THUNDER BAY – Festa Italiana organizers are hoping for a great turnout this year despite COVID-19 restrictions forcing them to scale back festivities to take-out dining like they were forced to last year.
“Well, unfortunately, this year Festa is gonna be more or less the same as last year, we thought we could do a little bit more, but things the way they are, and unfortunately things take a lot of planning, you know, looking for entertainment and all the other things, it was a little too late when we realized that we’re reopening,” said Benny Melchiorre, Festa Italiana chairman.
Melchiorre did consider last year’s Festa a great success in terms of what they were able to accomplish within the restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Roughly 5,000 people showed up to enjoy the take-away food.
“We were very pleased with the amount of people that were through last year, we had about 5,000 people come through just for a sit down, just for takeout food, and we had a lot of people sitting down, enjoying the meal, enjoying the little bit of entertainment. We’re very pleased with the turn out last year and we would like to thank the community for their loyal support through the last 30 years.” Said Melchiorre.
In previous years before COVID-19 Festa Italiana would see a great turn out, roughly 10,000 people per day, as well as feature many vendor booths and live entertainment. Melchiorre hopes to have an even better Festa Italiana in 2022 when they have a chance to make up for the last two summers.
“We’re gonna have to do something better, you know, bigger and better, because this was supposed to be our 31st annual Festa, but unfortunately that didn’t happen, so hopefully next year we’re gonna be bigger and better,” said Melchiorre.
The Festa is happening at the Italian Cultural Centre on Sunday, Aug. 1 and Monday, Aug. 2 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
All attendees are asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines.