This weekend in Downtown Scranton is the annual La Festa Italiana – a yearly tradition held over the Labor Day Holiday weekend – wherein thousands come from near and far to enjoy the food, the music, and oh the cannoli!
If you are looking for some great Italian Food you will find it on the streets of Downtown Scranton this weekend. Anything from Pizza Pie, Sausage and Peppers, Tripe, Pizza Frita, Pasta Fagioli, Shells and Broccoli in olive oil and garlic (my favorite) and so much more. There will be tents and tents of everything Italian lining the streets and several bandstands set up for folks to enjoy the sounds of crooners from days gone by including Frank Sinatra, Frankie Avalon, Dean Martin, Al Martino, and so on. The Italian Colors will be draped in all its glory and folks will be laughing and singing and eating and just celebrating their heritage and all of the families that came here so long ago.
I am proud to say that I am a part of that tradition here in the City. Born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, it is a tradition for my family as well to stop by at least one of the days during this three day long festival – which will kick off on Saturday after a traditional Latin Mass held at the Cathedral in Scranton. My Grandmother and her parents came here from Avigilano, Italy in the early 1900’s, along with millions of other Italian families, landing on Elis Island. They then travelled to Dunmore, Pennsylvania, wherein they established a home, raised goats, made their own pasta and gravy, grew their own vegetables, and began the American dream! After that, well, the rest is history!
So, if you are looking for something to do this weekend, even if you’re not Italian, come down to Downtown Scranton and enjoy good food, beautiful music, and great company! Remember, bring your pocketbooks, but leave the cannoli – they have that covered!