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Festival features parades, food, music and more

WATKINS GLEN—The Italian American Festival returns for its 34th consecutive year Friday, Aug. 2, to Sunday, Aug. 4, at Clute Park in Watkins Glen.
The parade was Saturday, featuring fire departments and bands from throughout the area.  This year's festival prince and princess are Salvatore Purpura and Sarah Jones.  Music Saturday night will be by Shylock Foxx, a cover band, on stage from 8 p.m. to midnight. Saturday also features the fireworks show at 10:15 p.m.
Sunday’s highlight is the Italian American Festival Motorcycle Show, starting at noon. Parking will be free for all motorcycles. The Lakeside Skate Park Competition will also get underway at noon on Sunday. Competitors will perform stunts on skateboards, roller blades and bicycles. Registration for the Tony Tallarida Memorial Bocce Tournament runs from 9 to 9:30 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
More than 20 food concessions, upwards of 50 craft vendors, bingo and, of course, amusement rides will be present. There is no admission to the festival, and parking on Clute Park grounds is only $5 per vehicle. The festival has handicapped parking spaces available.
As part of its emphasis on offering a family-friendly experience, the organizing committee has prohibited all outside alcoholic beverages from the festival grounds. Coolers and bags will be checked. Local wines and beer will be available for purchase at the festival’s beer garden, a designated area designed to offer a relaxing atmosphere for festival-goers 21 and older.
All proceeds from the Italian American Festival are returned to the community through donations and scholarships. For more, visit

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