Schenectady Little Italy Streetfest a Big No This Year
The lingering effects of COVID-19 and staff shortages have claimed another festival. This time it's the Little Italy Streetfest in Schenectady. It's unfortunate but organizers and restaurant owners agree that there is no way they would be able to have enough employees to keep up with the high demand.
In the past fifteen years, Schenectady's Little Italy Streetfest has had an average of about ten thousand people attend according to the Daily Gazette. This year, however, there isn't enough staff to be able to accommodate all of those who would attend. In fact, Maria Papa, who co-owns Perreca's Bakery and More Perreca's Italian Kitchen on North Jay Street has had to close her restaurant periodically during the week because her staff is burnt out.
Maria Papa who is part of the Little Italy Business Association made the very difficult decision to cancel. The event was to be held on September 11th and was to be dedicated to the first responders. This would have been the sixteenth year of the street fest.
Maria Papa said that her staff comes first:
Employee fatigue is very real for our employees. That’s actually a very large factor. So, we decided that in order to do the festival and to give the public what they’ve come to expect from a wonderful street fest, we were not able to really do that this year. So we’re looking forward to next year.
It wasn't just Papa's employees. Other business owners on Jay Street were an integral part of organizing the event. Civitello's dessert shop, Jay Street Hair Salon, and the owners of the funeral home and the Mopco Improv Theater all tried to put the event together but decided it would be best to cancel and come back better next year.