About Wilkes-Barre PA

The City of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania is a progressive city with industrial roots. Located along the Susquehanna River, Wilkes-Barre is the seat of Luzerne County and is a keystone of Northeastern PA. The city’s current population estimate is 40,569.

Conveniently situated in the tristate area, Wilkes-Barre offers easy access to highways (Interstates 81, 80, and 476) and airports. Wilkes-Barre is approximately 2 hours away from New York City and Philadelphia. Wilkes-Barre is also a short drive from the beautiful Pocono Mountains. Surrounding communities also boast a number of natural park lands.


There are many venues throughout the city for residents and visitors to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Wyoming Valley.

Kirby Park and Coal Street Park provide outdoor recreational amenities such as playgrounds, pavilions, picnic tables, basketball courts,  and multi-purpose fields. The renovated River Common area, located along the Susquehanna River, features two portals, which bring views of the river to the street level, an amphitheater for outdoor performances, walking corridors, a boat launch, and other infrastructure improvements to accommodate concerts and festivals.

Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square hosts many events throughout the year. Our Farmers Market, which runs from late June to October each year, brings fresh produce, homemade food, crafts, and music to our downtown each Thursday. The Fine Arts Fiesta, a week-long festival on the Square, brings live performances and art exhibits to the public. The Square is the central point of the City’s parades and celebrations.

The City of Wilkes-Barre is a proud member of
The Pennsylvania Municipal League


The City’s current revitalization is driven by emerging businesses, thriving institutes for higher education, and non-profit organizations committed to serving the community. Through partnerships with both public and private organizations, the City of Wilkes-Barre has been a key player in many economic development projects that have shaped the future for Wilkes-Barre and it neighboring communities.

Downtown Development

The City hosts 11,000 downtown employees, the 4th largest downtown workforce in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with a mix of major employers and small businesses.Wilkes-Barre has become revitalized into an 18-hour destination with a “Walk-To-Everything” lifestyle.

The downtown offers a wide variety of dining and shopping options for residents and visitors. Both locally-owned and nationally recognized restaurants are within walking distance from Public Square, RC Movies 14, and the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts. Large and small retail shops, including Boscov's and Barnes & Noble are easily accessible to downtown patrons.

The vision of downtown living has become a reality as the strategic conversion of inactive bank buildings to luxury apartment units has added a lively, spectacular presence to our city. Attractive and marketable living units are becoming a permanent fixture downtown.  Investors recognize the potential for success in the City of Wilkes-Barre and private development is increasing throughout the city.

Collaboration with Non-Profits & Higher Education

Community-minded leaders at the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce are reinvesting in the City’s neighborhoods and downtown. The Diamond City Partnership and Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association are critical to the economic development and beautification of the Downtown. In the neighborhoods, recently-formed residents associations help connect residents with their neighbors, their council representatives and city officials. Other community minded organizations within the City help to spearhead issues that are the important to residents.

The City of Wilkes-Barre values the colleges that frame the Downtown—King’s College, Wilkes University, The Commonwealth Medical College, and Luzerne County Community College. Mayor George and his administration are working closely with the colleges as they improve upon their property and ultimately the overall aesthetic of Wilkes-Barre. The City wants to insure the safety of the students, while they learn and live in Wilkes-Barre. The City hopes that the students’ positive experiences during their college years will encourage them to reinvest in the City as business owners, workers, and residents.

The city is experiencing a social and economic renaissance, encouraged by business growth and increased optimism in its future. The City of Wilkes-Barre strives to improve the quality-of-life for its neighborhoods each and every day and serves as a benchmark municipality within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.