The whole world is in Old Bridge’s hands


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Staff Writer

OLD BRIDGE — The inaugural WorldFest is set to celebrate the rich diversity and culture of a township that spans 42 miles with a population of more than 65,000 people.

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A partnership between the Old Bridge Township Cultural Arts Committee and the Old Bridge School District, the celebration will be held this weekend, Oct. 14-16.

WorldFest was born from a conversation between Schools Superintendent David Cittadino and Rosemarie Rivoli, co-chair of the Township Cultural Arts Committee. During a monthly Business Alliance meeting, they shared fond memories of growing up and attending various ethnic food and fun festivals hosted in the tri-state area.

“I recalled the pride of attending these festivals of culture, food and the arts,” Cittadino said. “We agreed that Old Bridge is rich with diversity that begs to be celebrated with a festival recognizing the cultural contributions each ethnicity brings to Old Bridge.”

Cittadino said with so much divisiveness in the world, the Old Bridge community is a model for tolerance and compassion.

“Additionally, there is nothing more sacred than family time,” he said. “WorldFest will be a venue for families to come together to eat, learn and have fun on spectacular rides, listening to music and playing games of chance.”

Mayor Owen Henry said he is pleased that Old Bridge Township has joined forces with the Old Bridge Public Schools and Administration to offer a fun-filled weekend of entertainment, rides and food for everyone to enjoy.

“Worldfest is a great opportunity to appreciate and bring together all the diverse cultures and families in our Township,” he said.

WorldFest will feature a “Voci Del Mundo” (Voices of the World) singing contest sponsored in part by the Cultural Arts Committee and D.R.E.A.M.S Media Group, Old Bridge.

The contest is split up into two age groups — from age 14-20 and 21 years old and older. The finalists will sing on the main stage at 3:30 p.m., Oct. 15. Two winners will be selected by audience votes through an app that will be set up. The winners will be announced at 4:30 p.m., Oct. 16 and win a recording session with D.R.E.A.M.S Media Group.

The event will also feature a reenactment of an Indian wedding, dancers, performances, singing and outfits from different countries.

Rivoli said there will be various craft and food vendors offering different dishes, from Hungarian and Mexican to Asian barbecue and all time American favorites.

Azzinaro’s Pizzeria in Old Bridge is the host to a pasta-eating contest at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 15.

“Come cheer on these contestants as they eat their way through pounds of spaghetti,” said Rivoli.

Around 2 p.m. on Oct. 15, Eric Levine, winner of the Food Network hit show “Chopped,” will be filming a live segment of a cooking show, which is a collaboration between Henry’s Wellness program and Raritan Bay Medical Center.

All proceeds will benefit the students of Old Bridge schools. School Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) will earn funds through volunteering during the event, and the Special Education PTA (SEPTA) will benefit from the proceeds raised at the tricky tray tent.

The 50/50 proceeds will benefit student cultural arts scholarships. Any other funds raised will be used to support student learning programs across all grade levels.

Admission to the WorldFest is free and will be held rain or shine from 5-10 p.m. Oct. 14, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Oct. 15 and from 12-6 p.m. Oct. 16.

For a schedule of events, visit or email

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