For 30 years, crowds from near and far return to the Italian Fest to indulge in fan favorites; including, the Grape Stomp, Sauce Cookers Competition, an Italian Farmer’s Market and everyone’s favorite homemade Italian Buffet. A few new highlights are adding more Italian flavor to the mix in what promises to be a robust celebration of everything Italy.
The fun runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Try your hand at the art of wine making during the Grape Stomp, open to Festival-goers of all ages Saturday or play a bit of Bocce Ball on the Eldorado’s Train Trench Plaza. The Bocce Tournament for competitive players begins Saturday at 8 a.m. with a $10 signup fee. Not sure how to play? Stop by Sunday for free beginner and family play starting at 10 a.m.
Competition at the Italian Festival isn’t all about Bocce Ball, it’s also about who makes the best pasta sauce. A crowd favorite year after year continues to be the Great Italian Festival Sauce Cook-off. Italian families from across the west coast bring their “secret recipes” to life right on the street for guests to taste. Pasta tasting plates will be sold for $2 at the Spaghetti Booth on the corner of Fourth and Virginia Streets from starting at 1 p.m. daily. Don’t wait, they go fast!
New to the 30th Annual Italian Festival is the fastest product of Italy; the Ferrari Club of America will have dozens of Ferraris lining the Plaza on the south side of the Eldorado for the weekend. Other newcomers are on the entertainment lineup, including Tammurriatarock!, a jam-band from Italy that mixes Italian world music with a reggae and Latin flare and Nick D’Egidio, famous Frank Sinatra impersonator. Returning Italian Festival favorites include Moreno Fruzzetti and 2010 Festival sensation Mitch Franco.
No Italian Festival would be complete without plenty of homemade Italian food! The Eldorado’s Famous Italian Dinner Buffet will be served in the Eldorado Convention Center at 4 p.m. on Saturday and in The Buffet on Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy a special array of Italian dishes will be served, including Veal Tortelloni, Ricotta and Spinach Canneloni, Cioppino, Steamed Clams and Linguini, Turkey Scallopine with Marsala and Mushrooms, Eggplant Parmesan and an assortment of homemade Italian Salads and desserts, including our famous gelato and tiramisu!
Great tastes are also available street side—grab a handmade pasta sampler with Tortellini Eldorado, Meat Ravioli Bolognese and Penne with Pesto or try the creamy Risotto. Other specialties include Sausage and Peppers with Polenta and of course, delicious Garlic Bread.
Join in as Reno celebrates the 30th Annual Great Eldorado Italian Festival on Saturday and Sunday, October 8 and 9. For more details, photos and other Italian Festival information visit www.eldoradoreno.com or call 775-786-5700.