La Festa Italiana Celebrates 41st Year
Scranton, Pa. – La Festa Italiana will be held Labor Day weekend (Friday through Monday, September 2-5, 2016) on Courthouse Square in the heart of downtown Scranton, Pa. Hours are Friday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.;Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Monday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
As usual, more than 80 vendors will be offering great Italian food, and continuous live entertainment will be featured on multiple stages around the square. There is no admission charge.
This year’s event also coincides with First Friday in the city, giving visitors a full array of entertainment, culinary and cultural activities at nearby venues – all within walking distance.
Opening night will feature one of the festival’s most popular acts – the famous Duprees will be on the main stage at 7 p.m.
Help for Earthquake Victims
Donations to support aid for the victims of the recent earthquake in Italy will be accepted at the La Festa Committee tent and the UNICO porketta stand, both located on the North Washington Ave. side of the Square.
The Duprees Featured Friday Night to Open Festival
The Duprees are known the world over for their romantic interpretations of the most beautiful love songs ever written. They have made a career out of giving new life to old hits. Starting out in the early ‘60s, in Jersey City, N.J., The Duprees were discovered by George Paxton of Coed Records and former big band leader. Impressed with their smooth vocal quality, he had them record Jo Stafford’s 1950s ballad “You Belong To Me” with big band arrangements. It was an instant national hit and the group’s first million seller.
The unmistakable sound was born and the hits kept coming: 1962 You Belong To Me; 1962 My Own True Love; 1963 Gone With The Wind; 1963 Take Me As I Am; 1963 Why Don’t You Believe Me; 1963 Have You Heard; 1963 Love Eyes; 1963 It’s No Sin; 1963 The Sand And The Sea; 1964 It Isn’t Fair; 1966 Let Them Talk; 1966 Exodus.
Along with their unique sound and outstanding vocal harmonies, The Duprees perform with showmanship that is, individually and collectively, second to none. Thousands of fans around the globe are captivated with their wonderful mixture of romance, energy and fun. When The Duprees take the stage, be prepared to be thoroughly entertained.
La Festa Italiana will conclude with a superb act that will be making its debut performance at the event.
The Cameos, from New Jersey, are a talented eight-piece Oldies/Vocal Harmony group who create and perform their own unique renditions of the most popular songs of the 1950s. ‘60s and ‘70s. They will offer two shows on Monday, Sept. 5, at 5 and 6:30 p.m.
A variety of other continuous live entertainment for both young and older tastes is presented on the Main Stage, the ShopRite Picnic Tent Stage, the Spruce Street Stage and the Children’s Stage throughout each day.
Among the many other acts that will perform are the famous Poets on Sunday night, featured vocalists Emily and Vincent Ricciardi, comedian Uncle Floyd Vivino, Ray Massa’s “EuroRhythms” from Ohio, Chris DiMattio’s tribute to Sinatra, a Connie Francis tribute featuring Nikki Rasmus, Los Vega New York Italian Show Band, the Italian Continentals, The Magics, Gene Dempsey Orchestra, country recording artist Dani-Elle, Old Friends, Flaxy Morgan, University of Scranton Jazz Band, plus many others including jugglers, magicians, street acts, cooking demonstrations, favorite local bands and dance groups.The annual Mass in Italian will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 4, in St. Peter’s Cathedral, located one block from the festival site. Reverend David Cappelloni, La Festa chaplain, will be the principal celebrant. The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, will preside and give the homily. The Mass will also be televised live by CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton.
A new tradition will also continue this year. While Coney Island has its hot dog eating contest, and Philadelphia is the site for Wing Bowl, La Festa will crown a Cannoli Eating Champion. The contest will take place on Monday, Sept. 5, at 3 p.m. in front of the main stage.
Yoga Sessions to Benefit Children’s Advocacy Center
Two local yoga studios will be holding sessions to benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center.
On the festival’s opening night, Friday, September 2, at 8 p.m., Jaya Yoga Studio is holding “Glowga On The Square,” a one-hour event – taught with glow sticks – on the grass near the fountains on the North Washington Avenue side of the Square.
On Monday morning, September 5, at 10 a.m., Nearme Yoga will conduct a session on the Linden Street side of the Square
All levels and children are welcome for these sessions. Recommended donation is $10 per person. All proceeds will go to the Children’s Advocacy Center. Participants are asked to register at the merchandise tent on North Washington Avenue.
For more information and the complete entertainment schedule visit www.lafestaitaliana.org.
La Festa Italiana will literally hit the ground running with the James R. Minicozzi Memorial 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 10 a.m. The race is being sponsored by the Scranton Chapter of UNICO, the Italian-American service organization, and proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Pre-registration for the race must be received by Aug. 27 by calling Jack Trapani at 570-878-3780 firstname.lastname@example.org, or sending the $20 entrance fee by check made out to UNICO National-Scranton Chapter, P.O. Box 278, Dunmore, PA 18512. Registration will also be accepted the day of the race from 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Festival patrons are also invited to Lackawanna Railfest ’16, hosted by the nearby Steamtown National Historic Site Sept. 4-5. Shuttle transportation will be provided between La Festa and Steamtown. For details on Railfest, visit www.nps.gov/stea.