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CT Checkup: East Haven pastry shop offering carnival foods as more fairs, festivals are canceled amid pandemic

New Haven

EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A pastry shop in East Haven is giving customers a taste of summer festivals as more fairs and festivals get canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The shelves at Petonito’s Pastry and Cupcake Shoppe were once filled with cannolis, cookies, and other sweet treats. Now, they are empty. The East Haven business closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but that’s not stopping owner Regina Criscuolo from getting creative. 

“We’re trying to constantly come up with things that are innovative and will bring the community together,” she said. 

With fairs, festivals, and other events canceled due to the pandemic, she began to think of ways to keep some of that summer fun alive and came up with quite the tasty solution. 

RELATED: List of annual fairs, festivals, events canceled across CT over coronavirus concerns

“Every Friday and Saturday night we’re going to be offering carnival food, in addition to everything we still do,” she explained. 

The shop is set to reopen July 1st and these “Carnival Nights” will be held each weekend through September. 

“I think everyone needs a little fun, especially in summertime,” she said. “Kids are out of school, so just a place where the whole family can come enjoy some of that food they’re used to getting at a carnival.” 

As for what’s on the menu? 

“Fried dough pizza, funnel cakes, churros, carnival-themed cupcakes, cotton candy, popcorn,” to name a few, Criscuolo said. 

East Haven resident Irene Atkinson says, if there can be no festivals, this is the next best thing. 

“I think everybody needs a little fair brought to them,” she said. “Especially when they can’t go visit one. They need something to give them a little uplift and I think that’s perfect.” 

And Criscuolo is hoping this will bring some much-needed nostalgia to the community. 

“It’s something that you only have certain times of the year,” she explained. “You look forward to those specialty foods so we want to bring that to you.” 

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