Fes­ti­val start­ing to­day cel­e­brates all things Ital­ian.

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - FRONT PAGE - By Jim DinO STAff WRiTER Con­tact the writer: jdino@ stan­dard­speaker.com; 570501-3585

The UNICO Club of Ha­zle­ton will cel­e­brate the area’s Ital­ian her­itage at the 10th an­nual Bell’ Italia Fes­ti­vale to­day and Sun­day at Ha­zle Twp. Com­mu­nity Park.

The event will fea­ture en­ter­tain­ment, best meat­ball and pasta-eating con­tests, fin­gers and bocce ball tour­neys, car­ni­val rides, crafters and tricky trays.

There will also be a wide ar­ray of food.

Aside from UNICO’s fried dough, the menu in­cludes pasta, pizza, bar­be­cue, fried potato cakes, beef and ched- dar, sausage and pep­pers, halupki, em­panadas, porchetta, pulled pork, kiel­basa, pierogi, ice cream, fried Oreos, fun­nel cakes, Ital­ian pas­tries, strom­boli, fried shrimp, soups and more.

Ital­ian res­i­dents of the Ha­zle­ton area over the age of 85 will be hon­ored as part of the fes­tiv­i­ties.

Fam­ily her­itage will also be cel­e­brated. Fam­i­lies are in­vited to as­sem­ble for a re­union of sorts and to dis­cuss how their fam­ily came to Ha­zle­ton from Italy.

To­day’ s fes­tiv­i­ties run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Chef Lou Me­mo­rial Meat­ball

Con­test will be held at noon.

Bocce ball play be­gins at 1 p.m. Play­ers take turns rolling balls at a mas­ter ball, called a palin. Points are scored by ma­neu­ver­ing the larger balls as close to the

palin as pos­si­ble.

Stu­dents from the DeMelfi School of Mu­sic, Faberge Fol­lies and Sherri O’Don­nell’s All That Dancin’ will en­ter­tain this af­ter­noon.

Singer John Lay­ton per- forms at 2 p.m. A pasta-eating con­test for kids will be held at 3 p.m., fol­lowed by one for the adults. Strolling mu­si­cians Frank and Cathi will en­ter­tain with their ac­cor­dions this af­ter­noon.

En­ter­tainer Tony An­gelo will per­form both days at 4 p.m.

Sun­day ac­tiv­i­ties be­gin at 9:30 a.m. with a Ro­man Catholic Mass cel­e­brated by the Rev. Louis Grippe.

Singer Tara Mal­loy Lewis will per­form at 11 a.m., lo­cal singer Chris Pavlick at 11:30 and Danny Fa­role, the Ital­ian trou­ba­dour, at 1 p.m. Rain­bow the Clown will also be on hand Sun­day af­ter­noon.

At 2 p.m., there will be a fin­gers tour­na­ment. Joe Ceru llo,o ne of the club mem­bers who is or­ga­niz­ing the event, said fin­gers, or morra, is a game played by two peo­ple "throw­ing" fin­gers and call­ing out a num­ber they hope will match the to­tal.

The Cel­lar Dwellarz, a big band-type orches­tra made up of young lo­cals, per­forms at 3 p.m.

The fes­ti­val will end at 6 p.m. Sun­day.

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