Annual Italian Flag Raising Continues Despite Pandemic

The annual Italian flag raising was conducted at the beautiful Lackawanna County Courthouse Square, calling attention to the fact that October is “Italian Heritage and Culture Month” and Columbus Day, a national holiday, was just around the corner, as is our county Christopher Columbus Statue.  

Initiated in 2012 by the Keystone Chapter UNICO National, and with the assistance of the County Commissioners, this has been an annual acknowledgement every year since.  Local Italian organizations are invited each year to participate.

This year, County Commissioner Chris Chermak was present, along with representation by several local Italian American organizations.  Participating were District Governor Cathy Bianchi, PA II UNICO National; President Mary Lynn Brannon, Carbondale UNICO; President Gail Cicerini, Scranton UNICO; President Mary Ann Coviello, Dunmore’s Keystone UNICO; Mike Iacavazzi, Past Department Commander, Disabled American Veterans of Pennsylvania;  Stephanie Longo, Associate Producer of the Italian American Podcast; President Joe Macciocco, Lackawanna County Columbus Day Association and the Victor Alfieri Society; Mark McDade, Flag Raising Organizer and Event Speaker; Peter Noto, Past District Governor, UNICO PA II; First Vice-President Dr. Peter Pettinato, UNICO National; President Carmen Scrimalli, San Cataldo Club; and Carol Scrimalli, Dunmore Councilwoman.     

Housing Needs Survey Released Amid Pandemic

Housing Coalition LogoThe Lackawanna County Housing Coalition has released a housing needs survey to collect critical, up-to-date information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the residents of Lackawanna County. The survey is intended for tenants, landlords, homeowners, and community organization staff and is available online in both English and Spanish: 

  • Survey in English: 
  • Survey in Spanish: 

Those who cannot complete the survey online may pick up a paper survey at United Neighborhood Centers Community Services, 410 Olive St., Scranton, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. 

The information collected through this survey will be used by local housing and social service providers to assist residents who have been impacted by the pandemic, particularly those who may face eviction or foreclosure when state-wide moratoriums expire at the end of August. 

About the Housing Coalition: The Lackawanna County Housing Coalition is a catalyst for decent, safe, affordable housing. The Coalition’s members—which include nonprofit, public, and private affordable housing providers—seek to provide housing opportunities and empowerment towards self-sufficiency for all persons in Lackawanna County. For more information, visit 

County Makes Changes to Arts and Culture Programs Due to COVID-19

lacka coThe Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department will be redesigning its programming for the remainder of the year due to the COVID-19 crisis to ensure the safety of the public. 

Upcoming summer programs including The Scrantastic Spectacular on July 3, Art in the Park series and ARTS Engage! Day at the Electric City Trolley Museum have all been cancelled along with the 3 on 3 tournament.  Swimming at our parks’ pool and lakes is prohibited.  

Although options may be explored depending on recommendations from the CDC and state, fall and winter events, including the annual Wake Up With the Arts Breakfast and the Winter Market, have also been cancelled. The Trolley Museum is currently not open to the public or offering trolley rides.  The museum will follow the official guidelines regarding reopening.

To support local artists and creative local businesses during this time, the County along with Anthracite Events is launching the “NEPA Artists, Creators and Small Business Showcase” today.  It will run seasonally through December with the intent to create an online space to make shopping locally easier for the public.  Applications are now open and can be found   

The County is currently running its Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Live! series every Wednesday from 7-9 pm, featuring local artists and other cultural producers, through today.

To stay updated on future Lackawanna County Arts and Culture programming during the pandemic, follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or contact the office at