It’s not just the food and music that draw people to Festa Italiana every year.
“It’s a chance to see old friends, make new friends and at the same time enjoy the music and the food,” said Benny Melchrre, one of the festival’s organizers.
This Sunday and Monday the Italian Society of Port Arthur will host the 22nd annual Festa Italiana at the Italian Cultural Centre on Algoma Street.
It’s an event the public has embraced since day one, said Melchrre.
“It’s a celebration of cultural tradition and of course the food and entertainment,” he said. “It is getting better and better every year.”
Last year about 20,000 people attended the festival and Melchrre said they hope to surpass that number this weekend.
This year there will be draws for a trip for two to Italy and a Mediterranean cruise.
Part of the proceeds from this weekend’s Festa will go to the Thunder Bay flood relief fund.
Melchrre said the festival is a lot of work to prepare for, but since they’ve been doing it for so many years, they have their routine perfected.
And they’ll also be starting to prepare for next year’s Festa as soon as this one wraps up.
The stage entertainment set for this weekend include Le Stelle Alpine Dancers, the Alpini Choir, John Scaffeo and Friends and Ti Amo as well as Toronto’s Paul London.
The event kicks off both Sunday and Monday at noon and closes at 11 p.m. with a fireworks show.
Admission is free.
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