Two Communities Celebrate WestFest

The city of West Haven, in conjunction with the University of New Haven, hosted its annual celebration WestFest on Saturday, Sept. 8 on the town green. The festival, which ran from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., was a chance for both communities to get together for a day of fun, games, and food.

WestFest attracts organizations from around campus and independent businesses. Places such as  Casa Bianca Pizza and the First Congregational Church served food, while others sold antiques, knick knacks, and fresh produce. Campus Greek life also came out to show support for WestFest and spread awareness of the philanthropies they support.

WestFest included a 5K Unity Run, inflatables, live music from the university and West Haven communities, face painting, and a dunk tank where people could dunk  members of the university’s Undergraduate Student Government Association’s (USGA) executive board and West Haven public officials.

“I’m having a really great time,” said one attendee named Stacey “WestFest is always a lot of fun.”

Though the event was sponsored by several different businesses in the community (including Casa Bianca Pizza, Wells Fargo, Notre Dame High School and others), the university’s Mayor’s Advisory Commission coordinated the event. Driven by student involvement in the committee, its purpose is to develop a stronger relationship between the university and West Haven communities. The commission also collects data from both communities to help West Haven’s city officials when it comes to city planning and decision making.

“Planning WestFest has probably been the most demanding but also most rewarding experience of my college career,” said Marcin Stankevitch, WestFest chair.

In addition to entertainment and creating a sense of community between West Haven and the university, WestFe

st was also a time for people to give back. In fliers and ads for the event, people were asked to bring non-perishable food items to donate to Watson Inc. and the West Haven Emergency Assistance Task Force (WHEAT) who were running a food drive for those in need.

“Overall, WestFest is a great way for everyone to learn about the community around them,” said Stankevitch.