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Festa lineup mixes new acts with returning favorites

May 11, 2018 | Media Coverage | Permalink

 

OnMilwaukee.com’s Bobby Tanzilo highlights the 2018 Festa Italiana entertainment line-up!

 

Festa Italiana Celebrates its Italian Roots with Spettacolare 2018 Entertainment Lineup

May 7, 2018 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Headliners include Tony Award-winner Anthony Crivello, Louis Vanaria, the Sicilian Tenors, Cory Pesaturo, Tre Bella and the return of George Busateri’s Spider George and the Web
 

 

MILWAUKEE – May 7, 2018 – Festa Italiana is embracing its Italian heritage by welcoming a full line-up of completely Italian and Italian American acts to this year’s 2018 festival, taking place Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22 at Henry W. Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds). Drawing on the founding goals of the festival, Festa Italiana will celebrate its deep Italian roots to bring festivalgoers a truly unique Italian experience this July. Acts like Milwaukee native and Broadway star Anthony Crivello, actor and singer Louis Vanaria, World Acoustic Accordion Champion Cory Pesaturo, The Sicilian Tenors, Moreno Fruzzetti and FLEMT from Senigallia, Italy are sure to showcase the true Italian culture that helped Festa Italiana grow into the largest Italian event of its kind in America today.

 

 

“Our goal this year is to bring the party back to Festa. Having listened to generous feedback and requests from seasoned festivalgoers and the rest of the public, we decided to bring back many festival favorites from years past, as well as introduce entirely new acts, such as FLEMT from Italy,” said Dean Cannestra, Italian Community Center president and chairman of Festa Italiana. “The highly anticipated return of George Busateri’s Spider George and the Web, along with many other popular acts, is sure to have festivalgoers on their feet and clapping along with the rest of the Italian community. Festivalgoers young and old, seasoned and new, will find musical and comedic entertainment that is nothing short of “fantastico” at this year’s festival!”

 

Attendees can rock out with Italian rock band FLEMT, or experience the electric performance of Cory Pesaturo, the world record-holding Italian accordion player. Comedians Vince Carone and Carmen Vallone are also new to this year’s festival line-up, offering light-hearted humor throughout the entire weekend. Festivalgoers can take in the beautiful sounds of Anthony Crivillo and Moreno Fruzzetti, while partying all night long with George Busateri’s Spider George and the Web. Also returning are the beloved Flagthrowers, who are sure to please crowds with this magnificent, ancient tradition. And, don’t forget Festa Italiana’s loudest Italian fireworks will go off every night around 10:15 P.M.!

 

“Our first Festas on the Summerfest grounds were a showcase of Italian and Italian American talent, so we are excited to bring back the Italian music that festivalgoers enjoy. Attendees will see some familiar and well-known names from past Festas, as well as new performers and comedians,” said George Busateri, entertainment director of Festa Italiana. “It is an honor to share the Festa stage with so many amazing artists and bands, and I can’t wait to celebrate the Italian history and community all weekend long!”

 

 

Festa Italiana’s 2018 entertainment headliners include:

 

Anthony Crivello: Festa is thrilled to once again host Milwaukee native and Tony Award winner Anthony Crivello throughout the entire weekend of Festa Italiana! Crivello is an award-winning actor, singer and performer, having starred on Broadway in regional productions such as Golden Boy, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Evita, and Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular. He has written, produced and directed for theater, television, film and music. Crivello’s feature films and television series include Trade, Material Girls, Texas Rangers, Independence Day, Feud: Bette and Joan, One Life To Live, Another World, Guiding Light and The Bold and The Beautiful. He is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio in New York City and Los Angeles. Don’t miss this powerful Festa Italiana headliner perform Broadway hits from some of the most treasured musicals of our time!

 

George Busateri’s Spider George and the Web: Festa Italiana is thrilled to announce that this year’s festival marks the return of one of the most recognized names in live entertainment in the Midwest. Not only has George Busateri taken the reins as Entertainment Director for the entire festival, but he will also perform with his band, Spider George & the Web! After a 12-year absence, Spider George & The Web will return to the entertainment lineup and will perform each night of the three-day festival.

 

Louis Vanaria: Many may recognize this long-standing Italian actor from “Law & Order” and “A Bronx Tale,” among other TV shows, and he is coming to Festa this July to perform Italian classics and new songs from his recent album! Louis Vanaria is a true “Bronx Tale” himself, born in the Bronx neighborhood of New York. With a desire to be a singer/songwriter, after hearing about an “open call” audition for the upcoming Robert DeNiro directorial debut film entitled “A Bronx Tale,” Vanaria landed the feature role. Forty-three shows later, Vanaria returned to his first love, singing, and continued to sing in many upscale restaurants, as well as appearing in “Foxwood” with Jay Leno and Connie Francis. Vanaria will record his first album later this year. Just as the late Frank Sinatra called Tony Bennett the greatest singer of all time, Bennett, on “Regis” referenced Louis as “dynamite.”

