St. Anthony's Italian Festival. (File photo)

Another St. Anthony’s Festival, another debate on parking

Ken MammarellaCulture, Headlines


St. Anthony's Italian Festival. (File photo)

St. Anthony’s Italian Festival. (File photo)

St. Anthony’s Italian Festival has been drawing the crowds to Wilmington since the 1970s, and it’s likely that there have been parking issues all along.

“St. Anthony’s has gone too far for this Festival,” Christine Ciccone began her post on “Starting tomorrow we are not able to park on 8th & N. Scott St. for 2 weeks due to Festival. Where are we suppose to park? We are seniors. Not fair.”

Also not the whole truth.

The Wilmington Police Department traffic unit has “worked with residents and festival organizers to set aside parking for residents that would be affected by temporary parking restrictions related to the St. Anthony’s Italian Festival,” John Rago, deputy chief of staff for Mayor Mike Purzycki, explained in an email. “The effort was to preserve parking spaces for residents so they would not be taken by festival visitors.”

The thread points out the installation of temporary “no parking” signs all day July 7 through July 20 – and how they were edited to say 5-9 p.m.

Some posts debate residents’ ability to “reserve” parking spaces in front of their homes with parking cones or even lawn chairs.

Although most of the posts on the thread were negative, N. du Pont Street resident Paul Puszkarczuk said “on the signs not normally blocked by police it says ‘Resident Parking Permit required’ so I was initially upset but in reality they are trying to help the situation by not having randos park outside our homes.”

St. Anthony’s offers free secured parking near Salesianum School, about 1.5 miles away, with continuous shuttle service from 30 minutes prior to opening through 30 minutes after closing daily.

In January, the city revised the system for residential parking permits for its 26 neighborhoods. “Residential Parking Permit holders are exempt from time limits in their residential zones but must obey all other regulations,” according to the city. “RPPs are digital and use License Plate Recognition technology for enforcement. Residents utilize web-based technology to apply for, receive and renew their RPP.”

The festival runs 6-10:30 p.m Friday, 4-10:30 p.m. Saturday and 2-6 p.m. Sunday.

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