Carnival mixes red, white and green with red, white and blue

Carnevale Italiano to offer rides, games, food in North Brunswick


NORTH BRUNSWICK – As the Olive Garden commercials say, “When you’re here, you’re family.”

Such is the atmosphere the organizers of the Carnevale Italiano want to try to offer with their annual festival.

The Italian American Social Club of North Brunswick will present its 23rd carnival next week at the corner of Route 130 and Apple Orchard Lane 6- 11 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, July 16-18, and 5-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 19 and 20.

Featured entertainment includes singer “Jerry” Spathis at 8 p.m. Thursday. At 7 p.m. there will be a karate demonstration, and at 8 p.m. the North Brunswick Township High School singers will perform. On Friday, a fireworks show is slated for 10 p.m. On Saturday, singer Al Choice will perform at 8 p.m. On Sunday, the super 50/50 raffle drawing will be held at 9 p.m.R

ides will be pay-one-price on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday with a wristband.

New additions to the food vendors include homemade clams, scungilli and fish, along with typical carnival options and other Italian specialties.

“At the carnival, people like to get together. If you go throughout the field, you bump into people. It’s a friendly type of carnival, where people meet each other and enjoy themselves,” said Vito Puleio, president of the Italian American Club.

Puleio, who was one of the organizers of the club when it began in 1958, said visitors travel from all over to enjoy the carnival.

The first event began over 20 years ago at the North Brunswick Township High School with limited vendors and small entertainment, but the festival grows each year to include more vendors, more food and more activities to accommodate the larger crowds.

“It makes me feel good that people like to come,” Puleio said.

In addition to the carnival, the 200 men and 110 women of the social club will celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. There will be a special commemoration in October around the time of the Columbus Day parade.

There was also a picnic in June, a Mardi Gras celebration, spaghetti dinners, social events on Friday nights and bocce on Mondays.

“I’m happy people like to participate in everything we do,” Puleio said. “We have a lot of fun. It makes me happy that people are happy.”

For more information or to volunteer, contact Puleio at (732) 246-1278.