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Italian Fest Celebrates 30 Years – Buon appetito!

Join the Eldorado in celebrating the 30th Annual Great Italian Festival Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9.

5331582344_c0608ef463_zFor 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.5331505164_01a074323a_z

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!2387938334_96f586b98a_o

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.

Benvenuto to the 29th Annual Eldorado Great Italian Festival!

ItalianfestAs the air gets a little more crisp across Reno it can only mean one thing—the Eldorado Great Italian Festival is almost here!  The 29th Annual event celebrates the food, culture, music and traditions of Italy on Saturday, October 9 and Sunday, October 10. 

Start the weekend on Friday, October 8 with the Eldorado’s Fall Crush party featuring the wines of Ferrari-Carano Vineyards.  Celebrate the vineyard’s harvesting season with all different varieties of Ferrari-Carano wines paired with the Eldorado’s spectacular hors d’oeuvres in the Eldorado Convention Center.  Tickets are available for just $40 per person—call 775-786-5700 or visit the Eldorado Information Desk to reserve.

The party hits the streets on Saturday as the 29thAnnual Great Italian Festival kicks off! One of the most anticipated events of the year, the main feature of the Festival is the authentic homemade Italian cuisine. This year’s menu consists of both traditional Italian dishes and Italian favorites with contemporary flair.  Six different booths will feature everything from ravioli, lasagna, risotto, Italian pizzas and polenta.  For those looking for a new Italian dish, try the New York Steak Flatbread or the Garlic Parmesano fries.  No meal would be complete without dessert!  Stop by the homemade Gelato booth or grab a piece of melt-in-your-mouth tiramisu.

This is also the chance for Italian families across the West Coast to compete in the highly anticipated Great Italian Festival Sauce Cookoff!  Hailing from Lombardia, Puglia, Sicily and so many more, each family has a “secret recipe” for sauce that guests can sample for themselves!  Pasta bowls are available at 2 p.m. each day, but careful, they go fast!

Italian Fest 2Free live entertainment adds to the fresh air and Italian faire, with Festival favorites like Ray Massa and the EuroRythms, Moreno Fruzzetti, Pasquale Esposito and Dick Contino, the legendary virtuoso of the accordion.  The ladies of Tre Bella will also be heating up the stage with everything from their new hit dance track to pop, R&B and the Italian classics.  A new, young face with a booming, Sinatra-esque voice will also wow the crowds.  Mitch Franco may only be 16 but boy this kid can sing!

Kick off those shoes and take part in traditional Italian activities like the Grape Stomp, where guests actually get into a barrel of grapes and compete against others to find the master of grape-mashing!  Play Bocce Ball on the lawn or browse through the Italian-inspired arts and crafts booths to find a souvenir.  Children’s games and face painting are also available.

The fun continues inside the Eldorado with the Famous Italian Buffet, served nightly at The Buffet on the mezzanine level beginning at 4 p.m.  Guests can also enter to win a Mediterranean Cruise by stopping by our Promotion Center for details.

Join in the fun at the 29thAnnual Eldorado Great Italian Festival on Saturday, October 9 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information on the Italian Festival visit www.eldoradoreno.com or call 775-786-5700.

-Diana Rogers