The 10th anniversary of Belmar’s Festival Italiano festival will be celebrated with longer hours and new features.
The shopping center will celebrate everything Italian on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7-8, with food and wine vendors, bocce ball and entertainment flown in from Italy.
“With this being our 10th year, we got opinions from a lot of our visitors about what we could do to make this year or best yet,” said Christina Brickley, director of marketing at Belmar. “One thing we heard about is longer hours, so we extended them.”
On Saturday, the festival goes from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mainstays of the Festival Italiano will make appearances, including bocce; flag throwers from Florence, Italy; the Balisteri Vineyard’s Children Grape Stomp; and the Project Angel Heart bag decoration.
Bocce is a favorite sport of many Italians the world over, so a bocce tournament is a major part of each year’s festival. The courts are available for anyone who wants to play during normal times, but during the festival, spectators will be able to watch teams compete for a cash prize.
“The wine tasting has been paired with chef demonstrations, since those two really compliment each other,” Brickley said. “We’ve also added a beer garden to the festival.”
Vickie Corder, from Grammy’s Italian Goodies, has been serving up Sicilian pizza, Italian holiday cookies and other treats for almost as long as the festival has been going on.
“We really go in for that old world cooking, which is a bit of a lost art,” Corder said. “All of our recipes come from our real grammy, and you can see us working the dough and food when you stop by our booth.”
According to Corder, not only is the festival a great place to find good food and fun, but a chance to meet old and new friends.
“It’s just beautiful — it’s a beautiful area and managed wonderfully,” she said. “You get a chance to see people that you only see maybe once a year. While we’re there, it doesn’t feel like work at all.”
For more information, visit www.belmarcolorado.com.