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Festival wraps up for another year

SCHUYLER COUNTY—The annual Schuyler County Italian-American Festival, including a parade, Italian and American foods, craft vendors, amusement rides, carnival games, fireworks and live bands, is now over. The annual event that brings thousands of people to Watkins Glen and Clute Park began last Friday and ended Sunday. This was the 31st annual festival weekend. The first evening featured a pasta eating contest and a Tae Kwan Do demonstration, as well as plenty of food, games, entertainment, and rides.  Craft vendors offered a variety of home-made items plus clothing and jewelry. Bingo was played all weekend, the popular bocce tournament returned, a motorcycle show and other entertainment and events took place during the three-day event.
Outside alcohol is prohibited on the festival grounds, but a beer and wine garden is located within the festival that offers alcoholic beverages for those 21 and over.
New entertainment this year included laser tag by Ithaca Paintball, Buford and Smokin Section performed blues-charged rock, Shylock Foxx, and The Schuyler Scoundrels performed classic rock, as well as a performance by The Leslie School of Dance and a Tae Kwan Do exhibit.
Events Saturday started with the 17th Annual Tony Tallarida Memorial Bocce Tournament, sponsored by Cargill Salt Co.
At noon the Festival Parade began at the Watkins Glen High School and went to Clute Park, with a reviewing stand at Lafayette Park. The parade included 50 units of floats, marching bands, color guards and veterans, the grand marshal, local fire companies, bagpipes, the festival price and princess, horse teams, and many others. Musical entertainment included Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Drum Corp., the Purple Lancers Drum and Bugle Corps., Freedom Village Singers, Dundee Steel Drum Band, Corning Area Community Marching Band, Penn-York Highlanders, Prime Time Brass Marching Band, East Rochester Fire Department Marching Band, Caledonia Bagpipers, the Hit Men, Williamsport High School Marching Band, and accordion player Dominic Versage. A number of groups also gave a performance at the festival grounds at the conclusion of the parade.  
There were Fireworks Over Seneca Lake Show in the evening. The show is brought by American Fireworks Company of Utica. 
Sunday’s special events included a skateboard, bicycle, and roller blade competition and the Nick Preston Memorial Extravaganza sponsored by Lane’s Yamaha.
All of the proceeds from the festival are returned to the community through donations and scholarships for graduating seniors in all Schuyler County School Districts.
The festival was originally created by a small group of Watkins Glen Italian-Americans to celebrate the Fest of the Assumption. It was held at Lafayette Park for many years, but was moved to Clute Park to accommodate the large growth and numerous visitors.





Bocce Ball

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