 

The Sicilian Tenors Featuring Aaron Caruso, Elio Scaccio and Sam Vitale: The Sicilian Tenors bring together three marvelous Tenor voices, each singing their own interpretation of the world’s best music in a recital format! Aaron Caruso, Elio Scaccio and Sam Vitale will again “wow” Festa audiences with a romantic journey from Hollywood to Broadway to Italy. Combined with light-hearted fun, this is a concert for all ages to enjoy!

 

Tre Bella: Many festivalgoers will be excited for the return of Tre Bella to this year’s festival! Tre Bella is an internationally-renowned trio consisting of JoAnn Robertozzi, Lorraine Ferro and Rosie De Sanctis. This one-of-a-kind act was born on the stage of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in Hollywood, showcasing their incomparable vocal harmonies and stage chemistry. Tre Bella has performed on many national televised morning and hit shows, including NBC’s “The Voice.”

 

Cory Pesaturo: Festa is honored to welcome back World Digital Accordion Champion and World Acoustic Accordion Champion Cory Pesaturo (“C Pez”) to this year’s festival. Pesaturo is one the foremost accordion players in the world, pushing the boundaries on multiple fronts of what is possible with the accordion. As the first musician to ever graduate with a degree in accordion studies from the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA, Pesaturo’s main contribution is his visionary use of the accordion played and presented in the modern music world. Longtime Festa performer and accordion legend Dick Contino said when Cory was only 15 “Of all the accordionists I’ve seen over the years, Cory is the one to pass the torch to, the only one who has all the tools to bring the accordion back to its former glory.”

 

FLEMT: For the first time ever, Festa Italiana will welcome FLEMT, a rock band from Senigallia, Italy. Co-founded by Alessandro “Frank” Lapini and Michele Trillini in 2006, the duo came together in 2011 when they and drummer Diego Romagnoli competed together for the opportunity to open for Bon Jovi. FLEMT won the contest and opened in front of 40,000 fans. In 2013, FLEMT released its first album, “The Time Has Come,” in Italy. Three years later, FLEMT debuted its music in the U.S. rock scene, drawing on their success in Italy. FLEMT continues to write new music as the band concludes a U.S. tour with performances along the east coast.

 

Moreno Fruzzetti: A longtime Festa favorite is returning in 2018! Moreno Fruzzetti will once again amaze festivalgoers with his beautiful voice. Fruzzetti, a native of Pisa, Italy, has been capturing the ears and hearts of fans worldwide for over 30 years with a combination of his powerful tenor sound, captivating onstage presence, and a variety of operatic arias, pop music and American classics.

 

Rat Pack Reprise: Step back in time with the ultimate trio of cool, The Ratpack Reprise. Led by Joe Scalissi, an internationally recognized entertainer best known for his tribute to Dean Martin, this trio of impersonators captures the spirits of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra. The trio has performed at numerous events across the United States.

 

Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms: Get ready for a feast of Italian/American musical tributes, from the swing sounds of Louie Prima, smooth vocals of Dean Martin, the harmonies of the Jersey Boys to the current pop sounds of Italian Rock! Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms is a huge hit at Italian festivals and concerts in the United States and Italy! They promise to keep Festa fans – young and old – dancing in real Italian style!

 

Rick D’Amore: After performing for the first 28 years of Festa Italiana, Rick D’Amore is returning this year for all three nights! His show includes vintage rock, standards, and a sprinkling of Italian favorites. Rick’s band is made up of his sons, Philip on drums and Peter on guitar, along with Rob Chalifaux on bass and Mike “Guido” Sturino on keyboard. From Frank Sinatra, to Neil Diamond, to Elvis Presley, Rick’s show will deliver an exciting performance for Festa-goers!

 

Swing Explosion: As the Midwest’s premier big band, Swing Explosion can do it all! Comprised of the finest musicians from southeastern Wisconsin and the incomparable Pete Sorce, Swing Explosion adds an air of excitement, prestige and sophistication to any occasion. Although a big band, Swing Explosion excels at all styles of music. Led by one of the country’s finest arrangers – Jeff La Barge – Swing Explosion pays tribute to a myriad of musicians like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Brian Setzer, Barry Manilow, Lionel Ritchie and more.

 

Tom Sorce Band with Sandra Mandella: The Tom Sorce Band will once again return to Festa and be joined by vocalist Sandra Mandella, Tom Sorce, Tom Sorce II, Mike Miller and Jeff Stoll. The local group has been performing together for over 40 years, playing at a variety of events like Festa Italiana, the Italian Community Center, the Wisconsin State Fair and several church festivals.

 

Vince Carone: Vince Carone has been performing since 2001 and is no stranger to the comedy scene. Represented by Bonkerz entertainment, he has become known for his fast-talking, quick-witted, over-the-top rants, combined with a dominating stage presence. His ability to rattle off more material in one show than most could do in a weekend is what keeps the crowd engaged during his verbal onslaught. Carone refuses to relent until he steps off the stage. Based out of Chicago, Carone has described himself growing up as an outside-of-the box, quasi-jock, class clown who never quite fit in. At 17-years-old, Carone knew his passion was in stand-up comedy, a place where being unique would find success. With three albums to his name, Carone continues to deliver a must-see performance on the comedy circuit.

