NEPA Scene Staff

Lackawanna RiverFest flows forward with music, beer garden, ducks, and more in Scranton on Sept. 25

Lackawanna RiverFest flows forward with music, beer garden, ducks, and more in Scranton on Sept. 25
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From a press release:

The pandemic has once again forced the Lackawanna River Conservation Association to postpone its major fundraiser, which is usually held in May, so a slightly different RiverFest will move forward on Saturday, Sept. 25 at Sweeney’s Beach in the Pine Brook neighborhood of Scranton from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The LRCA’s 34th annual festival is free to the community and will feature all kinds of activities, live music, craft vendors, food, and beverages, including a beer garden tent with a focus on Pennsylvania-crafted beers that will offer samples from local craft breweries and cideries.

The music starts at 11:30 a.m. with an acoustic set by Dave Brown of Scranton Americana/folk group The Dishonest Fiddlers. Stroudsburg roots rock/reggae band Young Lion will perform at 1 p.m., followed by jam band Jerry Duty, a Jerry Garcia/Grateful Dead tribute act, at 3 p.m.

Jessee’s Place will offer a special menu of picnic favorites for purchase, including sausage and peppers, plus their signature ice cream.

Due to the unpredictability of the river flow in late summer, the Lackawanna River Conservation Association will not be conducting the River Canoe-A-Thon, a 12-mile whitewater canoe and kayak competition and fun paddle. However, many other fun-filled activities are planned at Sweeney’s Beach (40 Poplar St., Scranton).

Family-friendly environmental education exhibits and interactive activities will be provided by Lackawanna State Park, Pennsylvania American Water, Lackawanna County Conservation District, A.N.A. Critters, Penn State Extension’s Master Watershed Stewards, LRCA’s Lackawanna Watershed Conservation Corps, and the Hexagon Project.

The 26th annual Lackawanna River Duck-A-Thon will start at 4 p.m. This race featuring brightly decorated decoy ducks provides an opportunity for participants to win cash prizes while helping to raise funds that support the ongoing mission of the LRCA to promote the community’s involvement with the conservation of the Lackawanna River and its watershed resources. Cash prizes of $500, $250, and $100 will be given to the lucky ducks who choose the winning numbers in first, second, and third place, respectively.

In order to provide an opportunity to encourage and attract watersport paddlers, the LRCA is reviving the Lackawanna River Regatta as part of this year’s event. Launching at 2 p.m., participation in the Lackawanna River Regatta Challenge 21 is free and open to individuals, families, neighborhood and community groups, social organizations, businesses, and schools. The LRCA is offering cash prizes of $100, $50, and $25; gift certificates; and the notoriety of participating in and perhaps winning this unique event. Any type of vessel that can float, be decorated in a creative and humorous manner, and be made to navigate down river piloted by a crew of one or more individuals is eligible for entry in the regatta.

Vessels will be launched from the LRCA boat yard at the Market Street Bridge in Providence and will be required to navigate one mile downstream to Sweeney’s Beach in Pine Brook. The public will be able to observe the regatta from various points along the flood control levees along Nay Aug Avenue, Albright Avenue, Poplar Street, near the Farmers Market, and at the Sweeney’s Beach finish line. Additional information on regatta rules, navigational guidance, and registration is available at or by calling the LRCA at 570-347-6311.

RiverFest and the year-round work of the LRCA is partially supported through presenting sponsorships from local and regional businesses and organizations. This 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization welcomes the participation of volunteers to help conduct this event and other tasks in support of the LRCA’s mission through its Watershed Conservation Corps. For additional information about RiverFest or how to volunteer, call 570-347-6311 or email

Photo by Mike Lehman