By JEN CARDINES
There are just two weeks left until the 13th annual Italian-American festival hits the downtown on July 28-30, and the planning committee is putting together the final arrangements. Attendees should bring their appetite because the lower portion of Center Street will be lined with traditional Italian favorites such as sausage and peppers, pizza, pasta fagioli, sweet treats, and more.
While locals can attend and benefit from the cultural activities and food, organizations benefit as well. Each year, two organizations are selected to receive some of the proceeds, this year’s recipients being United Way of Southington and Southington Community Services.
Dave Zoni, committee co-chair representing UNICO, announced the major entertainment for the festival.
On Friday night, “Sound Alternative” will perform from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. They are a versatile band that performs a wide range of music from the 1940s and 1950’s to modern hits.
Saturday afternoon, “By Request” will take the stage from 2:30 to 5 p.m., playing anything from oldies to Top 40 hits.
Each year, the festival includes Italian music to help keep the tradition alive, so on Saturday evening “Tempo” —an Italian- American show band from New York City specializing in upbeat Italian music—will perform from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The Sam Vinci Quintet can be heard from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, featuring jazz, swing and Italian hits complete with vocal arrangements aimed to please. They will be followed by Ciro DeLorenzo, who specializes in Italian vocals, from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
“Additionally,” Zoni said, “As these groups take breaks or set-up, we will have individual entertainers performing in 30 to 40 minute segments.”
The festival is sponsored by the Sons of Italy, Sorelle D’ Italia in America and Southington UNICO. Since its launch, the festival is held each summer to promote and support Italian heritage and culture in the Southington community.
On Friday, July 28, the festival will open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. It continues on Saturday, July 29 from noon to 11 p.m. On Sunday, July 30, the morning will start with an outdoor Italian mass at 10 a.m. on Center Street, followed by a procession of the statue of the Madonna della Strada.
The festival will wrap up by 6 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information, visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthingtonItalianFestival