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Darwin Italian Festival

Spaghetti eating contests, Italian popstars, medieval flag throwing and food, lots of food – is there any wonder 20,000 Darwinites have been known to turn up for this day of deliciousness? Get ready for new culinary and entertainment heights at the biennial Italian Festival.

Italy has 20 regions, each renowned for their distinct savoury and sweet dishes and President of the Italian Festival Association Maria Randazzo says you’ll find much of it on the festival menu.

“We don’t just stop at the pizza, pasta and gelati. There’s everything ranging from meats, breads and seafood, to grains and desserts,” said Randazzo.

And Italian vino en bira – wine and beer – to boot.

An Italian flavoured entertainment line-up is the perfect compliment, hosted by Australian-Italian actor, comedian and producer James Liotta. You can get your pop and R&B on with ARIA award-winning singer-songwriter Cosima De Vito and enjoy world class crooner Tony Pantano, whose voice has been compared with the likes of Elvis Presley and Luciano Pavarotti. And if you weren’t already having too much fun, there’s an ‘Italian Idol’ competition. Fantastico!

Family friendliness is a top priority according to Randazzo, and the space includes a dedicated kid’s area, cooking demonstrations and a showcase of singing, dancing and art presented by various Darwin schools.

Randazzo says the festival is an opportunity to showcase the contributions of the Italian community to new immigrants and the public in general.

“Many Italians in the NT today arrived between the 1950s and 1970s, quite formative years. And there is now a new round of skilled migration, arriving since the 2000s, so it's refreshing for these different generations to be able to really mix on this day.”

See the event listing.

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