Italian Day 2015 to Take Over 13 Blocks of Commercial Drive

Italian Day Vancouver 2015

Image courtesy of Ruocaled | Flickr.com

Commercial Drive knows how to host a party and it pulls out all the stops for Italian Day, when 13 blocks of The Drive–from Venables to Grandview Highway–are being taken over with Italian food, performances, art work, and lots and lots of people.

Now into its sixth year since its return in 2010, Italian Day on Commercial Drive is a vibrant street festival that celebrates everything about Italian culture and it’s happening this Sunday, June 14, 2015 from 12pm to 8pm.

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Italian Day 2015 to Take Over 13 Blocks of Commercial Drive

Inside Vancouver Neighbourhoods: Commercial Drive

Commercial Drive is home to an exciting mix of independent cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. After all, “The Drive” is arguably the most diverse and colourful neighbourhood in Vancouver. It’s also ground zero for many of Vancouver’s largest festivals, including Illuminares, the Dyke March, Italian Day, the Vancouver Poetry Festival, the Parade of Lost Souls, East Side Pride and Car-Free Day.

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Inside Vancouver Neighbourhoods: Commercial Drive

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