Northeastern PA is ready for festivals, fairs & more!
Ever notice that certain foods taste extra yummy when you buy them at an outdoor festival? We think the ladies and gents in the potato pancake tents have a secret ingredient they use only between Memorial Day and Labor Day. (The pierogie kings and queens have one, too.)
Maybe it’s being out in the fresh air after a long winter, or just the fact that we’re spending extra time with family and friends, but there really is something wonderful about fairs and festivals in The 570. As we gear up for a great Memorial Day Weekend — the unofficial start to summer — here’s a list of what summer looks like in your world.
— julie imel
Fairs & Festivals
- Swingin’ on Vine – May 25, 5-8 p.m. Enjoy a block party featuring beer, wine, cocktails, food and music by Exact Change on the 500 block of Vine St., Scranton. Must be 21 to attend. Tickets: $15, advance. $20, door. Proceeds benefit the Albright Memorial Library. www.albright.org.
- The Race of the Saints – May 26. Celebrate the Italian tradition of the Race of the Saints as runners race through the streets of Jessup carrying small statues of St. Ubaldo, St. George and St. Anthony. The race will be held, rain or shine. http://www.stubaldoday.com.
- NEPA Bluegrass Festival – May 31-June 3, Lazybrook Park, Tunkhannock. More than 20 bands will be featured on two stages, including Cabinet, Coaltown Rounders, Hot Mustard, Sully’s Fortune, and The String Band, just to name a few. There will also be plenty of children’s activities. www.nepabluegrass.com.
- Arts on Fire Festival – June 1-3. On Friday at 7:45 p.m., follow a fiery parade from Lackawanna Avenue to Fire at the Furnace at Scranton Iron Furnaces. The fundraiser to benefit the Scranton Iron Furnaces and the Anthracite Heritage Museum, will be held from 8-11 p.m. and features an iron pour demonstration by Keystone Iron Works, food and music by The Lost Ramblers. Tickets are $15, advance; $20, door. Tickets, information: 963-4804. The festival will be held Saturday, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., featuring food, music, children’s activities and demonstrations in black smithing, pottery and glass making demonstrations as well as a community iron pour. Industrial artists from across the United States will work in glass, metal, recycled materials and clay and their work will be available for purchase. http://artsonfirefestival.com.
- The Wine Festival at SnoCove – June 2, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sno Mountain Ski Resort will host this event featuring wine tasting, food, live entertainment by the Fuzzy Park Duo and the High Falls Duo, arts and crafts and more. Tickets are $15, advance; $25, at the gate; $5, designated driver/under 21. www.nepawinecountry.com. 836-5253.
- The Beer Festival at SnoCove – June 3, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sno Mountain Ski Resort will host this event featuring beer tasting, food, live entertainment, arts and crafts and more. Tickets are $15, advance; $25, at the gate; $5, designated driver/under 21. www.nepawinecountry.com. 836-5253.
- Classic Cars and Critters Festival – June 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m, at Lazy Brook Park, Tunkhannock. This outdoor festival features fun for people of all ages, including a car show, animal programs, music by Inside Out and Coaltown Rounders, food, children’s crafts and activities, vendors, silent auctions and more. http://www.emnconline.org. 836-3835.
- Pocono Raceway Festival – June 9, Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg. This free, day-long music and racing festival features The Glimmer Twins (Rolling Stones tribute band), Livewire (AC/DC tribute band), The Marshall Tucker Band plus three stages of music featuring local and regional bands. There will also be a car show, carnival, games, food and more. www.shermantheater.com.
- Honesdale Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival – June 16, Honesdale. This free art and music festival offers entertainment on the Main Stage including the Nouveau Honkies, the Sweetback Sisters, Banjo Dan and the Mid-Nite Plowboys and The Duke Robillard. www.honesdalerootsandrhythm.com.
- Northeast Fair – June 19-24, fair grounds in Pittston Twp. Event showcases agriculture, horticulture, gardening, entertainment, rides, food and more. Tickets are $6, advance; $9, at the gate. Prices include rides. www.northeastfair.com.
- RiverFest – June 22-24, at Wilkes-Barre Riverfront Parks, River Common and Nesbitt Park. Celebrate the river and the environment with this festival featuring guided sojourns on the Susquehanna, food, live entertainment, children’s activities and more.www.rivercommon.org.
- Great Tastes of PA Wine & Food Festival – June 16-17, 12-6 p.m., Split Rock Resort. Featuring musical entertainment, Pennsylvania’s finest wineries, food vendors, educational seminars and more. Must be 21 to be served. www.splitrockresort.com.
- Farmers’ Market Opening Day – June 28, Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. Featuring fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, food, live music, handmade goods and more. Every Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. www.wilkes-barre.pa.us.
- Wilkes-Barre’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July – July 4, Kirby Park, Wilkes-Barre. Featuring the NEPA Philharmonic at 7:30 p.m. followed by fireworks. Enjoy food, crafts, puppet shows, pony rides, amusement rides and more. www.wilkes-barre.pa.us.
- Briggs Farm Blues Festival – July 6-7, Nescopeck. Artists such as Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater, Alexis P. Suter Band, Lonnie Shields, The CKS Band, Moreland and Arbuckle, The Butterfield Blues Band, Sarah Ayers and more will perform. The festival also features a special Mississippi Delta Blues menu and vendors offering handmade items and gourmet foods. One-day tickets are $23 in advance or $28 at the gate, and two-day tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the gate. To camp on site, through July 5, tickets are $75 each or $85 per person at the gate. www.briggsfarm.com. 379-2003.
