COLLINSVILLE — Springing back from a slow Friday, Italian Fest's crowds grew back to their usual crazy size on Saturday afternoon.
Longtime vendors mused that the fest has grown steadily each year, with three blocks of Main Street serving traditional Italian fare as the well-attended parade led visitors back to Main Street.
"This year business was down a little on Friday -- there was a little rain and I guess it scared them off," said Mark Lanaford, president of the Collinsville VFW Men's Auxiliary.
But Scott Burns, junior vice post commander of Post 5691, said that Saturday has picked right up -- the VFW's Italian-meatball stand has had plenty of customers, he said.
It's been more than 25 years of Collinsville's annual tradition, where visitors can hear local bands while they sample spedini, spumoni, cannoli, lasagna, Italian beef, bagna cauda and other Italian delicacies along with the usual festival fare of funnel cake and corn dogs.
Everyone from the Knights of Columbus to the Collinsville Area Recreation District to Collinsville High School's marching band had a booth out on the street.
And there had been very few incidents as of late Saturday, according to Collinsville Police Lt. Eric Zaber. There was one arrest for drunk and disorderly conduct on Friday night.
Zaber said once the festival started shutting down the beer tents at 9:30 p.m., it has helped cut down on rowdy behavior. The only real problem they continue to deal with is unsupervised juveniles, he said.
Italian Fest concluded Saturday evening. Final crowd estimates were not immediately available.
Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at email@example.com or 239-2501.