Italian Festival should stay on Hertel Ave. in Little Italy
Moving the Italian Festival is a mistake! Some wish to move the festival to the waterfront because it is now chic, and it has a beautiful open space, though restricted.
The quality of the festival on Hertel Avenue over the past few years has improved. It has made the businesses in Little Italy more visible to the community, it is open to everybody and the Buffalo police have done an outstanding job with security. Frankly, I am opposed! For me, it is like asking the Centro Culturale Italiano di Buffalo, of which I am president, to move to Clarence because it is more fashionable and has more beautiful green space.
For decades, the Italian-Americans of this community have welcomed everybody to their festival, and its zero entrance fee is a testament to this open-arms spirit. It has also been a real success for North Buffalo and the city, in general.
The majority of the Italian-Americans of Buffalo feel that the festival should be kept on Hertel Avenue. It is offensive to move it away from its Little Italy, just as it would be offensive to move the Juneteenth Festival celebrated for years in Martin Luther King Park away from its local community to the waterfront.
Frank Giacobbe, M.D.