La Festa Italiana 2012



The Electric City sign during La Festa Italiana, held on the courthouse square in Scranton, PA, each Labor Day Weekend.  01 September 2012.

Oh, La Festa. That weekend of ethinic gluttony that we wait for each summer. Almost a hundred vendors, an entire city block comprised of nothing but Italian sausage and peppers, pasta, potato pancakes, and baked goods of every kind and description.  All of downtown smells like a delicious mix of onions & fried food.  You have to make a full circuit around the square just to decide which stand you want to buy from, and then hope you can remember which it was in the first place!  There’s something almost ceremonial about it.

It’s a local celebration.  Of all things Italian, and, at the same time, of all things Scranton.  In the midst of fair season, it’s our city’s moment to shine.  A festival of all the things that make this area wonderful; the ethnicity, the camaraderie, the willingness to come out and revel together in the streets.

La Festa Italiana, held on the courthouse square in Scranton, PA, each Labor Day Weekend.  01 September 2012.

Bruschetta at La Festa Italiana, held on the courthouse square in Scranton, PA, each Labor Day Weekend.  01 September 2012.

Cookies at La Festa Italiana, held on the courthouse square in Scranton, PA, each Labor Day Weekend.  01 September 2012.

La Festa Italiana, held on the courthouse square in Scranton, PA, each Labor Day Weekend.  01 September 2012.

I love La Festa.  The food is over-priced & parking is a nightmare.  But it’s great to see many people come out and enjoy themselves.  It’s something I haven’t seen in any of the other places I’ve lived.  Scranton is unique this way.  And very lucky.  Whatever obstacles face this city, I hope that it never loses sight of the things that make it special.  And I’d argue that these days, when even the local news is so often bad, we need events like this all the more.  There’s a contagious sense of fun.  The daily worries drop away and the biggest concern most of us is whether or not we’ll be have room for dessert.  Face it, that’s a serious concern!

Spuds on a stick at La Festa Italiana, held on the courthouse square in Scranton, PA, each Labor Day Weekend.  01 September 2012.

From my standpoint, you know it’s a good festival when you see something like this.  My reaction: “I don’t know what that is, but I want one.”  It’s the first time I’ve see a potato served quite this way, and it was delicious.

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