A spin around Venice
$5 fee returns alongside favorite foods, games
By IRA PORTER • The News Journal • June 8, 2009 Sunday's opening day of the 35th annual St. Anthony's Italian Festival in the city's Little Italy neighborhood seemed to have a little something for everyone. And everyone seemed to come.
In a recession that is hurting many nonprofits, organizers of the festival took a calculated risk last year: They added gates and a $5 admission fee. Both are back this year.
The change -- as well as a heat wave -- may have thinned last year's crowds, but didn't thin the proceeds.
The festival, a fundraiser for St. Anthony of Padua's parish school, had a gross revenue last year just under $1 million with about $200,000 in profits, said Anthony Albence of the festival's steering committee. That was down slightly from previous years, but organizers blame that on the high temperatures the first half of the week.
Based on last year's results and healthy crowds on this year's opening day (figures for Sunday's attendance aren't yet available), the festival appears to be an example of Another artist who is sharing her work with festivalgoers is Jacqueline M. Connell of Wilmington -- her fifth year participating as a vendor. On Sunday she brought four new libation-inspired paintings with her, which included "Red Red Wine," "Dirty With a Twist" and "Champagne Celebration."
Watts Thomas was all smiles as his shots kept falling and the prizes kept coming.
"I get enough practice from basketball," he said.frim the Wilmington News Journal