Celebrate Italian Day on Commercial Drive Sunday, June 9

Photo credit: Italian Day

Photo credit: Italian Day

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. Continue reading:
Celebrate Italian Day on Commercial Drive Sunday, June 9

Italian Day on Commercial Drive – June 10, 2012

This weekend, Vancouver kicks off the summer season of free multicultural events—including June’s upcoming Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival and Greek Day on Broadway—with Italian Day on Commercial Drive, a full day of free fun with Italian food, fashion, entertainment, games, and Euro Cup 2012 festivities that will transform the always-happening Drive into a street fair for all ages.

Newcomers to Vancouver may be surprised to learn that Commercial Drive—today an urban hub of multiculturalism and counterculture—used to be Vancouver’s “Little Italy;” you can see evidence of that cultural history in the Drive’s large number of Italian restaurants and delis (not to mention the wide spread support for Italy during the World Cup). For 15 years, from 1977 – 1982, Italian Day was an annual tradition on the Drive, but the event went on hiatus after the crowds became too much for the original organizers to handle.

Thankfully, Italian Day made its comeback in 2010, and over 50,000 people came out to celebrate. Now, thanks to Mayor Robertson’s 2011 designation of June as Italian Heritage Month, Italian Day on Commercial Drive looks like it’s here to stay!

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Italian Day on Commercial Drive – June 10, 2012

20 Unmissable Vancouver Events in June 2012

Photo credit: Flickr user *Jer*

June escorts in the official start of summer and the packed line up of events, from concerts to street parties and festivals, reflects the city’s overwhelming urge to get out and have fun.

I’m particularly looking forward to the line-up for Italian Heritage Month, including the EuroCup Breakfast and Commercial’s Italian Day on the Drive – one of the largest community events of the year dedicated to celebrating la dolce vita with food, music, entertainment and more.

But the street parties don’t stop there. Expect mass community participation and entertainment during Car Free Days, Velopalooza bike fest and Make Music Vancouver – a remarkable, free concert where 200 musicians take to the historic Gastown and Yaletown streets.

The annual Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival (pictured above) puts Vancouver on the world map with its longstanding tradition of vibrant multicultural heritage and, of course, vigorous boat racing. Venus makes a rare trek across the heavens this month. Get out and watch; the next opportunity is 100 years away. Oh and Bryan Adams is bringing his old school, sexy-scratchy vocals to town.

Details after the jump. Continue reading:
20 Unmissable Vancouver Events in June 2012

Celebrate Italian Heritage Month June 2012

photo: robertsharp/flickr

The Italian Cultural Centre (ICC) is excited to release the calendar of events for
June 2012 – proclaimed Italian Heritage Month by the City of Vancouver and the Province of BC. The month features fabulous entertainment, delicious food, children’s activities and “Festa Italiana” (a market festival) on June 24th. Get ready to enjoy all things Italian!

This year the Italian Cultural Centre proudly welcomes a hit on the Tonight Show, Mike Marino (from the “An Italian for President” YouTube sensation) for his first Vancouver performance.

The ICC is celebrating the best of Italian culture throughout the month with different types of events–there truly is something for everyone of all ages and appetites! Experience theatre, historical documentaries and debate, delicious food and wine, musical and dance performances, exhibits and a Festa Italiana with entertainment, activities and of course, more food!

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Celebrate Italian Heritage Month June 2012

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