ROTTERDAM — Summer in Schenectady County can be remembered by the smell of fried eggplant and sounds of live music playing through church parking lots. Three church festa occur throughout the season, celebrating their namesake saints.
The Our Lady Queen of Peace festival in Rotterdam will take place this Friday through Sunday. The event runs 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, then 3 to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
Festa wouldn’t be festa without the food. For the Princetown Road parish, it’s a monthslong affair from preparation to celebration. The event’s co-chair Joe Amoroso manages the food prep, which can begin as early as May.
“I’m involved in a lot of the food preparation. So, I kind of manage the kitchen part of things. I make all the sauce, not just me alone, our team makes it,” Amoroso said. “We don’t use any pre-made products. Everything is made from scratch.”
The whole family will be entertained, kids can play games or hit carnival rides and parents can enjoy live, local music. This year’s performers are the New York Players on Friday, Jukebox Rebellion on Saturday, and perennial Festa favorite Grand Central Station on Sunday. Performances begin at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 6 p.m. on Sunday. Pat DeCisare and the Dino Cimino Tribute Band will also perform each night in the church gym.
“Grand Central Station are parishioners at our church,” event co-chair Dino Viscusi said. “They’ve been with us every Sunday since we’ve been back.”
The festive event also serves as a church fundraiser. All proceeds generated from the event are donated to the church after costs are covered.
“It’s a community event,” Viscusi said. “In a lot of ways, there’s three generations of people side-by-side working to put on this event.”