Italian Day 2019: Gourmet food, Italian music, and a sense of community

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      If there’s one thing Commercial Drive should be known for, is its celebration of Italian heritage every June in crowd-pleasing fashion.

      The 10th annual Italian Day returns to Vancouver’s Little Italy (from Venables Street to Grandview Cut) on June 9 (noon to 8 p.m.).

      As one of Vancouver’s most popular outdoor festivals, more than 300,000 event-goers are expected to attend this year.

      The vibrant cultural street fest spans 14 blocks, which will feature more than 130 vendors and participants.

      The theme of the day-long fête this year is comunità (community). Italian Day organizers want to send a message of the positive power behind community through giving back and working together, which can bring success. The Italian Day Festival Society hopes to raise $10,000 for the East End Boys and Girls Club, which provides a youth-mentoring program for those at-risk.

      Highlights include performers, musicians, and various activities.
      Italian Day

      Highlights at this year’s event includes three music stages that will showcase performances by local and international Italian artists, and authentic Italian table piazza featuring food-and-wine samples, a fashion show by a local designer, 14 extended patios, a children’s zone, food-eating contests, food trucks, as well as exotic Italian cars and motorcycles.

      Special guests who will take the stage include Notte Italiana (a young musical trio from Italy), comprised of members David Pacini, Francesco Milani, and Simone Beato. Other performers such as 15 year-old Italian singer Marco Boni and songwriter and musician Danilo Ciaccia will also provide musical entertainment.

      Plan to arrive hungry, because many mouthwatering Italian bites will be on offer—think fried Italian doughnuts, wood-oven Panini, meatballs, pizza, panzerotti, cannoli, gelato, affogato, and more.

      The public is encouraged to walk, cycle (a bicycle valet will be on site), or transit to get to Italian Day as streets will be closed to vehicle traffic between Venables Street and the Grandview Cut.

      Italian food has always been a big part of the outdoor event, and this year's will be no exception.
      Italian Day
      Follow Tammy Kwan on Twitter @ch0c0tam and Instagram @ch0c0tam.