Downtown Scranton Jazz Festival returns to town but with changes

There is no main stage at the Radisson and there is no charge to enter any venue this year.

SCRANTON, PA – This is the 16th annual downtown Scranton Jazz Festival at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel and the hotel’s Trax Patio was filled with jazz music and jazz fans.

Richard Kunkle and Deborah Sax came from West Chester for the weekend.

Kunkle is originally from Scranton and owns a home in Wayne County.

“We’ve been coming to the Scranton Jazz Festival since 2007 and every year differently,” Kunkle said.

This year is definitely different; last year the pandemic canceled the jazz festival and even this year was uncertain.

But when Pennsylvania lifted its COVID restrictions in May, organizers decided to go but with a few changes.

There is no main stage at the Radisson, just the Trax Patio band and the other jazz bands performing simultaneously at downtown businesses.

And everything is free, there is no charge to enter any place.

“The biggest part too was being able to support the local pubs, cafes, retailers here in downtown Scranton,” said Sarah Effertz, executive director of the festival.

“Business is good for everything, you know. I always love when things are good for everyone and the music is fun, ”said Jay Spivak, who listened to the music at Railyard.

Organizers call it a jazz march, encouraging people to visit as many places as possible.

COLTS offers free tram rides.

Railyard Manager Kayla Jordan is expecting a great weekend.

“My staff are really excited. You know, we’re a family here, so like we’ve planned this out, ”Jordan said.

The Downtown Scranton Jazz Festival takes place all weekend with a fireworks display on Saturday at 9 p.m.

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