La Festa greets record numbers

Downtown — By on October 22, 2007 at 7:08 pm

The food, music and celebration of Italian culture drew visitors from across Northeastern Pennsylvania to the 32nd La Festa Italiana making it one of the most successful years in the event’s history. Thousands came to discover what Scranton has to offer over Labor Day weekend. Why not Rediscover Scranton for yourself and see what the buzz is about?

Attendance was estimated at well over 100,000 for the three-day event held under sunny skies on Courthouse Square in Scranton. “It was a success from the word go,” said La Festa organizer Karen Clifford.

It was not the outcome many would have predicted in the months leading up to the event. Renovations going on at the Lackawanna County Courthouse forced organizers to reimagine La Festa’s set-up. Traditionally, vendors taking part in La Festa were arranged along the sidewalk surrounding the courthouse. This year, tents were set up adjacent to downtown businesses. “Out of this disaster was a very positive thing,” said Clifford.

The new arrangement allowed a unique opportunity to integrate the festival with the business district. “[The businesses] really embraced us,” Clifford said, noting that she saw numerous La Festa attendees visiting the shops along Spruce Street. “Everyone was successful.”

This year’s set-up also allowed visitors more room to move around the festival. Though planning for next year’s event is several months away, Clifford said organizers will certainly consider using this configuration again.

The Scranton Plan, the industrial marketing arm of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and community leaders launched Rediscover Scranton to promote and strengthen greater Scranton’s quality of life and business assets. Through Rediscover Scranton, volunteers are identifying and contacting accomplished people with ties to greater Scranton, informing them about economic, quality of living, and growth opportunities, and encouraging them to relocate their businesses and families to the area. For more information visit www.rediscoverscranton.com.

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