Be prepared to celebrate Milwaukee’s Italian heritage and culture from July 19th to July 22nd, 2012 at the 35th annual Festa Italiana. For just $10 in advance or $13 at the gate, you can enjoy the sights, tastes, and sounds of Italy on the Summerfest Grounds at 200 North Harbor Drive. Festival hours run from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Thursday and from 11:30 a.m. to midnight from Friday to Sunday, during which time you will be able to enjoy food from over 30 vendors and be entertained by the acts performing on the festival’s six stages.
The list of this year’s entertainers comes complete with several singers including opera, jazz, and cabaret-style vocalists, tribute bands, an accordion virtuoso, and an escape artist. Also on the grounds each evening at 5:30 p.m. will be the Grand Parade celebrating family, community, and Italian culture. Parade entertainers include musicians, dancers, jugglers, clowns, and baton twirlers amongst others.
Other special Festa Italiana events for 2012 are:
Wheels & Heels Rush on Festa – Thursday, July 19th at 7:00 p.m.
Held rain or shine, the Wheels & Heels Rush on Festa includes a 5K Wheelchair/ Hand Cycle Race, a 5K Run, and a 1-mile Fun Walk/ Casual Wheelchair event. Prizes will be given out to the top three finishers in a number of categories during the award ceremony that will take place at 8:00 p.m. following the event. Registration is required for those wishing to take part, but the cost (which varies depending on the category you are participating in – independent, family, or corporate) includes admission to Festa following the race for anyone wearing their new Rush on Festa race t-shirt.
Festa Italiana Sunday Mass – Sunday, July 22nd at 11:00 a.m.
Gates will open at 10:00 a.m. for an 11:00 a.m. Sunday Mass at Marcus Amphitheatre with Officiant Father John Belmonte. Hunger Task Force will be on location to accept non-perishable food donations as you arrive. Following the Festa Italiana Sunday Mass, attendees will be granted free admission to Festa.
Spiked Island Launch Party – Sunday, July 22nd at 7:30 p.m.
Spiked Island will be launching their new Adult Lemonade flavors during a special Festa Italiana event on Sunday. For $3.00 a bottle you will be able to taste the exciting new flavors while enjoying an exclusive concert by a surprise Nashville recording artist. Can’t wait to find out who the surprise guest will be? Tune in to FM 106.1 WMIL on Monday, July 19th at 8:30 a.m. for a hint. Opening the show at 7:30 p.m. will be fellow country act, Old Dominion.
This year Festa Italiana will also be hosting their first Tutta Italiana Raffle – a 50/50 cash raffle with a minimum prize of $5000. Raffle tickets cost $10 a piece and can be bought on the Festa Italiana website. The draw will take place at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 22nd at the Miller Lite Oasis Stage on the Summerfest Grounds. The winning ticket holder doesn’t need to be present to claim the prize.
Over the past 35 years, Festa Italiana has grown into one of America’s leading Italian festivals. If you want to celebrate Milwaukee’s Italian heritage, then be sure to visit the Summerfest Grounds between July 19th and July 22nd, 2012 to enjoy the sights, tastes, and sounds of Italy. You’ll be glad you did.