 

Carmen Vallone: In his 12 years of comedy, Carmen Vallone has travelled to and performed on many stages throughout the United States and has been a contestant on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” CBS’s “Comedy Night School” and Jamie Kennedy’s film, “Heckler.” With his enthusiastic smile and happily twisted vision of everyday life, Vallone guides the audience through a night of entertainment as he talks about being from Upstate New York, living in Florida, and what life is like on the road. Never one to attack the audience, Carmen makes you feel right at home, and you’ll never be scared to sit in the front row. As a well-known, hilarious stand-up comedian, Vallone is also the host and producer of A Joke Off ! ! !™, a nationally touring comedy competition currently in development for national television.

 

A full Festa Italiana entertainment schedule is available at: www.festaitaliana.com.

 

Festa Italiana takes place Friday, July 20 – Sunday, July 22, at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront. Festivalgoers can take in all entertainment acts for the value price of only $10.00 for advance sale tickets now through July 19. Tickets are $13.00 after July 19 and at the gate.

 

*Editor’s Note: For interview requests or photographs, please contact Julia Ostlund at (414) 635-2725 or julia@reputationpartners.com.

 

About Festa Italiana
The 41st annual Festa Italiana takes place at Henry W. Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds) on Milwaukee’s lakefront Friday, July 20, to Sunday, July 22. Festa Italiana is the largest Italian event of its kind in America today. The Festival began over 40 years ago for the purpose of reuniting an Italian community torn apart by urban renewal projects and was the first ethnic festival in Milwaukee on the Summerfest grounds. Today, several ethic festivals are celebrated on Milwaukee’s lakefront and the city is now widely known as the City of Festivals. Through the dedication of more than 2,000 volunteers, the annual Festa Italiana has become a favorite family event to Milwaukee and surrounding areas. For more information on the festival, please visit www.FestaItaliana.com or call 414-223-2808.

 

Advance tickets for Festa Italiana are on sale now online. Purchase your advance online ticket for $10 through July 19 at http://www.festaitaliana.com. For ticket questions, please call 414-223-2808.

 

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Twitter: @FestaMKE
Facebook: www.facebook.com/festaitalianamilwaukee

Festa Italiana Celebrates Another Year of Italian Culture with $7 for 7 Days Spring Ticket Deal Starting April 16

April 12, 2018 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Join the Italian Community’s 41-year tradition of food, family and festivities July 20-22, 2018

 

MILWAUKEE – April 12, 2018 – Festa Italiana is once again thrilled to announce the return of its spring ticket deal and encourages festivalgoers to purchase their discounted tickets to Italian food, entertainment and fun April 16-22, 2018. The popular $7 for 7 Days Spring Fever Ticket Deal is available online only at http://festaitaliana.com/tickets.

 

Running for seven days during April, May and June, attendees can take advantage of the Spring Fever Deal April 16-22, May 14-20 and June 18-24. Advance $10 online tickets are also now on sale through July 19, 2018. General admission is $13 at the gate and children ages 12 and under are admitted free all three days when accompanied by an adult.

 

“For over forty years Festa Italiana has shared Italian food and culture with family and friends, and we are very excited to continue celebrating this great Italian tradition,” said Dean Cannestra, Italian Community Center president and chairman of Festa Italiana. “We will announce a spectacular line-up of Italian entertainment in the next few weeks, including Milwaukee native Anthony Crivello and the return of Spider George and the Web, as well as unveil new food options on the grounds for festivalgoers to enjoy. As we head into the busy summer festival season, we encourage everyone to take advantage of our special promotions.”

 

Food. Family. Tradizione.

In its 41st year, Festa will carry on time-honored traditions including the celebration of Sunday Mass and Procession, cultural exhibits, bocce courts and games, a free carnival, gondolas, photos of the old Third Ward and Italians in Milwaukee, as well as delicious food and entertainment true to the Italian culture including flagthrowers, opera, dance, song and fireworks every night!

 

More news and information on this year’s Festa Italiana will be announced in the coming months.

 

Advance tickets for Festa Italiana are on sale now online. Purchase your advance online ticket for $10 through July 19 at www.festaitaliana.com. For ticket questions, please call 414-223-2808.

 

Follow Us on Social Media

Twitter: @FestaMKE   

Facebook: www.facebook.com/festaitalianamilwaukee

Festa Italiana brings wine, song, food and culture to lakefront

July 20, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel coverage of this year’s Festa Italiana highlights

Festa Italiana Offers Restaurant Tuesday Promotion July 18 at Participating Festa Restaurants

July 14, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Diners get free admission to Festa if they dine at a participating food vendor restaurants on Tuesday, July 18; Mangia!

