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A Day in the Life: Jessica Ferraro, Festival Supervisor

For four summers, Jessica Ferraro has worked for North Branford Parks and Recreation. This year, Ferraro is the Festival Supervisor for the Potato and Corn Festival which will be held on Aug. 5, 6 and 7.

North Branford Patch: For those who don’t know, what is the ?

Jessica Ferraro: The Potato and Corn Festival is basically the biggest community-run event in North Branford. All of the supervisors and volunteers are all North Branford residents. Without their hard work, the festival wouldn’t be possible.

North Branford Patch: Who funds the festival?

Ferraro: Every year the festival is funded by the previous year’s revenue as well as by sponsorships and donations. It’s important to know that no tax dollars are used for the festival. We are a self-sustained event.

North Branford Patch: As supervisor, what are some of your responsibilities?

Ferraro: I’m the liaison between Recreation Director Pam Gery and the committee members. I do a lot of organizing. I make sure that the appropriate information is sent to food vendors and craft vendors. I also work on advertisement publications for the festival. This year I’m also directly supervising the dog show. I’m basically the host.

North Branford Patch: Are there any new attractions at this year’s festival?

Ferraro: The Billy Joel tribute band Big Shot will being playing on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. This year we also have a competition for the . People have been sending in nominations to North Branford Patch. On Sunday, before Big Shot goes on, the winners will be crowned. We also had a recipe contest that was sponsored by Shore Publishing. The recipe winners will be judged on Saturday. We also have official Potato and Corn Festival merchandise this year—baseball caps, t-shirts, drawstring backpacks, koozies and flash drives.  

North Branford Patch: What has been the most challenging part of planning the festival?

Ferraro: Trying to see everything as a big picture. Since I haven’t been in Connecticut the past few summers, it’s tough to envision the scale of the festival. It’s also difficult working with the different sub-committees because everyone is a volunteer and sometimes there are communication barriers to work through.

North Branford Patch: What has been the most satisfying part of your job?

Ferraro: I’m hoping that seeing the festival come together will be the most satisfying part. But so far, the most satisfying part has been seeing how much the town cares about this festival.

North Branford Patch: What is a typical day in the life of the festival supervisor?

Ferraro: First I check the emails and phone calls. Then I’ll make my list for the day. Most recently I’ve been working on volunteer placement and getting assignments out to people. We usually get about 200 volunteers each year.

North Branford Patch: With the festival less than a week away, are you excited?

Ferraro: I’m super excited. Words cannot describe it. I’m not really nervous, but there are a few pieces that I’m still wondering if they will fall into place. I think more than anything I just want it to be the best that it can be.

North Branford Patch: What would you say to someone who has never been to the Potato and Corn Festival?

Ferraro: I would say, “Why not?” This is its 10th anniversary and the festival is going to be the biggest that its ever been. The entertainment is going to be excellent this year and the food is always phenomenal.

North Branford Patch: What are your plans once the festival is over?

Ferraro: Once it’s over, I’m leaving for the next two years to begin graduate school at Saint Louis University. I’ll be studying healthcare administration and I hope to one day become a chief operating officer at a hospital.

North Branford Patch: Do you think managing a festival will help you manage a hospital in the future?

Ferraro: Definitely, I think any organizational practice, regardless of the type of event, will help.

The Festival will be held this weekend at 298 Forest Rd., next to the and on Friday, , Saturday, , and Sunday, . Click the dates for hours. 

To be featured in ‘A Day in the Life’ or to suggest someone who should be profiled, send information to Jim Gangi.

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