Italian Day returns to Commercial
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Commercial Drive will embrace its heritage this weekend during the traditional Italian Day festival.
Dubbed Made In Italy, this year’s event focuses on Italian creations as well as bits of Italy in Vancouver.
“When I spoke to people who lived here in the ‘50s and ‘60s, everybody tells me stories about this area, it’s so important to recognize the Italian heart in Vancouver,” said Beppe De Lucio, the president of the Italian Day Festival Society. “We want everyone to be Italian for the day.”
The festival returned in 2010 – after a hiatus since the late 1980s - and hit 300,000 attendants in 2013, a record amount.
De Luccio says the importance of the festival is not in the festivities but recognizing a part of Canadian culture that was ignored for so long.
“It was the sense of the large population who emigrated from Italy that they had a chance to celebrate their fathers and forefathers for everything they’ve done not only for them but for the city of Vancouver,” he said.
The festival will feature a walk through museum featuring Italian inventions – such as the bicycle, eyeglasses, radio and telephone – as well as vendors and musicians.
There will also be a raffle with the winner receiving a trip for two to anywhere in Italy. Part of the proceeds of the raffle will go to funding the Templeton High School’s “Summervisions Film Institute for Youth”.
The festival kicks off at noon all along Commercial Drive and runs to about 8 p.m.