Rain doesn't stop people from attending Festa Italiana

Saturday's weather was a one-two punch
Posted at 11:23 AM, Jul 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-24 12:23:28-04

MILWAUKEE -- Saturday's weather was a one-two punch. First the heat, then the rain, but neither was enough to stop the party at Festa Italiana

Two rounds of rain weren't enough to keep Sandy Ksoviech and her family away.

“It was raining when we got here and I had an umbrella. Then I stopped using the umbrella and then I took it off and then it started raining, so my son in law said you gotta put that thing back on” Ksoviech said laughing.

There were plenty of people in rain gear. Eloy Salas also came prepared.

“Well I knew it was gonna rain, so I made sure I got my umbrella and carried enough money to eat enough good Italian food..I love the canolis," Salas said.

As people enjoyed the food and the music, Festa organizers were keeping an eye on the sky.

“People’s safety is a main concern. So if there’s any severe weather, we have places for people to take shelter," said Joe Vella, Festa Italiana chairman.

Vella said the Summerfest grounds have good infrastructure in place in the event of a storm.

While the party continued along the lakefront, heavy rain Saturday evening had a big impact on I-43.

The driver of a semi was going too fast for conditions, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, which ended up shutting down all northbound lanes for three hours. Some drivers were forced to turn around and were escorted off the freeway down an on-ramp.

The weather does seem to be having an impact at area festivals.  

Saturday night's attendance at Festa Italiana appears to be down. The high on Sunday is expected to be back in the 90s, but Vella reminds people it's cooler by the lake.