Final Hours of La Festa Italiana

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- Another La Festa Italiana is coming to the end of its four-day run.

For 43 years, UNICO has been on Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton serving porketta.

"We do 4,800 pounds of porketta," said UNICO president Melani Naro. "Every year."

And with that much meat, comes 11,000 buns. And still, they sell out every single year.

"We have workers here that are 84, 85, 88. They work all day. They clean up. They're really our inspiration for the younger members, so how could we complain?" Naro said.

The last day of La Festa hit the home stretch on Monday. It's more than 12-hour days, four days in a row for the vendors.

"Try to sneak in some breaks, but a lot of the people that are here with me, they love it. It's one weekend out of the year, and they're here from open to close a lot of them," John McDonald of Electric City Pizza.

Vendors say it's a lot on the body to be on your feet all day.

"The end of the night is not too bad. It's the next morning after being on your feet for those 14 hours the day before, trying to loosen up your legs and your feet. It's hard to get back started," McDonald said.

Rain held off for the weekend, but Monday was the hottest day of the festival, making Italian ice a good option.

"There's going to be a lot of crowds, hopefully, people are going to be looking for some Italian ice to cool off a bit," said A.J. Everetts, of Josie's Italian Ice.

It wouldn't be La Festa without a few showers moving through for the final day. But that doesn't usually scare folks away.

"We've been going through a lot of product. I think everyone has. We've had lines all weekend. It's been really good," Everetts said.

One of La Festa's younger volunteers didn't seem quite as tired as the others, even after working all weekend.

"We've been selling shirts and novelties," said Lucia Dudziec, age 11.

But even 11-year-old Lucia had a few minutes to take a break to try some food, too.

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