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Westport's Festival Italiano Says Goodbye

Arrivederci, Festival Italiano. Yes, after 27 years of bringing smiles to the faces of Westporters young and old, Festival Italiano is saying goodbye. And high operating costs combined with low volunteerism are to blame.

News that the annual summer event in Saugatuck has been canceled is explained in a detailed message on the Festival Italiano website.

"Volunteering is virtually non-existant and sponsorships are dwindling so more and more of the set up has to be contracted and paid for. No one from Westport Festival Italiano, Inc. receives any payments from the Festival, so there is no way we can cut back expenses without destroying the character of the Festival, and that we will not do. Several avenues have been investigated to keep the Festival going within those guidelines, but they have not succeeded. With the economy sluggish and the constant threat of a rain washout, we have no choice but to terminate Festival Italiano."

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