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.)