Italian Day returns to Vancouver’s very own Little Italy, aka Commercial Drive, on Sunday, June 9. Last year, 100,000 revelers turned out to enjoy the free street party. In 2013, the Italian Day Festival Society has stepped up their game with a “Carnevale di Venezia” theme. Many attendees will be decked out ‘Venetian style’ with masks and costumes. So consider getting dressed up and adding to the spectacle.
What happens on Italian Day? Commercial Drive closes to car traffic from 4th Avenue to Parker Street. The crowds move between two main stages featuring live Italian music, folk dancing, fashion shows and more. This year, performers include includes crooner Federico Fuoco, international singer/songwriter Carmelina Cupo and Langley’s youth Ukulele Ensemble.
In addition to the events on stage, visitors can check out classic car displays, Vespa shows and Italian cooking demos, as well as participate in a contest to win a trip to Venice.
The most exciting events at Italian Day are the Italian-inspired food contests: grape stomping, pizza tossing, pasta and watermelon eating (photos after the jump). It gets loud and messy. You may even learn something.
Finally, the part you’ve been waiting for: the food. Italian Day is an eat-athon. From gelato carts to PazzaRella Pizza–Vancouver’s only food truck with a wood-fired pizza oven–and profiterole stands, you’re going to need a lot of room. Many of Commercial Drive’s well-known Italian restaurants have extended patios on Italian Day, so you can eat, put up your feet and watch the crowd surge by. Consider pre-gaming the Vancouver way with an extreme run on Saturday.
Italian Day takes place on Commercial Drive between 4th Avenue and Parker Street Sunday, June 9 from 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Follow Italian Day on Twitter to get the latest intel: @ItalianDay. For more information visit Italianday.ca
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