MILWAUKEE – July 14, 2017 – Aside from actually eating in Italy, Festa Italiana is the next best thing.  Festa Italiana, presented by Calypso Lemonades, is offering festa-goers a chance to preview all their favorite Italian food items by visiting participating Festa food vendor restaurants on Tuesday, July 18.  Those that dine at participating restaurants July 18 will get a free admission into Festa, taking place July 21-23 on Milwaukee’s lakefront, while supplies last.

 

Participating restaurants for the July 18 “Restaurant Tuesday” promotion, include:

 

“Nothing makes people feel like they’re in Italy more than great Italian food. That’s why, this year, we created Restaurant Tuesday, which offers Milwaukeeans a chance to try some of this year’s Festa food vendors prior to the festival and earn a free ticket to Festa in the process,” said Dean Cannestra, Italian Community Center president and co-chairman of Festa Italiana.

A complete list of Festa food vendors and menus can be found by visiting: http://festaitaliana.com/fooddrink/menus/

 

40th Anniversary Entertainment

Beyond food, the 40th anniversary of Festa Italiana will feature a plethora of great Italian and classic entertainment. This year’s musical headliners will include hometown favorite, BoDeans, 90’s alternative band, Gin Blossoms, “The Voice” 2012 finalist, Nicholas David, and “America’s Got Talent” Season 11 finalist, Sal Valentinetti. Direct from Italy, the Flag-Throwers from Florence will also be returning to Festa 2017 with a colorful show that brings history to life! Also back this year is one of Festa’s most popular features – the Italian Idol competition, an amateur singing contest featuring all genres of music. Other popular Italian acts to look forward to include Russo Brothers, Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms, The Sicilian Tenors, Anna Calemme, Tony Spavone and The Florentine Opera.

 

Festa organizers just recently announced a Dick Contino Tribute Show Sunday, July 23 at 6 P.M. featuring Contino’s son, Pete, his daughter, Deidre, and three-time world champion accordionist and Contino protégé, Cory Pescaturo.  The show will also include tributes from Russo Brothers and Ray Massa.

 

For more information about all Festa entertainment acts, please visit: http://festaitaliana.com/entertainment/.

In Honor of 40 years, Festa Italiana to Offer One Day, $4 Ticket Sale Monday, July 17

July 10, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Festa Italiana brings Italy to Milwaukee’s lakefront featuring Italian flag-throwers, food, culture, entertainment, attractions and Bartolotta fireworks every night!

 

MILWAUKEE – July 10, 2017 – Festa Italiana, presented by Calypso Lemonades, today announced, in honor of its 40th anniversary, they will be offering a one day, $4 ticket promotion on Monday, July 17. The $4 tickets can be purchased online at http://www.festaitaliana.com starting at 12:00 A.M. Monday, July 17.

 

Festa is celebrating forty years of food, family and tradition at this year’s festival taking place July 21-23 on Milwaukee’s lakefront. In those 40 years, the festival has grown into the largest Italian event of its kind in America today. Originating as a way to bring together an Italian community torn apart by urban renewal projects, Festa was the first ethnic festival to take place in Henry Maier Festival Park. Festa was a “coming home” party for many Italians and served as a chance to share the best of the Italian culture with the community.

 

Music Headliners

  • BoDeans (Friday, July 21 – 9 p.m.): Formed in Waukesha, Wisconsin, BoDeans today are known as one of the best live acts in the business as the band continues to tour year-round and deliver amazing, high energy performances. As a small contingent of bands that inspired a new radio format known as Adult Alternative, Album Rock-Triple A, their reputation for delivering a dynamic live show garnered support slots with U2/Joshua Tree Tour, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, George Thorogood, The Pretenders, David Bowie, and appearances at Farm Aid, Summerfest, and ACL, among others.

 

  • Gin Blossoms (Saturday, July 22 – 9 p.m.): Festa Italiana welcomes the Gin Blossoms Saturday, July 22! Sing along to favorite hits including “Hey Jealousy,” “Allison Road,” “Until I Fall Away,” “Mrs. Rita,” and “Til I Hear It From You!” Gin Blossoms’ fusion of Pop, Melodic Rock, Folk and Country elements that took the airwaves by siege, making the band an MTV playlist hostage for almost a decade and the group a natural 90’s mainstay. From their breakout album through today, Robin, Jesse, Bill and Scotty have sold over 10 million records and are one of the most in demand 90’s live artists who began at the end of the grunge era. In February 2017, the band went back in the studio recording a new album in time for release this Summer. Fans will get a taste of the new album as it works its way into their live set beginning this April.

 

  • Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti (Saturday, July 22 – 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 23 – 8:30 p.m.): Season 11 of the NBC hit show “America’s Got Talent” was taken by storm by Sal Valentinetti. This year at Festa, Sal looks to continue that momentum. The 20-year-old College Student that delivered Pizza for his cousin’s Italian restaurant was now in the spot light. Belting out the classic Frank Sinatra hit “My Way,” Sal not only received a standing ovation but got the coveted “Golden Buzzer” from judge Heidi Klum, who he later performed a duo with singing “Santa Baby”. Although Sal did not win the overall competition, he rose to stardom and his professional music career was launched. The Italian American crooner is know best known for his flawless vocals, larger than life personality and heart of gold.

