Dallas Italian Festival Adds Attractions to Sept. 13 West End Party

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Go to sleep in Dallas Friday night, wake up in Italy Saturday morning when the Dallas Italian Festival in the West End kicks off with all things Italian, from Lamborghinis to lasagna. The celebration of Italian culture, food and fun now includes a chance to win a pair of handmade Lucchese boots, Italian greyhound dogs to adopt and a convenient way to recycle old computers and consumer electronics.

The Lamborghinis and Maseratis on display will be worth the trip to the West End this Saturday; but if you crave cannolis, need a new pair of boots, want to rescue Italian greyhound dogs and dump your old computer responsibly, the West End is the only place on earth to be.

The Italian Festival in the West End, running from noon until 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, offers a broad sampling of Italian culture in dance, music, food and beverage, and a great deal more. Visitors can ogle Italian dream cars that cost more than the average home, march their pets through the West End brick streets with greyhounds up for adoption and have a chance to win a pair of $500 handmade Lucchese boots.

Italian Cowboy Boots -- Long before "spaghetti western" movies there were Italian cowboy boots. Boot maker Sam Lucchese came from Italy to the Texas in the 1800s and became an American institution. Lucchese developed boot lasts for both left and right feet, instead of taking the then-traditional approach of using a single last; wearers had to walk in them until they fit.

Wild Bill's Western Shop, a West End landmark, will give away a $500 pair of custom-fit Lucchese boots as a tribute to the Italian Festival, and will discount Lucchese boots all day the 13th. To enter the drawing, go to Wild Bill's at the corner of Ross and Market.

Pooch & Pet Parade -- Petropolitan Doggie Day Spa sponsors the festival's pooch and pet parade, benefiting Italian Greyhound Rescue of Texas and Oklahoma. It is open to all four legged family members. The $5 registration fee goes directly to Italian Greyhound Rescue. Petropolitan will provide adoption kits to all who on Saturday begin the process to adopt an Italian greyhound, and will offer doggie pizza, doggie "beer" and other treats for all pets at the festival.

Pet registration is noon - 2:30 p.m. at the corner of Market St. and Munger Ave., with start time at 3 p.m. Event hosts encourage costumes for pets and people. Prizes will be awarded for best dressed and best look-alikes. For more information on Italian greyhound rescue visit http://www.imakenews.com/igcarescue, and for pooch parade see http://www.thepetropolitandallas.com.

West End Goes Green with Axcess Technologies -- The festival also marks the beginning of the West End's "Green" campaign with its partner, Axcess Technologies, an electrics recycling firm. Axcess will have a collection point at on Ross Ave. in the Laz Parking lot next to YO Ranch Steakhouse to accept old computers, phones, printers, fax machines, copiers, scanners, monitors, cable/wire, test equipment and other related goods. For more information go to http://www.axcesstech.net. Details of the West End Green program will be announced next month.

Italian Club of Dallas President Jay Laurenzi, said his members are excited about moving the event to the West End, following its introduction in Addison last year. "The West End provides a comfortable, old world feel that will put people in mind of the great Italian festivals in New York, Boston and Chicago," he said. "This will be a lot of fun for everybody."

Italian Festival Details

  • Date -- Saturday, September 13, 2008
  • Time -- Noon - 9:00 p.m.
  • Location -- Dallas West End, extending on Market Street from the West End DART rail station to Munger
  • Official Name -- Lamborghini Dallas & Boardwalk Maserati Present Syracuse Sausage Italian Festival in the West End
  • Entertainment -- 2 stages with continuous entertainment; live music by local bands, including King Creole; traditional Italian dance and cultural entertainment, Spaghetti Warehouse spaghetti eating contest, Italian fashion show
  • Car Shows -- Lamborghini Dallas & Boardwalk Maserati Car Show Italian Car Club of the Southwest Vintage Car Show
  • Family Friendly -- Plenty of activities for kids of all ages, including bounce castles, face painters, puppeteers, crafts, Segway tours, carriage rides, and more surprises to come
  • Greyhound Rescue -- Petropolitan's Pooch & Pet Parade benefiting the Italian Greyhound Rescue (adoption center at festival)
  • Food & Beverage -- West End restaurants, along with other DFW Italian eateries, will offer ethnic and Italian favorites including sausage sandwiches, pizza, pasta, Italian ice and other Italian specialties
  • Parking -- Multiple lots on Houston (one block West of the event); several on Lamar (one street East), as well as a large and secure parking garage at the corner of Lamar and McKinney (1½ blocks northeast of the event). Valet parking is available at the corner of Market and Ross for $3.00.

About the Italian Club of Dallas

The Italian Club of Dallas is a 30-year-old cultural organization focused on the preservation and promotion of the Italian culture. ICD offers Italian language, traditional dance and Italian culinary arts lessons and is committed to participation in the community through charitable works with groups such as Special Olympics, Children's Craniofacial Association and Hunger Busters. ICD holds a variety of special events, lectures, movies and dinners that exhibit all elements of Italian culture. ICD is a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization. For more information visit http://www.itcd.org.

About Dallas West End

The Dallas West End Historic District offers visitors a window to the past with beautifully preserved and masterfully renovated historical buildings on tree-lined brick streets. Visitors -- locals and movie stars alike -- find restaurants and pubs offering steaks to sushi, live music, dance clubs, museums, authentic western wear and boot makers as well as ethnic and cultural celebrations scheduled throughout the year. For more information, please visit http://www.dallaswestend.org.


Michelle Chennault

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