Breaking News — No Italian Fest In 2011

The home page of Festival Italiano provides this distressing news:

It is with deep sadness that I must announce to you that there will be no Westport Festival Italiano in 2011.  We did have a very successful Festival in 2010.  Unfortunately, virtually all the income was paid out in expenses.

Our reason for existence is to provide scholarships and support for local charities and there is little left for that.  Although it would be fine if we could keep the Festival going just for the entertainment it provides for Westport and the surrounding communities that is just no longer possible.

Volunteering is virtually non-existent and sponsorships are dwindling so more and more of the set up has to be contracted and paid for.  No one from Westport Festival Italiano, Inc. receives any payments from the Festival, so there is no way we can cut back expenses without destroying the character of the Festival, and that we will not do.

Several avenues have been investigated to keep the Festival going within those guidelines, but they have not succeeded.  With the economy sluggish and the constant threat of a rain washout we have no choice but to terminate Festival Italiano

Festival Italiano has had 27 good years. The weather has mostly cooperated.  Our Patrons have been great, as have the vendors and entertainment.  We have provided over two and a half million dollars to charitable causes and many, many hours of enjoyment to the people of the Westport area.  We are proud of our accomplishments.

Best Wishes from all of us at Westport Festival Italiano, Inc.

Arrividerci, Festival Italiano.  Grazie mille.

(Posted 8:50 a.m.)

12 responses to “Breaking News — No Italian Fest In 2011

  1. rare commentator

    so sad…

  2. That’s so unfortunate. Nevertheless, I’m confident it’s just a one-year hiatus 🙂

  3. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Many many memories… To bad

  4. Great memories.
    Circa 1988, the Staples wrestling team volunteered for garbage duty and I was lucky to be the “Designated Supervisor” for three nights. The first night was almost a disaster, since we all waited for the cans to fill up before we emptied them… WRONG ! By then the place was in full swing and the garbage was piling up faster than snow in a blizzard. Night two, we emptied when the can was 1/2 full. MUCH BETTER. It was a trip being on the sidelines working with the young men. Then my wife, Sandy, and I did a stint with supporters Lynne & Jerry Minsky at the football “toss a ping-pong ball, win a goldfish” concession. Back then, you knew everybody who worked there and most of the folks who came to enjoy the rides, food, and music. Like the movies, Klein’s, and many other wonderful things, it ain’t the same place anymore. Tears on my pillow 😦

  5. Pizzas, 50’s music, the Scrammbler, water gun balloon races, yummy sausage and pepper heroes, the nocturnal glitter of a forgotten past. Sometimes you miss something more when it’s gone – or almost gone. Memory has a way of making the past enchanted – I’ll miss the Festival Italiano – I guess Mario Batali will be there instead. See you for a glass of vino at the opening of the Terry Lounge. Ciao bella – Gino Seidman

  6. I remember when the festival was revived. Wasn’t John LaBarca a big part of bringing back the festival? The best night was the opener when the locals came out.

  7. wait this april fools joke is about a week late……
    unfortunately its true!! westport isn’t the same without the italian festival.

  8. Westport Ward returns

    So sad about this. Fond memories of coming to Westport in the summer to see family and attending the Festival. We managed to coordinate everyone’s schedule to be in Westport this summer and I was really looking forward to sharing some of my past with my daughters and wife. We will still take pictures on the cannons at Compo, hopefully dig some clams, stop by Harry’s Beverage to see the Pollacks, spend some time with the Lauterbacks in Fairfield, research some family history with Sal Lucci. BUT, there will definitely be a void in the trip.

  9. This is small potatoes compared to the government shutdown. People in Afghanistan with families to feed won’t get paid because rich politicians can’t figure it out. pathetic..

  10. I have no words- I know why. . . but why? it was one ofthe only fun things to so in Westport! “the fest” was one of the only things I looked forward to in the summer months. now there is nothing. . .
    RIP fest we will all miss you

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