By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
SHREWSBURY – It was a warm and sunny day — perfect for a festival. So, Shrewsbury residents flocked to the SAC Park on Lake Street for the Shrewsbury Summer Festival on Sept. 4.
“Honestly, it’s far exceeded our expectations,” said organizer Andrea Castinetti. “[With] Labor Day weekend, you never know.”
The festival was originally going to be held on Aug. 22. But it got pushed to Labor Day weekend due to the threat of Tropical Storm Henri.
“We were trying rain or shine, but with a hurricane, tornado, whatever it was, we just knew that it wasn’t going to bring the people out,” Castinetti said. “So, we lucked out. We took a chance on Labor Day weekend. I’ve never hosted an event on Labor Day.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Castinetti ran a Facebook group that raised funds to collect PPE and supplies for hospitals, jails and the National Guard.
Castinetti promised the group that once it was safe to do so, she would throw a party. This was that party.
The festival featured a magician, henna, lawn games and a dunk tank.
Organizers also planned a raffle with proceeds going toward Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services.
“We really just tried to help out those around us that could use some extra funds,” Castinetti said.
She asked people and vendors, in lieu of a vendor fee, to bring school supplies to donate to Shrewsbury schools.
Castinetti said there were over 30 vendors and businesses at the festival.
“My biggest thing in planning this was we really wanted to promote local businesses,” Castinetti said. “Everyone’s been really hit hard during COVID.”
Organizers have already started planning next year’s festival.