 

  • Dick Contino Tribute Concert (Sunday, July 23 – 6 p.m.): Festa will present a memorial salute to famed accordionist Dick Contino on Sunday, July 23 at 6 PM.  Contino performed at Festa 34 times in its 40-year history.  Participants in the special tribute show include Contino’s son, Pete, his daughter, Deidre, three-time World Champion accordionist and Contino protégé Cory Pescaturo, Russo Brothers and Ray Massa, among others.

 

  • Other Exciting Acts Include: Dog N’ Butterfly – the Ultimate Tribute Band, Violin Femmes starting Bella Electric Strings, Tre Principesse, Russo Brothers, Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms, The Sicilian Tenors, Anna Calemme, Tony Spavone and the Florentine Opera! Also, members of the UW Marching Band will perform a 5th Quarter Performance for Festa-goers on Saturday and Sunday!

 

Festa 2017 Highlights:

  • Back by popular demand are the Flag-Throwers of the Florentine!  (Sbanderatori dei Borghi e Sestieri Fiorentini).  The dynamic group of 16 will entertain audiences with a colorful show of choral exercises, music and flags symbolic of a historic Italian victory celebration!  Festa Italiana attendees can watch the Flag-Throwers of the Florentine perform throughout the Festa grounds, in the opening ceremony and weekend parades, during Sunday’s mass and procession, as well as in the sports court.  For a full schedule of performances visit: http://festaitaliana.com/entertainment/flag-throwers/

 

  • To celebrate 40 years of history, the Italian Heritage Photo and Pompeii Church Exhibit will return, sharing photos of hundreds of Milwaukee’s early Italian families. This year the exhibit will include several of the original religious murals that were hung in the original Our Lady of Pompeii Church.  The church was torn down in 1967 and longtime Italian Community Center member, Mario Carini, rescued the murals and donated them to the Milwaukee County Historical Society.

 

  • Festa will be hosting the Vince Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer Saturday, July 22. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m.  Runners and walkers receive free admission into Festa and guest passes are available for $5 from 7:30 a.m. – Noon.  Visit LombardiWalk.org to register today!

 

  • Tour the sights at Festa Italiana! Take your photo in front of the famous Trevi Fountain “La Fontana di Trevi.” Marvel at Festa’s replica of the famous Coliseum Display – the iconic symbol of imperial Rome, take a trip to the Marco Venetian Tower Display – representing the bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica located in the Piazza San Marco in Venice’s principal public square, and get a picture with the Statue of David Replica – Michelangelo’s famous masterpiece.  Festa’s replica emulates the 17 feet tall original!

 

 

  • Fun for the Whole Famiglia! Festa offers fun-filled activities and attractions for kids and adults to enjoy, including a FREE CARNIVAL, splash zone, LEGO activities tent, parade through the grounds Saturday and Sunday at 5:00 PM, and daily performances on the Children’s Stage. Children 12 and under are FREE all three days of Festa.

 

Your Ticket to Italian Flavor

Eat your way through Italy at Festa Italiana!  Italian favorites will return including pizza, Italian sausage, arancini (rice ball), toasted ravioli, fried calamari, eggplant sticks, sfincione, spiedini, meatball sandwiches and sfingi!  Saving the best for last?  Festa is the place to satisfy your sweet tooth with cannoli, Italian cookies, cappuccino puffs and fresh gelato!

 

Calling all foodies….Festa’s popular Cucina Showcase will be host to a variety of food-related activities including cooking demonstrations from some of Milwaukee’s finest chefs, the popular Cannoli Contest on Saturday, July 22 at 3:30 p.m. and the Kid’s Pizza Making Contest (Ages 5-17) on Saturday, July 22 beginning at 4:15 p.m.  Don’t miss Celebrity Chef Rossella Rago on Saturday, July 22, and Sunday, July 23. Rago is the host of the popular web cooking show “Cooking With Nonna” (www.cookingwithnonna.com).

 

Sipping also goes with eating!  Festivalgoers can enjoy some of Italy’s finest wines throughout the grounds, provided by LoDuca Wines and Corvina Wine Company.  Wine coolers, wine cocktails and wine flights will also be available!

 

New food items guests can look forward to include: Alioto’s Mostaccioli in Red Sauce; Trattoria di Carlo’s Sfingi with Amaretto Sauce; Carini La Conca D’Oro’s Sicilian Steak Sandwich, Sicilian Steak & Pasta and Sicilian Lasagna (Anelletti al Forno). Complete food menus can be downloaded at: http://festaitaliana.com/fooddrink/menus.

 

Your Ticket to Fun – Italian Style!

The traditional Italian game of Bocce Ball will return daily with the highly anticipated Bocce Ball Tournament taking place on Sunday, July 23.  Take in Festa from the water’s view on a gondola ride and don’t miss the loudest Italian-style Bartolotta fireworks every night beginning at approximately 10:30 p.m.!  The Copa Festa Italiana Futsal tournament will return on Saturday from noon – 7 p.m. at the sports court and Italian Idol will crown its karaoke king or queen on Sunday, July 23!

