Around 200 people spent the day enjoying a break in the weather to take in traditional food and entertainment at the Festa Italiana at the Piazza Colombo in Trail Saturday.
Those with a sweet tooth had the opportunity to sample Italian baking and gelato while those with heartier appetites could get their fill of pasta with meatballs or a variety of Italian sausages on a bun.
Entertainment ran throughout the day including performances by the Harmaniaks, the St. Michael’s School choir singing traditional Italian songs, and the Trail Pipe Band, who were joined by Trail Princess, Emily Dawson, who jumped in with the band for an impromptu demonstration of her highland dance skills.
The younger set were entertained by a roaming clown creating balloon animals and could get their faces painted by the Trail royalty and the contestants in the Trail ambassador program.
Festival organizing committee member, Gord Gattafoni, was glad the weather cooperated for the return of the celebration.
“There were a lot of people praying for good weather,” he said. “Looks like it worked because it shone on us.”
The festival had originally started in 2003 but after a few years lost steam because of a lack of funding. With the recent construction of the Piazza Colombo enthusiasm was revived and the organizing committee saw the opportunity to revive the celebration using the Piazza as its base.
“We believe Italian culture is about more than a plate of spaghetti and two meatballs,” said Gattafoni. “It’s about family and coming together and we want to celebrate that. This has been a good family day which is what we expected; the people of Trail support these kinds of groups.”
Gattafoni stressed that the Piazza is open to any culture who might want to celebrate their heritage.
“I’d like to see other cultural groups use the Piazza to celebrate their cultures as well,” he said. “There are all sorts of cultures that make up Trail and this place isn’t just about Italians.”