“Fall” Speed Ahead: Cianfrani Park Fall Festival

A Bella Vista recreation site will welcome autumn through a six-hour festival on Saturday.

Given that Cianfrani Park, 746 Fitzwater St., is Bella Vista’s largest park, Eugene Desyatnik esteems the space as a geographic focal point for the neighborhood. Desyatnik, president of the Bella Vista Neighbors Association (BVNA) expects a sizeable crowd at the Cianfrani Park Fall Festival, this Saturday, September 21 from 11am to 5pm.

“Events like this and our happy hours and other social events build community and bring the neighborhood together,” Desyatnik said. “They are a way for community groups to engage with neighbors, they highlight our public spaces, and they foster interaction by neighbors of all ages and backgrounds, which is what really makes our neighborhood special.”

Desyatnik hopes to top the “fun and rewarding experience” that marked last year’s festival, which he and other organizers held to celebrate the recreation destination’s 50th anniversary. This year, BVNA’s volunteer board has worked to create an occasion that will abound in music, food, children’s activities, and a flea market.

This year’s food highlights include NY Famous Halal Gyro, Flaming Basil Laotian & Thai cuisine, and Mister Softee.

The gathering will feature the sale of a commemorative T-shirt by Bella Vista-based artist Joanne Hoffman. T-shirt proceeds and other sales will go toward tree maintenance, garden and grounds upkeep, and more.

Six bands will play roughly 45-minute sets, beginning at 11:30. They include East Passyunk Crossing resident TC Cole, front man of TC Cole Riot who explains, “Last year [BVNA] reached out to my fiddle player, Tony Jeeter, and me to be a part of the festival. We had a great time participating, so we’re very excited to be back.” When the group take to the stage at 12:30 pm they will treat listeners to a playlist rooted in folk, punk and country, with “crowd-pleasing covers” complementing original tunes.

When the day is done, patrons will head home with songs in their hearts, and BVNA will have engineered a wonderful way to support the park.

“Local partnerships with all of our local parks and institutions are always very important to BVNA,” Desyatnik said. “They are an integral part of our neighborhood’s identity and vibrancy.”

Find more information about the festival on their Facebook page.