Pioneer Nights Helps Carbondale Shops

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CARBONDALE — A city in Lackawanna County is celebrating its past and looking to the future.

Carbondale hosted the city’s annual pioneer nights parade down main street on Saturday and parade-goers said they all look forward to something different.

For some of the longtime residents, they’re just thrilled to see the streets of Carbondale filled with people.

That’s because city council has been working to revitalize downtown Carbondale for about 10 years.

“We put a huge concentration on to bring people to Carbondale. We really are a diamond in the rough. No one realizes it,” said Michelle Bannon, Carbondale City Clerk.

The pioneer nights parade brings hundreds of people to Carbondale, but the city said it’s just one part of their revitalization project. Business owners in the area said it’s been helping. ”

“It’s getting people to move around town to find the cute little shops we have here in Carbondale,” said Donna Zaremba, the owner of Art Strands Jewelry and Gifts.

The owner of Art Strands Jewelry and Gifts said the new Best Western Hotel on Main Street, along with some new restaurants and shops, have really improved foot traffic to downtown. Which is also bringing in new customers for the smaller busisnesses.

“I think things are better than they’ve been in a long time,” said Zaremba.

The city hopes to continue to keep filling those store fronts.

“So that just gives an indication that people are excited to come to Carbondale,” said Bannon.

The Pioneer Nights Committee said about 1,000 showed up to watch the parade, which is one of the largest crowds it has ever had.