Festa Italiana celebrates 35 years!
Festa Italiana celebrates 35 years at the Lakefront this year, running Thursday, July 19-Sunday, July 22 at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park.
"I have been involved in the coordination of Festa for the last 25 years, so I am 'invested' in it emotionally," says Italian Community Center president Dave Spano.
"It has always been an opportunity to get together with all of the family, other than weddings and funerals. That also holds true for the community. This is something that is at the core of the ICC both financially, and more importantly a celebration of Italian culture capped by the Mass on Sunday."
Returning favorites include Dick Contino, The Bronx Wanders, Tony Spavone, Frank Tenaglia, Christopher Macchio, John Ciotta and the Russo Brothers.
Also among the performers are Phil Vassar, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Sam Llanas, Ides of March, Louis Prima, Jr., and popera singers Michéal Castaldo, from Canada, and Australia's Alfio. Tenors Aaron Caruso and Matt Morgan and locals Doo-Wop Daddies, Tom Sorce and dance troupe Tradizione Vivente also perform.
You can also check out escape artist Mario Manzini and "Cooking with Nonna" star Rossella Rago, who appears at the Cucina stage.
Kids will love playing bocce, romping in the play area, watching the Sunday procession after the Mass and checking out the LEGO piazza.
With so much going on, we asked Spano what he anticipates most at Festa.
"The abbondanza (fireworks) in the sky Friday night, the new music on the grounds," he says.
"The grounds entertainment is as strong as ever."
Admission to Festa Italiana is $13. Children 12 and under are admitted free for all four days when accompanied by an adult. Festa Italiana is offering free admission for everyone aged 35, between 3 and 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday.
Visit the Festa website for admission specials and deals, complete entertainment schedules, information on food vendors and more.
Festa is open Thursday, 5 p.m.-midnight, Friday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m. until midnight.
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