 

Your Ticket to Italian Tradition

The traditional Festa Italiana Sunday Mass and Procession will be led by Bishop Jeffrey R. Haines at 11:00 a.m. Sunday, July 23 at the American Family Insurance Amphittheater. The Mass is followed by a procession of societies and patron saints, concluded with benediction on the festival grounds.  Attendees are encouraged to bring three (3) non-perishable food items to be donated to Hunger Task Force to help the Milwaukee Ethnic Festivals reach their goal of collecting 160,000 pounds of food this summer under “The Fests Feed Milwaukee” initiative.

 

Daily Admission Information/Deals

 

Festa Italiana offers plenty of ways to visit the festival!   Purchase your advance tickets online today at www.festaitaliana.com through July 20 for a discounted rate of $10.00.

  • Admission tickets are $13.00 at the gate and children ages 12 and under are admitted free for all three days when accompanied by an adult.

 

Friday

  • Gates open 3:00 p.m. – Midnight.
  • Sendik’s Red Bag Promotion: All patrons arriving on Friday between 3:00 and 6:30 P.M. presenting a Sendik’s red shopping bag will receive one (1) FREE admission ticket! Stop by the main gate and enter the designated Sendik’s area with your red bag. Red bags will be collected upon entrance into the grounds.  Find your neighborhood Sendik’s location at sendiks.com.
  • Receive a Catholic Financial Life knapsack beginning at 4:00 P.M. while supplies last.

Saturday

  • Gates open 11:30 a.m. – Midnight.
  • Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation Walk/Run – 7:30 A.M. Walkers and runners receive free entry into Festa Italiana.  Guest passes are also available for $5 from 7:30 A.M. – 11 A.M.
  • Sendik’s Red Bag Promotion Noon – 5 P.M. All patrons arriving from Noon – 5 P.M. presenting a Sendik’s red shopping bag will receive one (1) FREE admission ticket.  Red bags will be collected upon enterance to the grounds at the main gate.
  • VIP DAY – 11:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. VIP Day for those with physical challenges along with their caregivers receive free admission and half-price on two selected food items. Courtesy of Festa Italiana. Special VIP ticket needed. Please pick up your ticket at the Italian Community Center.
  • Receive a Catholic Financial Life knapsack beginning at 2 P.M. while supplies last.

 

Sunday

  • Gates open 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
  • 10:15 a.m. – Gates open for Festa Italiana Mass on the south end, please bring non-perishable food items to support Hunger Task Force
  • Day of Service: Firefighters, Law Enforcement, Teachers and Military receive free admission for the individual of service and one guest. To receive your free entry, present a vaild employee ID at the cashier window at the main gate.  Active and former military members and one guest can receive free entry with a valid military ID or DD-214 with valid ID at the cashier window at the main gate. 

 

Don’t miss Festa Italiana’s 50/50 Raffle! Costs for tickets are 1 for $5 or 3 for $10. Purchase on the Festa grounds or in advance at the Italian Community Center.

Celebrity Chef Rossella Rago Returns to Festa Italiana; Festival Offers New Food Items and Popular Food Contests Return – Mangia!

June 28, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Cannoli Eating Contest and Kids Pizza Making Competition Take Place July 22

 

 

MILWAUKEE – June 28, 2017 – Festa Italiana, presented by Calypso Lemonades, today announced  Celebrity Chef Rossella Rago will return for the festival’s 40th anniversary. Rago is known for hosting popular web cooking show “Cooking with Nonna.”  Other celebrity chefs headlining the festival this year include the “Filippo and the Chef Show,” featuring Italian chef Richard Lombardi.  Both performances take place July 22 and 23 in the Cucina Showcase.

 

Rossella Rago Returns to the Cucina Showcase

A Cucina favorite, Rossella Rago, host of online cooking show “Cooking with Nonna,” has delighted Festa attendees in years past. Rossella will be performing Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23 in the Cucina Showcase and will be joined on stage wither her maternal grandmother, Nonna Romana.

 

In 2010, Rossella, mother Angela and her Nonna Romana emerged victorious in the “Italiano Battle” episode of the Food Network’s 24 Hour Restaurant Battle. This year Rossella has published her first cookbook and was an honoree at The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) New York Gala, which celebrated the very best in Italian food, beverage and cultural experiences.

 

In addition to inspiring grandmothers from around the world to pass down their sacred recipes, entertaining audiences with her show, and popularizing authentic Italian cuisine with Cooking with Nonna, Rossella raises awareness of healthy eating habits for young women everywhere. Rossella is sure to again delight audiences at the 40th anniversary of Festa on Saturday and Sunday!  For more information on Rossella, please visit: http://www.cookingwithnonna.com/about/about-rossella-rago.html.

