Italian-American Festival starts Friday
WATKINS GLEN--The annual Schuyler County Italian-American Festival returns to Clute Park, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 9-11, with new features and vendors this year.
The annual fireworks show is one of the highlights on Saturday and this year it will start at an earlier time of 9:45 p.m. The show is dedicated to the memory of Rocco Scaptura, longtime festival leader.
Leonard and Shirley Salvatore, who served many years on the organizing committee as the festival's co-treasurers, will be honored as grand marshals of Saturday's popular parade at noon. Broghan Fuller-Bianco, son of Lisa Fuller and Mark Bianco, will appear in the parade as festival prince. Elliana Bacon, daughter of Kristen and Derek Bacon, will be appearing as festival princess.
New to the parade will be DownBeat Percussion, a popular drumline group that entertains widely, including at Buffalo Bills games. The group will offer a special performance on the festival grounds after the end of the parade.
Odessa-Montour Central School state sports champions Dylan Houseknecht, wrestling, and Zach Elliott, shot put, also will be in the parade.
The festival grounds, including carnival rides and amusements, open at 1 p.m. Friday and noon on Saturday and Sunday. New food and new craft vendors will be joining festival favorites.
The annual pasta-eating contest presented by Fidelis Care and Curly's Family Restaurant is Saturday at 4 p.m. and the Fourth Annual Kenny Larson Italian-American Festival Motorcycle Show is Sunday. The popular Robert Rogers Puppet Co. returns with marionette shows hourly Saturday and Sunday on center court in front of the pavilion.
The entertainment stage musical lineup is Telephone Party, 4 p.m. Friday; Tempting Scarlett, 8 p.m. Friday; Still Kickin', 4:30 p.m. Saturday; Rust, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and The Ampersand Project, 1 p.m. Sunday.
New to the Italian-American Festival is a bean bag toss tournament Sunday. Team registration will begin at 10 a.m., and competition will begin at noon, all to the west of the pavilion.
Except for the carnival amusements and rides, all entertainment is free. No admission to the festival is charged, but parking on Clute Park grounds is $5 per vehicle.
The detailed schedule of the annual Schuyler County Italian-American Festival is available at www.watkinsglenitalianamericanfestival.org.
Prior to the festival, Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 6 p.m. at Legacy Lane in Lafayette Park, the Schuyler County Italian-American Festival is hosting a small ceremony to mark 39 years of the "modern version" of the festival. Local dignitaries will speak and recognize the heritage of the event. All are welcome to attend.