Published in the August 26, 2019 edition.


WAKEFIELD — The weather could not have been better to celebrate Italy’s culture and tradition for the town’s 10th annual Festival Italia, held Saturday, Aug. 24. Residents and visitors alike flocked to the downtown the way Canada geese flock to the lake.

All afternoon and into early evening, a light breeze blew through the Square, the sun hung brightly in the sky and big puffy clouds sailed over the Square at a lazy pace.

Wakefield’s community-wide summer party got underway at 2 p.m. and continued until 7 p.m. with rocking music offered by Pete and the Smokin Guns. The band set up at the corner of Lincoln and Main streets with Rick Campbell, owner of ice cream parlor Cravings, on guitar, along with musicians who included daughter Emma Campbell, “Lead Foot” Sam Markson, Phil Delaine and Peter Chase. Other live music was provided by Audie Bridges’ Betty’s Bounce and Melrose band The Memory Laners. Later in the day, a competition among local dance school students drew a large crowd near The Farmland.

The day also featured street entertainers, fun and games for kids, a tattoo artist, products displayed by businesses and vendors, giveaways and all kinds of delicious food, much of it offered by local restaurants. To add even more merriment La Piazza, a beer and wine garden set up in front of the Beebe Library, proved to be a good place to relax and socialize while listening to live music.

To top it off, meatball and limoncello contests were held later in the day.

Gina Farrell was the winner of the 2019 meatball contest and the top limoncello maker was Kerrie Roberto.

In a previous Daily Item article about the Festival, Vice President of Wakefield Community Partnership (WCP) John Ross said that the all-volunteer organization’s goal was to make the Festival’s anniversary year “bigger and better than ever.”

Based on the number of people parading through the Square throughout the day, WCP members realized their goal and then some.