 

Filippo and the Chef Join Celebrity Chef Line-Up

Richard Lombardi and Filippo Volagio will take the stage Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23, performing “The Filippo and the Chef Show.” A professional chef for over 20 years, Chef Richard has spent a life time learning the art of entertaining guests. At Mama Rose Restaurant in California, Richard and his wife of 43 years, Elaine, served an abundant menu of “New Italian-American” food, earning many awards for excellence.  Chef Richard has written numerous articles for food publications and “The Mama Rose Cook Book,” containing recipes from Mama Rose Restaurant.  With the help of noted Italian singer, Filippo Voltaggio, he created “The Filippo and the Chef Show.” Chef Richard demonstrates Italian cooking while Filippo sings, interviews guests and adds fun to the cooking experience. After Chef Richard’s bout with cancer, he created a non-profit organization, “The Cancer Fighting Chef.” He is using his cooking experience along with his battle with cancer, to create tasty recipes that contain ingredients to help fight cancer.

 

Filippo Voltaggio, author, speaker, LIFECoach, and TV and radio host, has incorporated the years of experience from being in front of, behind and on the screen and live stages into everything he does.  From his singing, writing and hosting, Filippo brings it all together to create an energetic experience for audiences.  From his acclaimed radio shows and TV and film appearances and performances, to his experiences in the world of business, working for a Fortune Top 3 Company and later owning a boutique entertainment agency; to his study of human psychology and esoteric arts, Filippo has seen, experienced and learned so much about the human condition and the struggle to being our authentic selves.

 

Both celebrity chefs will be selling their cookbooks at Festa Italiana. For more information on Festa’s celebrity chefs, please visit: http://festaitaliana.com/fooddrink/celebrity-chefs/

 

Eat Your Way Through Italy

Aside from actually eating in Italy, Festa Italiana is the next best thing.  Festa-goers can enjoy Italian favorites including arancini, Italian sausage sandwiches, fried eggplant, calamari, panini, pasta, cannoli and more.  With nearly 30 food vendors, attendees can experience all the tastes of Italy right on Milwaukee’s lakefront!

 

A sample of new food items to try, include:

  • Alioto’s Mostaccioli in Red Sauce
  • Trattoria di Carlo’s Sfingi with Amaretto Sauce
  • Carini La Conca D’Oro’s Sicilian Steak Sandwich, Sicilian Steak & Pasta and Sicilian Lasagna (Anelletti al Forno)

 

A complete list of Festa food vendors and menus can be found by visiting: http://festaitaliana.com/fooddrink/menus/

 

Other Cucina Showcase Activities

Festa is ready to crown the 2017 Cannoli Eating Champion on Saturday, July 22!  Do you have what it takes in this stomach-to-stomach battle? The Cannoli Eating Contest will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 22. Everyone 18 years or older is welcome to register, simply visit the Cucina Showcase on Saturday to enter your name in the drawing before 3:00 p.m. Is your stomach up to the challenge? All cannoli is provided by the Vella family of Peter Sciortino Bakery on Brady Street.

 

The Kids Pizza Making Contest, sponsored by Divino Wine & Dine, returns on Saturday, July 22 at 4:15 p.m. Children ages 5-17 are encouraged to participate in making the best pizza creation! The annual contest is a fun way for children to create fresh, made-from-scratch pizza in front of the live Cucina Showcase audience. Winners for each age group will receive a commemorative t-shirt. For more information, please visit: http://festaitaliana.com/fooddrink/kids-pizza-contest/

 

A full Cucina Showcase schedule can be found by visiting: http://festaitaliana.com/fooddrink/food-cooking-schedule/

Festa Italiana Salutes Dick Contino July 23 with Special Memorial and Tribute Concert

June 19, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Famed Accordionist Performed at Festa 34 Times in Festival’s 40-Year History

 

 

MILWAUKEE – June 19, 2017 – Festa Italiana, presented by Calypso Lemonades, today announced it will present a tribute concert to famed accordionist Dick Contino on Sunday, July 23 at 6 P.M. on the Miller Lite Stage at Festa Italiana.  Contino passed away April 19 at the age of 87.

 

Contino, a popular favorite among many festa-goers, played at the festival 34 times in Festa’s 40-year history.  The special memorial tribute concert will include Contino’s son, Pete Contino, his daughter, Deidre, and three-time World Champion Accordionist and Contino protégé Cory Pescaturo.  Other participants include Ray Massa and the Russo Brothers, both Nick and Domenic.

 

“From his first appearance at our very first Festa, Dick became a crowd favorite whose charisma was contagious and whose talent was exceptional. His down-to-earth personality won over everyone who came to see him and got to know him,” said Dean Cannestra, Festa General Co-Chairperson. “With his passing, there was no question in my mind that Festa Italiana had to do something special to salute this remarkable man.”

 

Longtime Festa fans will recall Pete Contino performing on drums and accordion with his father in the mid-1980s. A year or so later, Dick and Pete were joined on stage by Deidre Contino, who sang with her father’s band. The next year, all three had their own gigs at Festa. Pete and Deidre are the children of Dick’s first wife, the late Hollywood actress, Leigh Snowden, and still perform with their own bands.

