Big Weekend In the Electric City

SCRANTON, Pa. -- First Friday events kick off the start of a very busy weekend in downtown Scranton.

There are a number of events that will bring a few thousand people to the Electric City.

The tents going up around Courthouse Square in Scranton were a sure sign of one thing -- it's going to be a busy weekend for downtown businesses like Blue Bee Bistro on Linden street.

"I came into work this morning to see all of this, all the setup and everything, getting ready to go. I have all my employees ready to go, but you can't really prepare because you don't know how many people are going to come running in here. Hopefully, a lot," Jenna Illing said.

Courthouse Square will host Lackawanna Arts Fest Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. A block off the square at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, crews were setting up for the Scranton Jazz Festival.

The patio at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel is expected to be crowded this weekend because of the jazz festival but managers say the inside of the hotel is going to be packed, too, because of yet another event going on this weekend.

The Diocese of Scranton has hosted the Catholic Charismatic Renewal conference at the University of Scranton on the first weekend of August for 36 years. Organizers say they're happy to share the weekend with so many events.

"It's a big weekend! We got arts, we got jazz, we got all kinds of things going on in town this weekend, so, it will be a great weekend for the city as a whole," Karen McLain said.

Organizers say all the events help each other and businesses benefit, too. The Hilton Scranton and Conference Center is already booked for Saturday night.

"The big thing is excitement, OK? Activity generates activity, so the more activity we have going on downtown, the more people are going to come and be a part of it," Hilton's Robert Trotta said.

There's a little something for everyone in downtown Scranton this weekend. First Friday events go until 9 p.m. Friday. The Lackawanna Arts Fest begins Saturday at noon. The Scranton Jazz Festival and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal continue throughout the weekend.

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