Thousands of people joined in the celebration of Italian culture as Belmar hosted the 7th Annual Festival Italiano this past weekend in Lakewood. The event offered an exotic flavor of Italy with its wide variety of music, food, art and entertainment.
Highlights of the festival included the GLI SBANDIETORI - flag throwers from Florence who delighted the crowd with their expertise and the ever popular Children's Grape Stomp sponsored by local winery Balistreri Vineyards. With several stages throughout the event, there was ongoing music and entertainment for all ages.
A large crowd of family, friends and toe-tappers gathered to watch members of Dance Boulevard perform numerous routines. At the end of their perfomance, members of the troupe invited the audience to participate in a final, lively dance.
On Sarturday, chalk artists began making their grids on the street and sidewalk as they worked to create their masterpieces. By Sunday afternoon, visitors were in awe of the beautiful creations that would soon disappear from the pavement.
Throughout the celebration, people could participate in wine tastings, Chef Demonstrations, Italian lessons and bocce tournaments. The streets were lined with booths ranging from fresh produce, bread and pastries to pizza and sausage sandwiches.
As Sunday evening approached, people lingered, not wanting to leave what truly seemed like a weekend vacation in Italy.