 

Pescaturo is one of only four accordionists to win World Championships on both the acoustic and digital accordion, and is the only person to ever win a World Championship on jazz. At the age of 12, he was the youngest person ever to play at a state dinner at the White House. At 15, he became the youngest person to win the U.S. National Accordion Championship. He graduated from the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he was the first musician ever to major and graduate on the accordion.

 

When Pescaturo was 15, Dick Contino said, “Of all the accordionists I’ve seen over the years, Cory is the one to pass the torch to, the only one who has all the tools to bring the accordion back to its former glory.”

 

Ray Massa is the leader of the EuroRhythms, an Italian/Italian-American swing band, who will be performing at Festa Italiana all three nights. The son of immigrants from the Campania region of Italy, Massa excels on the accordion and various string instruments. Like Dick Contino’s shows, the performances by Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms are upbeat and crowd-pleasing.

 

Nick and Dominic Russo have been part of the Festa entertainment since they were 8 and 4 years old, respectively, performing on the Children’s Stage. Even back then, the Russo Brothers performed a tribute to Dick Contino, one of their heroes. Nick is a magnificent accordionist and keyboardist, while Dominic is the smooth crooner.

 

“This should be a remarkable salute to a remarkable man,” added Cannestra. “We’re anticipating that the Dick Contino Fan Club will re-group its nationwide members for this tribute and, really, all of his fans will come out to salute this legendary accordionist who graced the stages of Festa Italiana 34 times.”

 

Festa Italiana is celebrating its 40th anniversary July 21-23, 2017. For more information on the Dick Contino Tribute and other entertainment, please visit: www.festaitaliana.com. For more information on Cory Pesaturo, please visit: http://www.corypesaturo.com.

BoDeans to Headline Festa Italiana Friday, July 21 to Kick Off 40th Anniversary

May 11, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Hometown favorite will be joined by NBC’s “The Voice” 2012 finalist Nicholas David

 

 

MILWAUKEE – May 11, 2017 – Festa Italiana, presented by Calypso Lemonades, is excited to host hometown favorite, the BoDeans as its Friday, July 21 headliner at 9:00 P.M. at Henry W. Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds). BoDeans will be joined by NBC’s “The Voice” 2012 finalist Nicholas David. Previously announced headliners include Gin Blossoms and Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti.

 

Formed in Waukesha, Wisconsin, BoDeans today are known as one of the best live acts in the business as the band continues to tour year-round and deliver amazing, high energy performances. As a small contingent of bands that inspired a new radio format known as Adult Alternative, Album Rock-Triple A, their reputation for delivering a dynamic live show garnered support slots with U2/Joshua Tree Tour, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, George Thorogood, The Pretenders, David Bowie, and appearances at Farm Aid, Summerfest, and ACL, among others.

 

Chart-topping songs like “Fadeaway,” “Only Love,” and “Dreams,” won them Rolling Stone’s readers’ poll for Best New American Band in 1987. The band has released several albums which embody multiple songs played heavily on the radio, in TV shows, and movies, and defined a sound that a generation embraced-songs like “Good Things,” “You Don’t Get Much,” “Idaho,” “If It Makes You,” “Closer to Free,” “Stay,” “American,” and, “All the World.” BoDeans now reside in a small group of bands that have managed to survive the ups and downs of the industry, remaining true to their sound and their style, for nearly 30 years. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum has them permanently displayed as part of their Midwest Artists exhibit.

 

“Milwaukeeans saw BoDeans grow into one of the most popular bands of the nineties and the band continues to show their affection for the area with their new music video titled, ‘My Hometown.’ BoDeans are sure to kick off Festa Italiana’s 40th anniversary with a bang and we are excited to have them perform opening night. We also expect Nichloas David to put on a spectacular show for festivalgoers,” said Dean Cannestra, Italian Community Center president and chairman of Festa Italiana.

 

Nicholas David Performing at 7:30 PM

A vibrant, dynamic and multi-talented singer/songwriter from Saint Paul, Minn., Nicholas David has composed alternative soul music that connects with people worldwide on a deeply human level. Prior to his unforgettable 2012 run with Team CeeLo on NBC’s “The Voice,” Nicholas had already recorded five critically acclaimed albums, experienced national radio airplay and participated in multiple charity and collaborative projects. Fans of The Voice were introduced to his soulful and storied career during this time where he struck a chord with America and finished a fan favorite in the top three. When it comes to his iconic live shows, Nicholas is a one-of-a-kind and must-see act. As if channeling inspiration from an outside source, the instant he walks on stage he gives himself over to the music. His emotional approach to songwriting and performing is the very reason the thriving Twin Cities music scene affectionately nicknamed him ‘the feelin.’

 

Festa Italiana takes place Friday, July 21 – Sunday, July 23, at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront. Festivalgoers can take in all entertainment acts for the value price of only $10.00 for advance sale tickets now through July 20. Tickets are $13.00 after July 20 and at the gate.

Festa Italiana names “America’s Got Talent” finalist as second headliner

May 11, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

OnMilwaukee coverage of our Italian Headliner Sal Valentinetti!

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