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Downtown Scranton Jazz Festival returns to the city but with changes

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

SCRANTON, Pa. — It's 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 up from West Chester for the weekend.

Kunkle is a Scranton native and owns a house in Wayne County.

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

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

But when Pennsylvania lifted its COVID restrictions in May organizers decided to go for it but with some changes.

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

And it’s all free, there’s no charge to enter any venue.

“The biggest part too was to be able to support local pubs, coffee houses, retailers here in downtown Scranton,” said Sarah Effertz, the festival’s executive director.

“The businesses, it's good for everything, you know. I always like when things are good for everybody and the music is fun,” said Jay Spivak, who was taking in the music at The Railyard.

Organizers are calling this a jazz walk, encouraging people to hit up as many places as they can.

COLTS is providing free trolley rides.

The Railyard manager Kayla Jordan is looking forward to a very good weekend.

“My staff is really excited. You know, we are a family here so like we've been planning this,” said Jordan.

The Downtown Scranton Jazz Festival runs through the weekend with a fireworks display Saturday at 9 p.m.

Credit: WNEP

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