Our goal is to preserve and celebrate Minnesota’s Italian heritage by bringing it to life with Italian food, entertainment, games, and displays on the experience of the immigrants and their descendants.
Shoreview, MN (PRWEB) July 07, 2014
Festa Italiana Minnesota will be held on August 1 to 3, 2014 at Island Lake Park on North Victoria Street in Shoreview, Minnesota. This unique, family-oriented festival celebrates the heritage of Italian immigrants and their descendants in Minnesota.
Festa Italiana offers a quality summer event that best exemplifies the history and culture of Italy and Minnesota Italians. Previous Festas were two-day events in September 2011 and 2012 and each drew 20,000 to 25,000 attendees. This year, the festival is expanded to three days and moved to mid-summer in hopes to attract 30,000 people.
Festa 2014 will build on the previous festivals by adding more photos and displays on Italian communities, and presentations by storytellers, local historians, and artists, including poet Emilio De Grazia.
The inclement weather in 2012 reduced guest attendance and Festa was at a crossroads. Edward Bova, Executive Director, said, “After a careful analysis, we decided it was in the long-term interest of Festa to hold the festival during the summer and expand to three days, as many of our vendors and visitors had suggested.”
However, there were no summertime openings on Harriet Island in 2013. “The committee made the difficult decision not to have a Festa in 2013, and turned their focus to making preparations for Festa Italiana MN 2014. It was always our plan for Festa to be an annual event,” explained John Andreozzi, President.
Festa Italiana held four successful fundraising events between May 2013 and January 2014. Since then, Festa has received even more contributions through sponsorships, monetary and in-kind donations from the Italian American Club of Minneapolis, the Italian Heritage Society, AmeriPride Linen, Total Wine, Roseville Radio, Renewal by Andersen, the Farinella family, and a number of anonymous donors.
This year’s event producer, FILO Productions, Inc., has extensive experience with local, national, and international fan festivals for clients such as MLB, NBA and the New York Rangers. FILO also recently produced the inaugural GermanFest MN at the historic Schmidt brewery in partnership with the Fort Road Federation.
Guests at this year’s Festa can participate in a number of activities, such as learning about their Italian roots from the genealogy and hometowns directories in the heritage tents, enjoying music, singing, and dancing.
They can view family history posters prepared by the descendants of early immigrants – people are invited to prepare posters which will be displayed and the best entries awarded prizes. Families can rent a sheltered area in which to gather and reminisce as they savor the Italian delicacies offered by Festa’s food vendors.
“Our goal is to preserve and celebrate Minnesota’s Italian heritage by bringing it to life with Italian food, entertainment, games, and displays on the experience of the immigrants and their descendants,” said Andreozzi. “One of the unique qualities of Festa Italiana MN is the emphasis on our history and culture, and this is demonstrated in Italian food and entertainment.”
Weekend highlights will include:
- Ribbon-cutting by Shoreview Mayor Sandy Martin, Friday, 2:30 p.m.
- Roman Catholic Mass and procession, Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
- Italian food from local restaurants such as: Dari-Ette Drive-In, Little Venetian, Nonna Rosa’s Ristorante, Grand Ole Creamery & Grand Pizza. Cuisine will include a variety of pasta and meat dishes, pizza, and gelato and cannoli desserts.
- Entertainment: Russ Loniello, Nancy Sanchelli-Guertin, Italian dancers, I Cantatori men’s chorus, Gary Larue, strolling musicians, jugglers and more.
- Shopping: Gift shops, Italian goods, artist booths, packaged foods, festival merchandise.
- Activities: Gondola rides, Wheels of Italy – Italian cars, motorcycles from Ducati Owners of Minneapolis, bocce tournaments, heritage tents, folk arts, genealogy, tourist tips, Italian language lessons, wine-making, opera.
- Film and slide presentations.
- Kids Fun: Bambini Tent with storytellers, games, Italian language lessons, bocce lessons.
The event will run 11a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, August 1, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 2 and 10 a.m. 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 3 at Island Lake Park on I-694 & N. Victoria Street, Shoreview, Minnesota. Admission and parking is free all weekend.
About Festa Italiana MN (FIM)
FIM is an all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, which uses all proceeds to fund Festa and contribute to charities. Established in 2010, Festa Italiana MN began its huge endeavor to produce a festival celebrating the vibrant culture of Italy and the fascinating story of Italian Americans in Minnesota. The central planning committee includes board members John Andreozzi – President, Edward Bova – Executive Director, Greg Pariana –Treasurer, Maria Frascone – Secretary, and Patricia Ricci, Judy Rulli, Dick Forliti, Jay King, and Jessica Dowell.
For more event details, visit http://www.FestaItalianaMN.org.