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Via Productions, Inc. of West Palm Beaches announces the first ever Ft. Lauderdale Taste of Little Italy presented by AutoNation coming to Huizenga Park March 3-5, 2017. Huizenga Park is in the heart of downtown Ft. Lauderdale on 1.8 acres with an amphitheater.

Known for the Feast of Little Italy in Jupiter and Tradition Taste of Little Italy on the Treasure Coast, producer, Jerry Somma is very excited to introduce Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding areas to the Taste of Little Italy. “We are so honored and excited to share old traditions and create new memories with our family, friends and community of Ft. Lauderdale.” “For three days, we will celebrate all that is Italian through music, food, art and our and culture.”

The Italian festival will feature a wide-array of food booths, great stage entertainment, retail vendors, carnival games, festival rides, cooking and wine demonstrations and lots more!

The Miami’s Ravioli entertainment stage will be filled the entire weekend with Italian and Italian American artists singing Italian favorites. Blankets and chairs are welcome as the entertainment is all day and night on the amphitheater stage. Friday, March 3rd, the one and only, Frank Stallone will take the stage at 8pm. Known for his explosive vocals, this guitarist will enchant audiences with Italian classics in a big band style. Then, it’s time to get down Maria De Crescenzo Saturday, March 4th at 7pm who is a vocalist with KC and the Sunshine Band. Headlining the first annual Ft. Lauderdale Taste of Little Italy will be Salvatore Valentinetti, a finalist on NBC’s 2016 America’s Got Talent. This young superstar will perform songs from Dean Martin to Frank Sinatra Saturday, March 4th at 8pm. The legendary Tommy Mara and The Crests will perform an evening of doo wop Sunday, March 5th at 6pm. Tommy Mara (known as The Pavarotti of Doo Wop) will be performing hits from “Cara Mia,” “The Angels Listened In,” “16 Candles,” and many more. The stage will also include local romantic performers Franco Corso, Phillipe Harari and the classically trained Elio Scaccio with their silky-smooth vocals. They will have the audience in the palm of their hands with their classic Italian songs.

Food and Wine Seminars
In the Galbani cheese cooking pavilion free cooking demonstrations are offered with admission. Galbani cheese has crafted the finest Italian cheese for over 100 years. The cooking pavilion will be filled with nationally known chefs most notably, Marco Sciortino from the hit TV show “Come Dine with Me”, he will be showing people how to cook healthy Italian dishes. Then join Chef Gina from the local gourmet Italian eatery, Cucina Bambina giving cooking tips and tastes. Cooking demonstrations will be held Friday, March 3 at 7pm, Saturday, March 4th at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm and Sunday, March 5th at noon, 2pm and 4pm. World renowned wine connoisseur Anthony Acampa will take you on a journey with your palate featuring Voga Italia, the proud wine sponsor including Bella Bellina, Farmers of Wine and Luna Di Luna wines. The wine demonstrations are free and will be held Friday, March 3rd at 6pm, Saturday, March 4th at 3pm, 5pm, and 7pm and Sunday, March 5th at 1pm and 3pm.

Huizenga Park will be filled with food vendors serving up authentic Italian favorites and local restaurants will serve dishes from all over Italy. The official ravioli of the Ft. Lauderdale Taste of Little Italy is Mimi’s Ravioli. For over 43 years, Mimi’s Ravioli, based in Hollywood has been providing award-winning handcrafted ravioli and Italian pastas, homemade sauces, meatballs, fresh baked breads and more! The Ft. Lauderdale Taste of Little Italy food will consist of all Italian cuisines from pasta, pizza, and sausage and peppers to shrimp scampi and pinwheels and much more. The aroma of Italy will surround you and every bite will keep you hungry for more. Come get a taste of Italy from dishes from both south and northern Italy ranging from, seafood pescatore, calamari, antipasto platters, Italian mac and cheese balls, fried raviolis and Italian Chicago beef fried calzones. Then, don’t miss the Italian dessert with homemade zeppola’s, sfogliatella, cannolis, and Italian ice.
At the Ft. Lauderdale Taste of Little Italy, music, art, food, and the Italian culture is all around you. It’s not just about what you are eating, but what you can enjoy with family and friends. There will be a Bocce ball court to play for the public to give-it-a-try. Peppino, the strolling accordion player will be all around the festival for all to enjoy the classic Italian music. Another Taste of Little Italy must be to shop and explore all the vendors selling Italian garb from T-shirts and Italian jewelry to home must haves for every kitchen. There will be fun carnival games for a chance to win stuffed animals and there will be an area just for amusement rides. There is so much to do at the festival for kids of all ages.

Nation Jorge is the official charity of the Ft. Lauderdale Taste of Little Italy.
Jorge Nation Foundation Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to raising funds to send children and their families on a once-in-a-lifetime all-inclusive Dream Trip to a destination of their choice. Unlike other charitable organizations, JNF exists to enhance the lives of children through travel from South Florida who are or have been stricken with a terminal or debilitating health condition or illness. JNF is extremely proud to partner with Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, one of the region’s leading pediatric hospitals, for the purpose of referring and selecting JNF Dream Trip recipients. For more information, visit www.jorgenation.com.

About the Ft. Lauderdale Taste of Little Italy:
The festival was formed with a vision to create an experience rich in Italian culture. We look to celebrate the contributions of great Italians through food, music, art, and tradition. Today, as we stay dedicated to encouraging the importance of family and community we hope to stay mindful of the hardships that our ancestors endured in migrating to this great country. We can only hope to continue creating memorable moments together as we share in the passion of all that is a part of our Italian – American Heritage.

Entertainment Schedule:
Friday, March 3, 2017
5:00pm Lisa Dellarosa
6:15pm Opening Ceremony
6:30pm Phillipe Harari
8:00pm Frank Stallone

Saturday, March 4, 2017
12:00pm Maltz Jupiter Theatre Conservatory of Performing Arts Youth Touring Company
1:00pm Vincent Lanciano
2:30pm Phillipe Harari
4:00pm Lisa Dellarosa
5:00pm Galbani Cheese Building for Charity
6:00pm Elio Scaccio
7:00pm Maria De Crescenzo
8:00pm Salvatore Valentinetti
Sunday, March 5, 2017
11:30am Vincent Lanciano
12:30pm John Timparelli
2:00pm Elio Scaccio
3:00pm Lou Villano
4:00pm Maltz Jupiter Theatre Conservatory of Performing Arts Youth Touring Company
5:00pm Franco Corso
6:00pm Tommy Mara and The Crests

Calendar Listing:
The 1st Annual Ft. Lauderdale Taste of Little Italy presented by AutoNation – March 3-5, 2017 (Friday 3pm-10pm, Saturday 10am-10pm, and Sunday 10am-8pm) at Huizenga Park located at the SE corner of Las Olas and Andrews Avenue. The three-day family Italian street festival will have national entertainment, authentic food, festival rides and games, free wine, and cooking demonstrations and lots more. Admission is $10.00, discounted multiple day passes are available. Children 12 & under are free and there is free parking. For more information visit: www.ftlauderdaleitalianfestival.com.

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