SCOTT TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A first-of-its-kind music festival will be held in Lackawanna County this weekend. It's the brainchild of two special education teachers who also love festival culture.
Amy Pinder is a speech and language therapist, Leah Barron is a special education elementary school teacher, but the two friends met outside of the classroom.
"We met at a festival and realized we shared the same dream which is to create a truly inclusive music and wellness festival, and when Leah found Mountain Sky, we reconnected and decided to make it happen," Pinder said.
The women from New Jersey are in Lackawanna County this week dressing up the Mountain Sky festival grounds in Scott Township for the weekend event that combines their love of festivals with their professional backgrounds.
They believe it's the country's first "Inclusion Festival."
Like most festivals held at Mountain Sky, the inclusion festival will have music but it will be played at a different volume.
"Our festival is sensory friendly, so all the music is played at a lower volume. We've designed the layout in a way that prevents crowding," Pinder explained.
There are also educational elements and workshops to help families of children with autism.
"I think we have such an amazing opportunity to open people up to new experiences and to provide families with a sense of empowerment and, you know, ability, to take strategies that maybe they haven't ever thought of before and take them back into their homes," Barron said.
The Inclusion Festival runs all day Saturday and Sunday and everyone is welcome.
"Our plan is to make this an annual event, and then also replicate this event in other communities, starting on the east coast and perhaps branching out further.