The summer is winding down and the evening temperatures are starting to cool down here in the Hudson Valley. Of course for all of you that follow WonderfulWonders you already know how very important it is to my honey & I to support local businesses, vendors and events. This weekend we did just that by attending the 2nd year for the new “Festa Italiana Peekskill” festival.
What began with general conversation at Ciro’s Restaurant on South Street in Peekskill (in Westchester County NY) has turned into “Festa Italiana Peekskill” thanks to organizer/director Frank Cimino. Apparently after doing some research it was discovered that 20% of Peekskill’s population is made up of Italian/Americans. With that, Mr. Cimino was on a quest, a quest to bring an Italian festival to Peekskill. Last year Mr. Cimino and a group/army of volunteers got together to bring what was a childhood memory of the great smells of good food, good conversation with family & friends to life in Peekskill.
Similar to their neighbors in Verplanck NY, who has proudly hosted the Italian Feast presented by The Society of Our Lady of Mt Carmel for the past 89years, Peekskill now proudly celebrates their “Festa Italiana Peekskill” Festival during the Feast of the Assumption. The “Festa Italiana Peekskill” features genuine native cuisine and bona fide Italian entertainers.
2011 is the 2nd year for the new “Festa Italiana Peekskill” festival and the Paramount Center for the Arts kicked off this year’s celebration with a benefit concert featuring Michael Amante. The benefit concert was for the Assumption Church and School in Peekskill. Michael Amante is one of the few tenors in the United States that is highly regarded and has been in a number of shows.
Friday night the crowd was entertained by Peekskill’s very own Internationally Acclaimed Vocal Artist Mary Mancini and World Renowned Accordion Virtuoso Mario Tacca and Doug Ferony Big Band. After the traditional Italian “salute!” (even though it may have been only water for our performing friends) everyone enjoyed themselves as they were clapping in their seats, singing along & even dancing in the streets!
The very beautiful Ave Maria performed by Mary Mancini was among the shows highlights
As with most festivals, along with the entertainment & food is a unique blend of vendors ~ many of which are local offering a unique blend of local flare and in many case homemade items featuring locally grown or manufactured materials.
What I love most about attending these festivals is the opportunity to meet these local businesses/vendors and chat a bit with them. I simply love unique items and to meet the owner of the business and learn how they make the products is truly a pleasure for us. In return for their time & effort, we like to give them a little recognition and showcase a few of the more unique products and we have to save the trivets from Botanical Trivets are not only unique but they are exquisite! And yes, of course I had to have one for myself and I bought one as a gift!
As always, I wish you days filled with wonder – take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!
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