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Quiet First Friday in downtown Scranton

Blame it on the recent surge of COVID-19 cases or the weather, but First Friday in the Electric City ended up being much quieter than usual.
Credit: WNEP

SCRANTON, Pa. — The first Friday of every month is always good for live music and artist showcases at different businesses in downtown Scranton.

On this particular first Friday, the event list ended up being a little shorter, and the crowds were not as big but there was enough going on inside Northern Light Espresso Bar and Cafe on Biden Street.

It's where Hayden Nichols was selling artwork.

"It's a weird time. I am not taking it personally. A lot of people can't be here so. I mean I wish there could be more people coming but I understand the circumstances and this is only the beginning. I'll have more shows, I'm sure," said Hayden Nichols, Artist.

Between the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and the weather, cafe owner Jennifer Saunders can understand why some people are sitting this one out. 

But, she looks forward to each First Friday and stays open.

"I've always loved First Friday and bringing it back after the pandemic, which of course we all know we are still experiencing, but it really brings people to the downtown, sometimes new people who don't know the establishments. You build customers and people want to come back, they are interested in what we are having. Then on the other hand and what I like most is that it helps our local artists," said Jennifer Saunders, Northern Light Espresso Bar and Cafe.

While there's plenty of fun being had on this first Friday, some other business owners do tell us attendance is light and they hope that changes as we continue the year.

There's an artist showcase on display at Bar Pazzo on North Washington Avenue but not all the tables were full inside.

"I think maybe a lot of people are still just kind of weary of the different strains of COVID. Also with the weather, maybe keeping people at home. We are making the best of it and having fun," said Bradley Parks, Bar Pazzo.

Those out for dinner also noticed the lack of people downtown.  

"Is it the ice, is it the COVID, is it um, are people afraid to come out and enjoy life and put money into the local places, I don't know," said Michael Menechino, Greentown.

Many are hoping to see more people, artists, and vendors out next month.

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