The Italian Festival opens tonight.
The annual celebration of Saugatuck’s heritage, 1950s music and fried dough kicks off with a 7:30 p.m. parade. All weekend long there are rides, carnival games, performances, and a Coney Island-meets-Westport atmosphere unavailable any other time, at any other place.
Festival Italiano is sponsored by the Sons of Italy. The non-profit organization — so unassuming it doesn’t even have a website — donates all profits to local charities. That’s no patate piccole — since the first fest in 1984 they’ve given away nearly $2 million, to over 40 charities.
But the organization uses a public facility — part of the railroad parking lot — to hold its philanthropic show.
So, to avoid a dust-up similar to the one that emerged on “06880” regarding the PAL 4th of July fireworks, I won’t mention any of that.