New Italian Fest location gets mixed reviews

Posted at 5:46 PM, Jul 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-16 17:46:14-04

You could not ask for better weather to cap off the annual Italian Festival in Buffalo.

For the first time, the festival is being held at Buffalo's Outer Harbor. Previously, it was held on Hertel Avenue for several decades.

“It's spread out. It's big. It's not so crowded like when you walked on Hertel, people would keep nudging you and everything,” said festival goer, Nelia Szymczak.

But, some are not happy with the change. Paying a five dollar cover charge, poor parking accommodations, and a lot of corporate tents are just a few of the complaints we received at 7 Eyewitness News from festival goers.

However, event organizers say the feedback they've received has been mostly positive.

Visitors we spoke to agree. They prefer the Outer Harbor location over Hertel because they say it's not as cramped. They also don't mind the five dollar fee which goes toward running the festival, security for the festival, and back to the non-profits who put the festival together.

Still, organizers say they'll strive to make it better moving forward.

Ali Touhey: What are some of the complaints you received?

Marco Sciortino: Nothing festival wise. It's only been transportation wise. So, the Skyway a little congested, Route 5 a little congested. Our parking lot is big and it's spread out so it's a little far from the festival. But, other than that, we're doing everything we can to make everybody happy. It's tough but we're doing what we can.

It's still too soon to tell whether the new location impacted attendance. Organizers expect to have final numbers in the coming days.