In July, Frontenac Education Foundation Vice President Matt Frankenbery presented three options for potential contingency plans to the Frontenac City Council, outlining ways for Festa Italiana to go on this year despite restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. As it turns out, none of those previous plans will be happening.

“The health department has helped narrow our options, down to one basically,” Frankenbery said Tuesday. “So where we stand is that for the first time ever, Festa will not be a large gathering of people, and so what we’re doing though to still have the event that we’re all so used to having is that we have local Frontenac restaurants who have agreed to do a ‘Taste of Festa’ event.”

Festa was originally scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3. Under the new plan, participating restaurants will have a specific meal available on a specific day during the week leading up to Oct. 3, and proceeds from sales of those meals will go to the Frontenac Education Foundation to pay for student scholarships, Frankenbery said.

“Two other components of Festa that we have each year are Mario’s Market, which is one of the big fundraising components with the silent auction component,” Frankenbery said. “That will go virtual, so that will be available virtually, online.”

The Frontenac Education Foundation will also raffle off a Polaris side-by-side UTV, he said.

“So we’ll have a Festa Italiana of a very different flavor in 2020,” Frankenbery said, “but I don’t think any of us are surprised by that scenario.”