Italian Festival brings food, music to Rondout area
The ninth annual Italian Festival put on by the Ulster County Italian-American Foundation will be held Sunday the Rondout Creek waterfront in Downtown Kingston.
The event, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., will feature Italian food, beverages, products and music, as well as family activities. Admission is free.
The foundation is a notfor-profit organization whose mission is to promote, preserve and celebrate Italian heritage and culture in Ulster County and beyond.
At the festival’s opening ceremony, the foundation will recognize the Italian Signora and Signore of the Year, given to recipients based on their community service and selfless volunteering to assist those in need throughout Ulster County. This year’s honorees are restaurant owner Manny Savona and county Legislator Jeanette Provenzano.
Also, the reigning Miss Italy New York will be on hand to meet and greet festival attendees.
This headlining performer at the festival will be Steven Maglio, who will sing Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin songs. Maglio will be accompanied by the Michael Dell Orchestra, a 12-piece big band.
Maglio and the Dell Orchestra will perform from 5:05 to 6:20 p.m. on the main stage in T.R. Gallo Park at the foot of Broadway.
The rest of the main stage schedule is as follows.
11-11:30 a.m.: Opening ceremony.
11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.: Hot Rod, featuring Pete Santora of “Beatlemania” performing a tribute to John Lennon and John Henriksen performing the music of Jim Morrison and The Doors.
1:15-2:30 p.m.: Roberto Milanese and Angela Bruno performing traditional and modern Italian music.
3-4:15 p.m.: Operatic performance by coloratura soprano Kelli Butler, accompanied by tenor Andrew Hoben and soprano Ali Bailey, with an appearance by Andrea Shaut’s Hudson Valley Recital Project.
4:45-5:05 p.m.: Michael Dell Orchestra.
There also will be ongoing street performances, including accordion music by Nick Collins, tarantella dancers, New Genesis Italian Comedy and fire breathe Corey Glover.
At the Hudson River Maritime Museum, there will be storytelling, discussions about the wine regions of Italy and wine production, chef John Novi talking about his food tour of Italy, and favorite Italian recipes by Maryann Faluotico DeGroodt and others.
The festival also will feature the “2016 Italian Festival Ballot,” which will ask people to pick their favorite Italian-American actor: Ulster County resident Robert DeNiro or Manhattan resident Al Pacino.
Voting will be in the information tent at the intersection of Broadway and West Strand.
Food will be plentiful at the Italian Festival. Among the offerings will be ravioli, cannolis, sausage and peppers, porchetta, lobster, calamari, pizza, gelato, espresso, cappuccino, assorted pasta, stromboli, calzones, home-brewed soda, egg creams, linguini and clam sauce, meatballs and Italian rum cake.
Vendors scheduled to participate include Frank Guido’s Little Italy, Savona’s Trattoria, Mariner’s Harbor, Ship to Shore, Ole Savannah, La Bella Pasta, Off the Hook Food Truck, St. Mary’s Benevolent Society, Just Good Eats, Luigi Oils, Savona’s Pizza, Enchanted Cakes, Dana Foods, Bowery Dugout, Graziano Tecchio and Stone Pony.