ELIZABETH, NJ - The streets of Peter's Town in Elizabeth, and area that was once was home to thousands of Italian Americans, was buzzing on Thursday night as people come out for the first night of the 12 Annual Festa Di San Vito.
As people circled the blocks looking for parking, with some finding spots as far as 8 blocks away, one attendee, Fernando Rodriguez said, " I don’t mind my daughter loves the festival”.
TAPinto caught up with the man himself, Councilman Frank O. Mazza outside the Vallata Social Club. The FranK O. Mazza Frank O. Mazza Civic Association sponsors the Festival. Mr. Mazza stood next to the statue of Saint Vito collecting donations. Donors pin the cash donations on the statues as is customary.
"The Festival is fun for Families and we collect a little money for the Catholic Church," said Mazza.
As we walked around, families could be seen eating and drinking and as always, Di Cosmo's Italian Ice had its usual long line. They have been in business for over 100 years. The Brick Oven Pizza on wheels seemed to be very popular as well, manned by owner Luigi. The oven pumps out some serious heat at nearly 800 degrees according to the heat gun. Every 60 seconds a pie was done. "We love doing this for the community here at home,” said Luigi a life long resident who lives a block away.
We asked Vito Mazza, the son of Councilman Franco Mazza if the festival is what he expected it to be? “It's a small controlled family-oriented cultural event,” said the younger Mazza. “That’s what we wanted, and what we have".
The festival had a DJ playing on stage along with kiddie rides and even a large rock climbing wall. The fun will continue and through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and on Sunday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.