending past Scranton City Hall. Walkers will have designated volunteers and security along the route to show them where to go on Olive Street to complete their 1-mile walk. Registration costs $20, and proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club of NEPA and college scholarships. For more information or to sign up, visit lafestaitaliana.org or runsignup.com.



Continuing a tradition, a Mass will be celebrated in Italian on Sunday at 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Cathedral, 315 Wyoming Ave., Scranton. The Mass also will be broadcast live by Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton.

Bill Padula and Erica Padula prepare cannoli in the Carmella’s Specialty booth at La Festa Italiana in 2018.

More activities

Steamtown National Historic Site will hold its annual Railfest on Saturday and Sunday. Free trolley bus shuttles will run to and from Wyoming Avenue to Linden Street during the park’s operating hours.

The Fight4Vets amateur boxing card takes place Saturday at 6 p.m. on the 100 block of Adams Avenue, outside of Scranton Hilton & Conference Center. The area will be closed to traffic beginning at noon on Saturday and will be fenced off on Adams Avenue beginning at Center Street and going toward Spruce Street. The event will move to the hotel’s indoor facility in case of inclement weather.

Tickets cost $25 to $40, and proceeds will provide help to veterans in need. Tickets are available at the Hilton; Weston Fieldhouse, 982 Providence Road, Scranton; and Moran’s Tavern, 501 N. Bromley Ave., Scranton.



Five parking garages close to the festival will have a special weekend parking rate of $5 per day for La Festa patrons.

The festival will affect traffic surrounding Courthouse Square on Friday, Sunday and Monday. Staring Friday at 4 p.m., North Washington Avenue will close from Mulberry to Spruce streets. Spruce Street will close from Jefferson to North Washington avenues, and the 500 block of Linden Street will shut down, too. The 400 block of Linden Street will be open to allow people access to the parking garage and also be available as a space where people with disabilities can be dropped off. One lane of Adams Avenue will remain open to traffic.


Entertainment schedule

Main Stage


  • Opening ceremonies — 4:30 p.m.
  • Paul LaBelle and the Exact Change Band — 5 p.m.
  • 5-Star Dance Academy — 6:30 p.m.
  • The Cameos — 7 p.m.


  • Jim Cullen, Jim Waltich and Jack Bordo strolling the square
  • Italian Continentals with Mike Lanza — noon
  • The Paramounts — 1:30 p.m.
  • Old Friends — 3 p.m.
  • Arts in Movement — 5 p.m.
  • Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms — 5:30 p.m.
  • Electric City Steel Drum Band — 6:30 p.m.
  • The Eurorhythms — 7 p.m.
  • Flaxy Morgan — 8: 30 p.m.


  • Cathy & Frank DeLuca strolling the square
  • Los Vega New York Italian Show Band — noon
  • Al Grout, juggler and magician — 1:30 p.m.
  • The Luongo Brothers with Gino Mercuri as Elvis — 2 p.m.
  • Al Grout — 3:30 p.m.
  • Connie Francis tribute featuring Nikki Rasmus — 4 p.m.
  • Uncle Floyd Vivino, comedian — 5 p.m.
  • Ballet Theatre of Scranton — 6 p.m.
  • Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra tribute featuring Chris DiMattio, Andy Dimino and Kenny McGraw’s Brass & Ivory Band with special guest Nick Fradiani of “American Idol” and “A Bronx Tale: The Musical” — 6:30 p.m.
  • Daddy-O and the Sax Maniax — 8:30 p.m.


  • Cathy & Frank DeLuca strolling the square
  • The Gene Dempsey Orchestra — noon
  • Gerard Mayer Band — 1:30 p.m.
  • Prima Elite Dance Academy — 2:30 p.m.
  • Fulvio and Sal — 3:30 p.m.
  • Austin Giorgio of “The Voice” — 5 p.m.
  • Popstar Drive (formerly AM Radio) — 6 p.m.


Wayne Bank Stage (Adams Avenue and Spruce Street)


  • Nothing Yet — 4:30 p.m.
  • Danny Argo & Friends — 6:30 p.m.
  • Black Tie Stereo — 8 p.m.


  • Fuzzy Park Duo — noon
  • Take Three — 2 p.m.
  • Sarah Marie and Joseph — 4 p.m.
  • Bill & Donna Arnold — 6 p.m.
  • The Chatter — 8 p.m.


  • The Fortunes — noon
  • Danny Argo & Friends — 2 p.m.
  • BKM — 4 p.m.
  • The Frost — 6 p.m.


  • The Wanabees — noon
  • The Fab Three — 2 p.m.
  • East Coast — 4 p.m.


Fidelity Bank Stage and picnic area (Linden Street)


  • Mock Turtle Marionette Theatre — 1, 3 and 5 p.m.
  • Juggler Robert Smith


  • Damien the Magician


  • Mock Turtle Marionette Theatre — 1, 3 and 5 p.m.
  • DJ Donna Diva