All Things Italian Street Festival in Fairfield
With Master Series Workshops on Italian Folk Dance & Zampogna
by Anna Sica
Sample the food and culture of Italy on the Fairfield square for All Things Italian on Jun 16, 2012.
Listen for the deep, rich tones of the zampogna at the 2012 All Things Italian Street Festival on June 16, as Italian bagpipers grace Fairfield with their very first visit to Iowa. These musicians are part of a special conference to be held June 14-16 that will bring the largest ever North American confluence of players and makers of the rare Italian bagpipe called the zampogna.
Authentic Italian Food & Culture
For the past seven years, the Society of Fairfield Italian Americans (SOFIA) has successfully transformed the Fairfield square into an enchanting, magical, Italian-themed piazza. Everything from authentic Italian food to Madonnari street artists makes the festival not only a night to remember but also a priceless experience for anyone interested in delicious eats and fine entertainment.
Each year brings something enticing to top the last, but diehard fans can also look forward to the festival’s most famous offerings—more than 1,800 freshly filled cannoli pastries, homemade lasagna featuring ricotta cheese from Radiance Dairy, live Italian arias, an Italian automobile show, games for all ages, and much more.
Italian Culture Master Series
As an added bonus preceding the festival, the second installment of the Master Series will give the public a chance to dive deeply into traditional Italian folk music and dance by learning from some of the most revered experts in the world. Italian bagpipe players (called zampognari) and traditional folk dancers will give a series of presentations, demonstrations, and performances.
Gianluca Zammarelli of Rome is one of the world's top zampogna players.
“There are several annual zampogna festivals in Italy,” remarked zampognaro Lionel Bottari, who will be among the presenters, “but this is the first of its kind that I've heard of in the U.S.” Bottari is also a traditional Italian puppeteer.
Filmmaker David Marker, of Kansas City, will screen his recent documentary Zampogna—the Soul of Southern Italy, with discussion afterwards.
Other experts will include musicologist Sean Folsom of Carmel Valley, California, producer of the Bagpipes of the World CD; internationally recognized bagpipe reed maker Ted Anderson of Marshal, California; featured artist zampognaroGianluca Zammarelli, of Rome; and experts in traditional Italian folk dance Celest DiPietropaolo and Marie DiCocco of Alexandria, VA.
The Street Festival is Free!
The festival, expected to draw crowds of up to 5,000, offers a chance to enjoy entrancing music, new sights, and cannolis that wouldn’t be better in Florence. But some guests might argue that the best part is the fact that admission is free. Or perhaps because all the proceeds go towards funding next year’s festival as well as other worthy causes, like the Fairfield Soccer program and the Italian Earthquake Relief Fund.
Recently recognized as an Iowa Tourism Board’s “must-see event,” this year’s All Things Italian Street Festival gives everyone a chance to visit Italy, for one day—the 16th of June—here in the heart of Iowa.
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