SOUTHINGTON - Organizers of this yearâs Italian American Festival said the three-day event was a success, drawing âoverwhelmingâ crowds that caused several vendors to sell out.
The annual festival, on lower Center Street, is a collaborative effort between Sorelle DâItalia in America, the Sons of Italy and Southington Unico. It features live music and entertainment, a childrenâs carnival, craft vendors and food from many local restaurants.
âThe 2017 Southington Italian American Festival was simply incredible,â said Dawn Miceli of Unico. âThe Festival Planning Committee worked diligently for six months and to see our hard work for our community pay off is exhilarating. Â It is significant to be a part of something that helps foster neighborliness, fellowship and cultural awareness.â
âThe crowds were overwhelming this year, with all seats filled to capacity for our various entertainment throughout the weekend,â Miceli continued. âI personally enjoyed seeing everyone dance - both young and old - and the interaction of families as they sat under our tents and enjoyed all of the delicious delicacies - from good old-fashioned fried dough to calamari and coffee gelato.â
Miceli said the location of the festival is a significant factor in its success.
âThat area means so much to many of our founding citizens in Southington because of the factories that once employed those first-generation Italian-Americans,â she said.Â âWe are going to seek approval from the Town Council for a street sign that would state: Â âHome of the Southington Italian American Festivalâ.âÂ
David Zoni of Unico said there was an âoutstanding crowd.â
âIt was like nothing we saw at the festival ever before,â he said. âI attribute this to committed efforts to market the event and to the hand of God looking over us. Mother Nature cooperated 100 percent. We had a huge crowd Saturday night, which we donât normally get. In past years it was sweltering hot, but this time it was cool and cloudy. On Friday night and Saturday night, you couldnât see from one end of the festival to the other.â
At the Unico booth, Zoni said the popular sausage and pepper grinders sold out midway into Sunday. Fried dough from the Jaycees, he said, was also a âbig hit.â
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.