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Be Italian

Expect an abbondanza of vino, food, culture and entertainment this weekend at Festival Italiano, a street fair and marketplace at Belmar. The two-day event, touting more than 25 Italian food, snack and dessert vendors, includes food and wine pairings from Frank Bonanno (Bones, Luca D’Italia, Mizuna and Osteria Marco) and Gabriel Aragon (Venice Restaurant & Wine Bar), and culinary demonstrations from Elise Wiggins (Panzano), Jon Emmanuel and Summer Polson (Project Angel Heart), Ben Davis (Tony’s Market), and Mark Kalix (Wystone’s World Teas). And if you don’t know how to ask for your meats, cheeses and pastas in Italian, you can learn while you’re there, since Italian language lessons are also part of the weekend festivities.

Italian wine tastings, a kids’ grape stomp, live Italian music, including opera and chalk artists, are on tap, too, though the biggest draw of the weekend is the testosterone-charged bocce tournament, played both Saturday and Sunday, in which the winning team walks away with $500 in prize money. The festival takes place at West Alaska Drive and South Teller Drive in Lakewood’s Belmar district; admission is free, but a portion of ticketed event activities and food and beverage sales will benefit Project Angel Heart. For more info, go to
Sept. 11-12, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., 2010


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