Last weekend was the annual Italian food and culture festival (Festa Italiano) at the Covent Garden Market here in London, Ontario.
As bad as it sounds, I never expect too much when it comes to festivals here. Apparently London is known for its festivals (the 2nd largest RibFest in Canada, SunFest, Home County Folk Fest). But from what I've seen, these festivals are more about community and celebration than grandeur and quantity.
A few weeks ago, my friend was part of the OPA Greek Festival here. A few of us went to see her greek dancing group perform and we enjoyed some homemade Greek gyros, spanikota and coffee. It was great seeing the Greek community come together to put on a small, but enjoyable celebration.
Festa Italiano was much the same. There were only two or three food stalls (a little disappointing), and small crowds, but the organizers really tried to bring some Italian hospitality and entertainment to the event. Like a pizza throwing demonstration...
...where some of the kids got to practice their pizza throwing skills.
One of the food stalls offered homemade meat ball subs, lasagna and pasta.
The afternoon ended with a rather humorous pizza-eating contest.
And the winner took home a Unico prize pack full of pasta goodies.
Overall, the festival was not that impressive or grand. But the sense of community and local participation was overwhelming.