Pasta, trains, and cannolis

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First Posted: 8/26/2013

Garlic. Tomato. Kielbasa. Are you sick of all the festivals yet?

Of course you aren’t, which is good, because this weekend there’s a double helping of them.

In following with the theme of “we really like to eat around here in NEPA,” La Festa Italiana will take place Saturday through Monday, tricking those roaming Courthouse Square in Scranton into thinking they’re actually strolling through Italy.

The Square is much like the Italian piazza, an open public square that is often the center of life in the country where events take place throughout the year. There are also Italian tunes being pumped through the place and over 80 vendors lining all four sides that tout not only the best in Italian cuisine, but other ethnicities as well.

There are multiple stages showcasing various forms of entertainment, and on Sunday morning, a mass in Italian will take place at St. Peter’s Cathedral.

If you can find room to stuff down even more food after doing a lap around the fest, join in on the Cannoli Eating Contest Sept. 2 at 1:30 p.m., hosted by the Original Scala Brothers Pastry Shop.

Also this weekend, the city of Scranton is celebrating a major part of the history of the area: the railroad.

The seventh annual Railfest will offer not only plenty of locomotives to see, but demonstrations about things like changing the wheels on a train, rides on trolleys and cabooses, a look at high-tech train tracking programs, and plenty of entertainment.

There will be trains both big and small, with chances to look at model sets as well as the real thing. The train styles run the gamut from vehicles of the 1900s to the new, sleek models of today.

An excursion to Moscow will leave at 12:30 each day with a “photo run-by” opportunity at Moscow Station.

Also, if you’re interested in going from one celebration to the other, free trolley bus rides will be running between La Festa and Railfest throughout each day.

La Festa Italiana: Aug. 31, 11 a.m.10 p.m.; Sept. 1, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sept. 2, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Courthouse Square, Scranton.


Aug. 31:

11:30 a.m.: Opening Ceremonies

Noon: Ron Leas’ Orchestra

Noon: Two for the Road with Bob Mecca

Noon: Jimmy C and Hippie Pizza Pie

2 p.m.: Celebrity Chef Joseph Caputo of Zuppa

2 p.m.: Take Three with Tony Bouselli

2 p.m.: Italian Continentals featuring Mike Lanza

3:30 p.m.: Arabesque Dance Academy

4 p.m.: The Magics

4 p.m.: Lou Cossa

4 p.m.: East Coast Trio with Julian Sparacino, Phil Rossi, Chuck Scrimalli, Brian McGurl

5 p.m.: Turi Dance Studio

5:30 p.m.: University of Scranton Jazz Band

6 p.m.: Celebrity Chef Joseph Caputo of Zuppa!

7 p.m.: Chris Macchio from NYC, featured Italian tenor

8:30 p.m.: Old Friends

Sept. 1:

10 a.m.: Mass in Italian at St. Peter’s Cathedral

11:30 a.m.: King Henry and the Original Showmen

Noon: Carmelo Raccuglia, The Singing Pizza Dude Celebrity from New York

Noon: Wanabees

1 p.m.: Al Grout, juggler and magician

1:30- Chris Macchio from NYC, featured Italian tenor

2 p.m.: Bill and Donna Arnold

2 p.m.: Al Grout, juggler and magician

2 p.m.: Celebrity Chef Joseph Caputo of Zuppa!

3 p.m.: PACI Band Celebrates 100 Years

3:30 p.m.: Carmelo Raccuglia from New York City

4 p.m.: Ballet Theatre of Scranton

4 p.m.: Janice Gambo

4 p.m.: Carmelo Raccuglia, The Singing Pizza Dude Celebrity from New York

5 p.m.: Damian the Magician

5:30 p.m.: Celebrity Chef Joseph Caputo of Zuppa!

6 p.m.: Frank Sinatra Tribute featuring Chris Dimattio and the Brass and Ivory Orchestra with special guest Nikki Rasmus

8 p.m.: The Poets

9:30 p.m.: Fireworks

Sept. 2:

11:30 a.m.: The Fortunes

Noon: The Gene Dempsey Orchestra

1 p.m.: Binky and Jack

1:30 p.m.: Gerard Mayer Show Band

1:30 p.m.: The Fab III

2:30 p.m.: Giovanni Antidormi, Italian Tenor

3 p.m.: Judy and Frank

3:30 p.m.: Danny Rosato and Katrina

3:30 p.m.: Sarah Marie and Joseph

4:30 p.m.: Uncle Floyd Vivino, comedian from N.J.

5 p.m.: Frankie, Toby & The Calamari singers-dancers with special guest Nikki Rasmus

5:30 p.m.: Los Vega, New York Italian Show Band

7:30 p.m. Dean Martin Tribute

Railfest 2013: Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Steamtown National Historic Site (4 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton).