I’m a sucker for festivals. It doesn’t matter if we’re celebrating holidays, cultures, or polka dotted boll weevils -- count me in. This past weekend was the 30th annual Columbus Italian Festival in Italian Village. The weather was crisp and autumnal, and people of all ages came to share pizza, admire roving accordionists, and gawk at a few Lamborghinis.
Presented by Saint John The Baptist Italian Catholic Church, the Italian Fest has plenty of unique attractions. Like bocce ball. And Italian-American Idol. It also offers tons of games, rides, and activities for kids. Plus there’s more live music than you can shake a cannoli at. On the Traditional Stage we caught some of New York female act Tre Bella, who sang “Gloria.” You know, the song Laura Branigan sang in the early 80’s? Apparently it was first recorded by Italian pop star Umberto Tozzi in 1974. Then we watched the marvelous 17-piece Rick Brunetto Big Band, who played a rousing rendition of “Mambo Italiano.” On the Contemporary Stage we caught my favorite local shake-whatcho-mama-gave-you R&B band, Conspiracy. They were, as always, a blast to behold and covered everything from Beyoncé to Aretha Franklin. Nearby several giant flatscreens broadcast various college football games to the pleasure of the festival’s male attendees. The sound man for the Contemporary Stage actually mounted one next to his mixing board. Now that took some serious coglioni.