La Festa Italiana a Labor Day Tradition

SCRANTON -- Salvatore Diana of Diana’s Pizza has been a part of La Festa Italiana since he was seven years old. He’s spent decades on Spruce Street in Scranton in early September.

“Just carrying my dad’s name. My dad was one of the first guys to do this in 1975. He passed away, so I just carry his name, carry the torch,” Diana said.

Diana's dad's picture greets patrons at their tent. Diana's Pizza is one of the original vendors at La Festa. It's changed a lot since the eldest Diana got the dough rolling 41 years ago.

“He’s definitely looking down, proud up there, smiling when he smells the pizza frita!” Diana said.

Most of Friday is spent hanging sings for the countless Italian treats available at the festival. Dan Figura of Honesdale has served up sausages and other foods for about two decades.

“Today is the worst of it, getting ready, getting ready for health inspections, making sure we have everything in line, all of our stock is in order, all of our help is lined up. After we get running, it’s an even keel,” said Figura.

While it is all about the food, La Festa Italiana is also a great get together, a celebration of Italian heritage. That's why the Italian-American group UNICO will be collecting donations all weekend to go to victims of the recent earthquake in Italy.

“It’s part of our culture. It’s part of our pride and our heritage. And our prayers certainly go to the families and the victims and those that are actually rescuing them, but you think about, and you think, ‘Boy, I hope we can do as much as we can to help them,'” said Chris DiMattio, president of the La Festa Italiana committee.

You can make a donation at any UNICO tent throughout the weekend.

Food is already being served and entertainment begins Friday at 7 p.m.

La Festa Italiana continues through Monday.