Festival goers have mixed reviews on Italian Fest’s move to Outer Harbor

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “I think it’s a great change because of the open space down here it was absolutely wonderful,” said Carol Stiegler of Buffalo.

“I think the parking issue definitely needs to be worked on a little bit,” said Mario Gruttadauria of Buffalo.

Crews worked to unpack tents at the Outer Harbor following a busy Italian Festival weekend, with crowds of more than 50 thousand people.

There were several changes this year, including a new $5 admission fee and a brand new location.

“When it was down on Hertel Avenue, you’re tripping over cords, you’re tripping over people, I’ve had drinks knocked out of my hand. Here there was just so much open space, the breeze from the lake was awesome,” said Stiegler.

Though the new venue did provide more space, some festival goers believe the festival was missing a special charm.

“I do think there are some things that need to be worked out it didn’t feel as personal. It felt more like the fair then the Italian Festival,” said Gruttadauria.

Saturday night was the busiest of the Festivals 4-day run, causing traffic backups.

“A lot of cars lining the road way down, so there was a lot of people trying to get in and there was just no movement among the cars cause there was so many of them,” said Stiegler.

“This year we had a gate with 3 ticket lines going through. Immediately as a board we agreed that we’re going to put another entrance way in, so that will give us 6 lines to filter people through which will be able to move the traffic through quicker,” said Marco Sciortino, Italian Festival Spokesman.

All festival goers had to go through security. Buffalo Police say there were no issues or arrests.

Although the festival only just ended, plans are already in the works to make next years experience better.

“We’re trying to expand the parking, we’re trying to work on paving, we’re trying to put permanent bathrooms in,” said Sciortino,

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