Cultural Feast

Of course, Italy practically invented everything that’s good about food and wine, but at this weekend’s Festival Italiano at Belmar, it will be hard to overlook the finer cultural contributions of everybody’s favorite boot-shaped country. From bocce ball tournaments to Florentine flag-throwing demonstrations, live music, Italian dance and a pizza acrobat, the festival promises fun for the whole family.

“A lot of restaurants from the Denver metro area are represented this year,” says Belmar marketing director Stephanie Jackson. “Frank Bonnano is one of ten chefs doing a demonstration and sharing recipes.” After you eat your fill of pasta, bruschetta and cannoli, you can sample wine from a number of vintners; the kids can even get in on the bacchanalian fun by helping to stomp grapes for local winemaker Balistreri’s “Little Feet Merlot.” And if your wine education still isn’t complete, you can participate in wine seminars and tastings for $7.

This is the fest’s fifth year, and Belmar has teamed up with Project Angel Heart to spread word of the organization’s mission through a children’s craft tent (Italian-themed, of course). Festival Italiano runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow, and admission is free; Belmar is at Wadsworth Boulevard and Alameda Avenue in Lakewood. For more information, visit
Sat., Sept. 20, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., 2008

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Aubrey Shoe
Contact: Aubrey Shoe