SCRANTON CELEBRATES INDEPENDENCE DAY WITH A ‘SPECTACULAR’ EVENT.
Sixth Scrantastic Spectacular draws crowds to Courthouse Square for holiday celebration.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5363; @ClaytonOver on Twitter
Crowds pack Lackawanna County Courthouse Square on Monday for the sixth Scrantastic Spectacular to celebrate Independence Day.
Matthew Hopkins, 2, of King of Prussia, waves two flags during the Scrantastic Spectacular.
Johanna Gentile of Scranton, above, and Derek Mathews of Sunbury, below, are dressed for the occasion.