THUNDER BAY -- A visit to the city’s Festa Italiana might literally send you packing to Italy.
The 24th annual Festa Italiana, hosted by the Italian Society of Port Arthur and other cultural groups at the Italian Cultural Centre grounds, will feature a draw for a trip for two to Italy. Other draw prizes include a $750 cash prize and a pair of gold earrings.
“All the prizes have been donated, so all the sales go to the cultural society,” said society president Benny Melchiorre.
In its 24 years, the festival has become a major family event. The Festa Italiana is a chance for the Italian community to share its culture, traditions and food with the rest of Thunder Bay.
“We would like to pass (the culture on) to the next generation of Canadian Italians,” said Melchiorre. “Since the first year, we had a very good response from the whole community.
“We started with 4,000 people the first couple of years and now we are up to between 20 and 25,000 people between the two days.”
This year’s stage entertainment includes the Strada Mix Band from Toronto, along with the Le Stelle Alpine Dancers, the Alpini Choir, John Schaffeo and Friends, Catherine Iorianni, Shayne Stoltz, Ti Amo and Clint Harris. There will also be fireworks at 11 p.m. on both days.
The festival will take place on the Italian Cultural Society grounds at 132 S. Algoma St. and admission is free.
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