Italians Take Over Saugatuck

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.

7 responses to “Italians Take Over Saugatuck

  1. Richard Lawrence Stein

    You also forgot not to mention scarce land use… Just kidding Jeffxs…. Let the games begin

  2. The Dude Abides

    Ahhh . . . I don’t tink anybody gonna mess with trash talking the Italians. Know what I mean. Gotsa Timmy “The Godfather” Romano as head master. Bada Bing if yoi know what I mean.

    • Carl: Since you and I are the same age, we both went to school in Westport with the children of Italian immigrants whose parents spoke little or no English.
      Not sure all of them would enjoy your ” broken” English imitation. Might have been a bit tougher for them growing up in Westport when we were teenagers.
      So, good idea posting under your pseudonym. Although, I’m sure some of your best friends are Italians.
      Besides, the broken English isn’t nearly as offensive as the guy who’s taken to posting under the name of dead people.

    • The Dude Abides

      Mr. Grant: You are calling me out for mimicking Italians that the “Sopranos” did for ten years on one of the most watched shows on televison??
      Grow up. Your political correctness belongs in the 1950’s. It is a new millenium and if there is anything that we should have learned in the last fifty years is that cloaking such issues in the closet is not good for those who endure such discrimination or those who garnish it. I have spent many years of my legal career fighting for equal rights for the disadvantaged. What pseudonyms or call names I may use is my business. Don’t even assume you know me either with some kind of buddy superiority rhetoric.

  3. Innocent Bystander

    Ran into the grand marshall last night and said attendance was down this year at the Italian Fest. Sorry to hear that. Apparently they need volunteers since “the old timers have gone” and perhaps their need a new infusion of spirit.

  4. The character of the festival has changed greatly over the years. At one point it was a pleasant neighborhood event. Now, the crowds are very different. I don’t see what can be done to recapture the original ambiance, the genie is out of the bottle. Additionally, there are other similar events that crowd the calendar.

  5. Psychosomatic Constipation

    Perhaps some Italian foreign films — spaghetti westerns —- might draw some galleries. Or maybe PAL should take it over. They seem very good at making money.