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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.

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