Festa Italiana brings culture to citys downtown piazza

by: L.E. BASKOW, The 19th annual Festa Italiana takes place at Pioneer Courthouse Square Aug. 26 to 28.

The Italian-American community of Portland rejoices, as their annual event celebration, Festa Italiana, takes place Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 26 to 28 at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland.

It's the 19th year of the event, which features plenty of Italian fare, dancing, stage entertainment, vendors, wine and beer, fun for kids and strolling accordionists.

It takes place noon to 11 p.m. Aug. 26 and 27, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 28.

Stage entertainment includes Ray Massa's EuroRhythms, Bella Ciao, Moreno Fruzzetti, John English, and opera on Aug. 26.

Among restaurants featured are Piazza Italia, La Bottega, a Cena and Basta's Trattoria.

Activities for children will include pizza toss, grape stomp competition and Carter Family Marionettes.

There will be a raffle ($6 tickets) for an Aprilia motor scooter and other items.

For the serious Festa Italiana reveler, there will be: Mass in Italian, 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, 2498 S.E. 16th Ave.; Bocce tournament, all day Sunday, Aug. 22, Cedarville Park, 3800 West Powell Loop, Gresham; Festa Night at the Flicks, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24, Fifth Avenue Cinema, 510 S.W. Hall St. (a showing of 'Notte Prima Degli Esami-Oggi' or 'Night Before Exams-Today').

There is free admission to Pioneer Courthouse activities. For more information, go to www.festa-italiana.org.

- Jason Vondersmith