SCRAN­TON CEL­E­BRATES IN­DE­PEN­DENCE DAY WITH A ‘SPEC­TAC­U­LAR’ EVENT.

Sixth Scran­tas­tic Spec­tac­u­lar draws crowds to Court­house Square for hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tion.

The Times-Tribune - - Front Page - BY CLAY­TON OVER STAFF WRITER

As Katy Wil­liams started to sing the “Star Spangled Ban­ner” near the Lack­awanna County Court­house on Mon­day night, her au­di­ence joined in.

The na­tional an­them was the first song the North­east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia Phil­har­monic played at the sixth Scran­tas­tic Spec­tac­u­lar. The orches­tra fol­lowed with other pa­tri­otic songs by Amer­i­can com­posers, in­clud­ing John Philip Sousa and Aaron Co­p­land. A crowd packed Court­house Square to watch.

Scran­tas­tic Spec­tac­u­lar, which also fea­tured a fire­works dis­play af­ter the phil­har­monic fin­ished, has grown over the years and drew thou­sands last year, said Mau­reen McGuigan, Lack­awanna County deputy direc­tor of arts and cul­ture said. Plan­ning for this year’s event started in Jan­uary. Or­ga­niz­ers ex­pected a sim­i­lar num­ber, spurred on by nice weather, for Mon­day.

“What I love about this event is that it draws peo­ple from all over and of all ages,” McGuigan said.

The pa­tri­otic mu­sic and fire­works were the cul­mi­na­tion of events which kicked off around the court­house in the af­ter­noon. Hours be­fore the orches­tra played a note and the first fire­work popped flam­boy­antly in the night sky, peo­ple con­gre­gated on the square for a bite to eat, a bit of fun or to se­cure a prime location for the per­for­mance and py­rotech­nics.

Food ven­dors lined the streets around the square, fill­ing the air with the smells of french fries, pop­corn and other fare. Chil­dren, some wear­ing pa­tri­otic face­paint, laughed and played ex­cit­edly in in­flat­able bounce houses.

Oth­ers, like Mary Se­dorovitz of Dick­son City, found a spot near the orches­tra shortly be­fore the show.

Se­dorovitz, like many in at­ten­dance, ar­rived wear­ing pa­tri­otic garb: a red, white and blue purse and socks and a red shirt em­bla­zoned with Old Glory. She at­tends the event each year and en­joys the fire­works and mu­sic, she said. “I think they do a great job,” she said. Scran­tas­tic Spec­tac­u­lar also pro­vided a spe­cial op­por­tu­nity for the per­son lead­ing the mu­sic Mon­day.

Phil­har­monic as­sis­tant con­duc­tor Mélisse Brunet, who grew up in France, also con­ducted the show last year. Both per­for­mances of­fered a chance to ful­fill one of her pro­fes­sional am­bi­tions. The pa­tri­otic tunes played Mon­day night pro­vided a chal­lenge to con­duct, like changes in tempo, but she loves the mu­sic, she said in an in­ter­view be­fore the show.

“My dream was to con­duct a Fourth of July con­cert,” the Paris na­tive told the au­di­ence Mon­day. “So, for the sec­ond time, my dream is com­ing true.”

“Vive la France,” an au­di­ence mem­ber replied. Con­tact the writer: cover@timessham­rock.com; 570-348-9100 x5363; @Clay­tonOver on Twit­ter

CHRISTO­PHER DOLAN / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Crowds pack Lack­awanna County Court­house Square on Mon­day for the sixth Scran­tas­tic Spec­tac­u­lar to cel­e­brate In­de­pen­dence Day.

CHRISTO­PHER DOLAN / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Matthew Hop­kins, 2, of King of Prus­sia, waves two flags dur­ing the Scran­tas­tic Spec­tac­u­lar.

CHRISTO­PHER DOLAN / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Johanna Gen­tile of Scran­ton, above, and Derek Mathews of Sun­bury, be­low, are dressed for the oc­ca­sion.

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