The Second Electric City Flower Show
On June 10th the second Electric City Flower Show was held in Nay Aug park in Scranton Pennsylvania. This event is an evolving project, it draws a decent croud to the park with flower presentations, terrariums, informational lectures and vendors if plants, food and craft, touched off with a treasure like hunt for the kids to enjoy in one of the city’s expansive parks.
A lot has changed about Nay Aug from my youth and some if it is returning. Gone is the days of the Zoo, that was obviously too small and the building has been replaces with St. Cats and Dogs of Nay Aug Zoo, Scranton, Pennsylvania, who provide Trap Neuter and Return for wild cats.
Scranton has a small museum called the Everheart Museum at Nay Aug, that once even had a live bee hive in the basement in glass with tubes to the outside. Though the bees are gone (most likely because of liability to attracting bees to the back of the building,) The museum has a small and somewhat extensive collection from Art, glasswork, mining and nature displays.
Behind the Museum is the Brooks Mine. This mine was a display mine as three outcroppings of anthracite coal almost make it to the surface. I remember going into The 150-foot-long mine was built as a model in 1902 by Reese Brooks when I was a kid, and you remember on a hot day, how quickly the temperature dropped.
The Brookes Mine is currently under reconstruction for re-opening. The work being done is both safety and updating lighting in a retro style, digging a little further back then the old 150 feet, and even though it is not working mine, digging a vent shaft as it is now required.
The newer Lackawanna coal mine tour is the big mine show in the area, as you go down into the mine by cars on a track and the mine was a working mine. But the Brooks was the place for kids in the mid 1970’s to go into a mine and see what it was like.
Nay Aug back in my youth, had swimming pools, a gazebo, a small arcade/game room with bumper cars, The small cement zoo and later expanded with bison and other animals in the lower now outdoor walking paths. And long before my time was an amusement park called Luna park.
What do I start with this for a flower show? Because the city over the years has let the park degrade, long past was the Zoo, the Arcade, carousel and bumper cars gone, the both pools started leaking, were destroyed along with a slide and council is in a fight with the mayors office as the mayor chooses to try and market the city to New York, while Council wants the pools rebuilt.
The Nay Aug park volunteers and the Park commission have taken to private donations and events, including concerts to get people back into the park. With the park mine under construction, last year, the Nay Aug Park Committee created the first Electric City Flower Show.
Many large cities like Philadelphia have created large flower shows, and it took a group of Private Citizens and donations to start to revitalize the park that the city forgot.
This brings us to the Second Electric City Flower Show. While there are growing pains, including date adjustments, the flower show is blooming. The first show was August 6th, they rolled it back in an attempt to avoid the later summer heat. They picked June 10th. The weather was fantastic and they managed to get a weekend that was clear amid the wave of Smoke from the Canadian wildfires. The only complication was it was also graduation weekend and that impacted the crowd a bit.
Overall the show for a second year event, had a steady flow of visitors, the park was lively. Back in the 1980’s Scranton had a festival with plants around the County Courthouse, and we have long lacked Community activities. With Plays in the park and now a flower show, the city may actually change for the better. Not because of the leaders of city government, but the community.
Maybe a caring community can overcome a selfish government.