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Watertown’s Mount Carmel Feast kicks off Friday at new pavilion

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Frank A. Gorri is all set to sell about 1,000 pounds of Italian sausage in his new surroundings at this weekend’s Mount Carmel Feast.

After a fire destroyed the old structure almost a year ago, Mr. Gorri will be in charge of the Italian sausage booth in a new pavilion at St. Anthony’s Church when the summer tradition opens Friday night for the 105th festival.

Fortunately, the fire happened about a month after last year’s festival or organizers would have had to punt and come up with an alternative plan for this weekend’s annual three-day festival.

And Mr. Gorri had doubts that the new pavilion would be ready for the celebration.

After months of design work, construction began in April to replace the 43-year-old structure on the same footprint as the old one. But the $425,000 project went through “some curve balls” along the way, Mr. Gorri said.

The drainage system had to be changed and the original concrete slab had to be torn up, which increased the building’s costs.

But somehow the new building got done for Friday.

“It must have been divine intervention,” Mr. Gorri said.

Just three days into summer, the building will make its debut for the public.

In the pavilion on Wednesday, committee members T.G. Kolb and Peter Souch worked out some last-minute details, standing in front of the counter where throngs of festival-goers will order their Italian sausage from Friday to Sunday.

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