Italian sausage fest wins annual outing
Organisers have confirmed the Harvey Italian Sausage Sagra will become an annual event, claiming this year’s Sagra will be “bigger and better” with “definitely more sausage”.
“We had much higher numbers than expected,” Harvey Radio secretary Janine Quicke said.
“It’s a strong indication that it’s something the community wants.”
What began as an idea for a backyard barbecue quickly grew into a festival to celebrate all things Italian in Harvey, culminating in an Italian sausagemaking competition.
Organisers expected about 300400 people to attend the November 10 event but were blown away when crowds of more than 3000 people packed into the Harvey Recreation and Cultural Centre grounds, leaving food stallholders scrambling to restock in order to keep up with the demand.
The huge community response prompted the event organisers from Harvey Radio, the Harvey Italian Club and the Harvey Recreational and Cultural Centre to make the Sagra an annual event.
Ms Quicke said the committee had discussed ways to improve the upcoming Sagra, hinting at plans to allow people outside of the Harvey shire to enter the sausage making competition.
“We had so much interest from outside the designated area we are going to open it up to a bigger area next time,” she said.
There are also plans to ramp up the entertainment and add other iconic Italian features to the mix.
“Hopefully next year will include an Italian car display,” Ms Quicke said. “And we’ve had a lot of interest from stallholders from all over. Everybody loves Italian food.”
Ms Quicke said the biggest success was the collaboration between the different community groups.
“I really agree with that,” Italian Club president Tony Pinzone said.
“Everyone really came together.”
Harvey Recreation and Cultural Centre manager David Marshall said the level of interest meant there was the option of creating a much bigger profitmaking event, but the committee preferred to maintain the authenticity of the event.
“The temptation is there to do that, but it’s about keeping that genuine Italian culture,” he said. “It’s about telling Harvey’s story.”
Recreation centre’s function co-ordinator Connie Baggetta said a good but unintended offshoot was the number of family reunions that took place on the day.
“People came down from Perth and caught up with family and friends,” Mrs Baggetta said.
“There were people I saw I hadn’t caught up with since I was a teenager.”