- Lycoming County Fair – July 13-21. Lycoming County Fairgrounds, Hughesville. www.lycomingfair.com.
- Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival – July 21-Aug.4, Tennis Tea, 53 Golf Drive, Buck Hill Falls. This event features opera, chamber music, dance and cabaret. With galas, concerts and masterclasses, there is something for everyone. www.buckhillskytopfest.org.
- Queen City Nights – July 12-14, downtown Olyphant. The event features food, children’s rides and games, face painting, dunk tank, bingo, clams, beer tent, giveaways, raffles and Firemen’s parade on Friday and live entertainment each night. www.engine262.org.
- Back Mountain Wine Festival – July 28, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Luzerne County Fairgrounds. Partially indoors and partially outdoors, this event will feature wine tasting, live entertainment, specialty foods and handcrafted items. Tickets are $12, early birds (on sale through June 28); $15, advance; $25, at the gate; $5, designated driver/under 21. www.nepawinecountry.com/wine-festivals. 836-5253.
- St. Joseph’s Center Summer Festival – July 27-29, at Marywood University Campus. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the event features food, games and live entertainment. www.stjosephscenter.org/events/summerfestival.
- Montrose Blueberry Festival – Aug. 3-4, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Montrose Village Green. The 33rd annual Montrose Blueberry Festival features something for everyone, including aprons, cookbooks, ice cream, muffins, pies, pottery, and even blueberry pizza! The event also features children’s games, fresh blueberries, a harvest table with local produce, basket raffle, local entertainment and more. Admission is free. Proceeds benefit the Susquehanna County Historical Society & Free Library Association. http://www.susqcolibrary.org or 278-1881.
- Scranton Jazz Festival – Aug. 3-5, downtown Scranton. Enjoy an authentic weekend of jazz, blues, world beat music and more at the Main Stage, located at the Radisson at Lackawanna Station Hotel. After the Main Stage closes take a “Jazz Walk” through downtown venues. scrantonjazzfestival.org or 487-3954 (Box Office).
- Wayne County Fair – Aug. 3-11, Wayne County Fairgrounds, Honesdale. www.waynecountyfair.com.
- Waystock ’12 – Aug. 3-4, Wayside Park and South St., Waymart. Event features music, artisans, food and more. www.WaymartPa.us.
- Tioga County Fair – Aug. 6-11. Tioga County Fairgrounds, Whitneyville. www.tiogacountyfair.com.
- Carbon County Fair – Aug. 7-11. Carbon County Fairgrounds, Palmerton. www.carboncountyfair.com.
- Raising the Roof Party – Aug. 10, 5-8 p.m., downtown Wilkes-Barre. Party on the rooftop of the Intermodal Parking Facility and enjoy food, beverages, live entertainment and more. Proceeds benefit the Osterhout Free Library. www.osterhout.lib.pa.us.
- Summer’s Cool on the Square – Aug. 11, Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. Celebrate the City of Wilkes-Barre’s second annual end of the summer party, featuring live music and plenty of fun. www.wilkes-barre.pa.us.
- Pittston Tomato Festival – Aug. 16-19, downtown Pittston. Celebrating Pittston’s famous tomatoes, this festival offers plenty of ethnic food, live entertainment, a parade, 5K run, games, rides, arts and crafts and more. The Tomato Fights, to benefit charity, will be held on Aug. 18 at 1:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Cooper’s on the Waterfront Restaurant. www.pittstontomatofestival.com.
- Harford Fair – Aug. 20-25. Harford Fairgrounds, Harford. www.harfordfair.com.
- Kielbasa Fest – Aug. 24-25, downtown Plymouth. Sample the best kielbasa northeastern Pennsylvania has to offer at this annual event. In addition to plenty of kielbasa, vendors will offer plenty of festival fare, such as potato pancakes, pierogies, funnel cakes and, for your sweet tooth, deep fried Oreos! www.plymouthalive.org.
- The Great Allentown Fair – Aug. 28-Sept. 3. Allentown Fairgrounds, Allentown. www.allentownfairpa.org.
- Stroudfest – Sept. 1, Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg. Enjoy food, local artisans, children’s activities, music and more. www.shermantheater.com.
- Pocono Garlic Festival – Sept. 1-2, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Shawnee Ski Area. Themed “Garlic Galore & So Much More,” this event combines Pocono-grown garlic with live entertainment, artisans and craftspeople, children’s activities and more. From gourmet delicacies such as garlic roasted pig to the unconventional delights such as garlic ice cream, this festival celebrates all things garlic. $10, adults; $7.50, children 5-12; free, children under 4. Two-day discount passes for $13 available through Aug. 31: www.shawneemt.com. Festival info: www.poconogarlic.com.
- La Festa Italiana – Sept. 1-3. Visit Courthouse Square in Scranton to enjoy this celebration of Italian culture and cuisine, featuring more than 60 food vendors and displays and live entertainment. On Sunday, a Mass in Italian will be offered at 10 a.m. at St. Peter’s Cathedral, and the day ends with a fireworks display on Courthouse Square at 10 p.m. Festival hours are noon to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, and noon to 9 p.m. on Monday. www.lafestaitaliana.org.