Italian Festival focuses on culture

The food, music and, most importantly, the culture of Italy will be on display at Cook Park on October 10 where the Sons of Italy Roma Intangible Lodge will host their first ever festival to raise awareness of the Italian American population in the Village of Colonie

Biagio Isgro, the event coordinator for the Sons of Italy, said the festival is really meant to me a family fun day that will have attractions for kids as well as adults.

We're going to have a Bouncy Bounce and we'll have a Kid's Zone where kids will be taught simple stuff like colors, letter and numbers with a teacher teaching them in Italian," said Isgro. "We'll also have a face painter there for the day."

And for the rest of the family there will be a plethora of Italian Culture on display with Italian relics, traditional Italian clothing and costumes, information on Italian hero Giuseppe Garibaldi and a wide variety of different Italian foods.

"We'll have pasta and meat balls and sausage subs," said Isgro of the food and added that there will also fried dough, cotton candy and hopefully beer and wine. "We've applied for a temporary beer and wine license. If we get it, there will be Italian wines and there will definitely be beer available."

There will also be a DJ playing traditional Italian music, which Isgro said he hopes will expand into performances featuring customary Italian dancing.

The idea to hold this first ever Italian festival is fueled by the move of several Italian Americans from the city of Albany out into the suburbs of Latham, Loudonville and Colonie, according to Isgro. It is what prompted the move of the Sons of Italy headquarters from Albany into the village.

"What's happened there has been less and less cultural emphasis on inner cities," he said. "They don't really have any groups of any type of activities that promote the heritage of Italian culture."

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