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Festival Italiano

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Attractions include various competitions, such as bocce tournaments, the cheese rolling contest, the grease pole climb and spaghetti eating contest, a midway, Italian food and drink, and a variety of musical entertainment.

Time for Festival Italiano

Guelph’s celebration of Italian culture, music and food takes place July 11, 12 and 13 at the Italian Canadian Club, in the heart of the Ward.
Festival Italiano, which celebrates 21 years this year, has grown over the years from a one-day family event to a weekend-long event attracting thousands of people.
Attractions include various competitions, such as bocce tournaments, the cheese rolling contest, the grease pole climb and spaghetti eating contest, a midway, Italian food and drink, and a variety of musical entertainment.
This year, there will also be a literary symposium moderated by honorary Italian Vice Consul Gabriel Niccoli of the University of Waterloo. The symposium takes place in the Italian Canadian Club lounge at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The festival begins Friday evening, with opening ceremonies featuring Coro Cantitalia at 6 p.m. Amusement rides will also open at 6 p.m., and musical entertainment will continue into the night with buskers and performances in the main tent, the main hall and the food tent.
Other highlights of the night include the bocce open house at 7 p.m. and the Spaghetti Eating Contest, which will wrap up the evening at 11 p.m.
Festival fun begins again at 9 a.m. Saturday with the Children’s Bocce Tournament, but the grounds, including the amusement rides officially reopen at noon.
Another festival highlight, the kids’ cheese roll, takes place on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. The event sees teams of two competing to see who can get a wheel of cheese to the end of the street in the fewest number of rolls.
Kids entertainment continues throughout the afternoon with a bubblegum blowing contest at 3:15 p.m., an ice cream eating contest at 3:45 p.m. and entertainment by Bumbling Bert at 4:30 p.m. – all in the food tent.
The day ends again with the Spaghetti Eating Contest at 11 p.m. in the main tent.
The adult bocce tournament begins the festival on Sunday at 11 a.m. At the same time, an Italian mass will be held in the ICC’s main hall.
The grounds open again at noon, and the adult cheese roll competition will follow at 1 p.m.
The grease pole climb – another festival favourite which sees teams competing to get to the top of a very slippery pole – takes place at 4 p.m.
A variety of music and Italian food will continue to be served up until the festival wraps up at 7 p.m.
A full schedule of festival entertainment and events is available online at www.italiancanadianclubguelph.ca. Or call 519-821-1110 for more information.
Those taking part in competitions are reminded they must sign in with event organizers 30 minutes before their event.

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