La Festa Italiana: Do’s and Don’ts

Commentary by Jessie Estrella
Arts and Life Editor

La Festa Italiana just wrapped up its 42nd year in Courthouse Square. A festival of entertainment, art and the star of the show –food – La Festa failed to disappoint with its smorgasbord of Italian cuisine. After going to La Festa four years in a row, I’ve accumulated a good amount of knowledge on how to maximize your La Festa experience. Without further ado, here is a list of some key do’s and don’ts for La Festa Italiana.


  1. Go with an empty stomach

    GIF courtesy: giphy

There is a wide variety of choices at La Festa, and odds are all the sights and smells are going to make your mouth water. If you go on a full, or even partially full stomach, you probably will not be able to try as many foods as you would like to.

  1. Bring cash

Many of the vendors at La Festa do not take debit or credit cards. Also, many vendors have tip jars out, and it’s nice to leave a tip for your favorite vendors

  1. Talk to the vendors/performers

    Aquinas Photo: Laura Freedman

    Aquinas Photo: Laura Freedman

Some of them have plenty of interesting stories to tell. Some come from out of state just to serve up their food at the festival and others have been a staple there for years.

  1. Wear comfortable clothing/shoes

Scheduled for the end of August/beginning of September, odds are it’s going to be hot. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes (will also help if you’ve eaten too much) and comfortable shoes you can walk in for a long time.

  1. Save room for dessert

    GIF courtesy: Giphy

Some vendors are set up just for confections. It’d be a shame not to try at least one.



  1. Spend money on beverages

For frugal people like myself, I just do not see the point of spending $4 on a lemonade from La Festa! Do yourself a favor, and save your cash by bringing your own water or soda. In the end, you will have more to spend on food.

  1. Get there too late

    Photo Courtesy: Giphy


Be sure to get there before the night ends, or else some vendors may run out of what your craving.

  1. Try to do everything in one day

La Festa is huge. Located in downtown Scranton’s Courthouse Square, an array of vendors line each of the four sides. Unless you’re going for one specific dish, I would advise not to try to eat everything in one day. Remember, La Festa is four days long; my best advice would be to scout it out the first day and use the remaining days to try a little bit of everything. Or, simply devote each day to a different side of the square.

  1. Forget to take pictures of your food

    Aquinas Photo: Laura Freedman


    Aquinas Photo: Laura Freedman

A lot of the food served at La Festa is worthy of being displayed across social media feeds. Also, why not document the goodness so you can go back and

  1. Miss the fireworks

La Festa usually puts on a firework display. Be sure to check a flyer or ask around to see what day and time the fireworks are on!

Hopefully this list of do’s and don’ts prepare you for your next La Festa experience. Sadly, now we must wait a whole year until the festival’s next appearance…arrivederci La Festa! You and your delicious dishes will be missed.

Aquinas Photo: Laura Freedman

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