Las Vegas San Gennaro Feast cancelled after underage drinking vi - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Las Vegas San Gennaro Feast cancelled after underage drinking violation

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This week, the parking lot near I-215 and Durango was scheduled to be filled with people, music and Italian cuisine. (FOX5) This week, the parking lot near I-215 and Durango was scheduled to be filled with people, music and Italian cuisine. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

This week, the parking lot near I-215 and Durango was scheduled to be filled with people, music and Italian cuisine. But Clark County Commissioner Susan Brager said the San Gennaro Feast won’t be coming to that area.

“Last time (the festival’s president Anthony Palmisano) came in two weeks before the event and he had signs up and he had done everything he wasn’t supposed to do, which was very unfortunate,” Brager said. “I took pity and I’m going to use that term. I felt bad and got the commission to work with me (to approve the license).”

This time, County Commissioners said they’re done being lenient with the popular spring festival, after vendors were caught serving alcohol to minors. The county denied the festival’s president his business license required to open up this week. 

“Each year it got bigger and bigger,” Nataly Mermuys, a fan of the festival said. “I think it was a great few day event they had here.”

“(Palmisano is) not there now because we did a sting in all honestly,” Brager said. “There was underage drinking. He’s responsible for the whole event.”

That news let down many festival fans. 

“I think that might be a bit of an overreach (to take away the business license as) a response to (the violation),” Mermuys said. “Maybe they should penalize the vendor and not allow them to come back.”

Over the phone, the festival’s president Anthony Palmisano, claimed Sept.’s sting was the first incident they’ve had in the life of the festival. 

“I’m sad and so are my customers. (Holding this festival) is what we’ve done in Vegas for multiple multiple years, decades,” Palmisano said. “I don’t know how five employees that I don’t (employ) shut down this big event.”

But county officials said this isn’t their first or only issue. They said safety’s been a problem, with exits being hard to find and no ambulance on site.

Commissioner Susan Brager said there is no excuse for an alcohol violation

“Even when I opened up Wet'n'Wild with drinking, you had to have a specific place,” Brager said.  “You could only have two drinks, you had to wear a wrist band. He couldn’t think of any of those things.”

The county’s denial doesn’t affect operating outside the unincorporated areas like Henderson, North Las Vegas or the city of Las Vegas, but Palmisano said he’s tried. 

“All the locations that we’ve been at in the past are telling us no,” Palmisano said.  “I’m doing shows in other cities and when they type in my name, it comes up: 'Why’d you guys have this problem?'”

“We did not give him a bad name,” Brager said. “I will not take that as an excuse.”

It’s a hard lesson the festival’s president said he’s learned. 

“We’re willing to work with the county and police to fix it,” Palmisano said. “I’ll do anything I can to keep the Las Vegas San Gennaro festival Alive.”

He said hopes to bring the festival back to the Valley in Sept.

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