The highly popular annual Italian Festival, usually held at Chaffers Marina in March, has found a new home and will be held at a different time of the year.
The festival, which this year will be in its 16th year, draws crowds of 12-15,000 at the Overseas Terminal and showcases the best in Italian food, beverages, products and services to the wider public.
The festival has outgrown its traditional home and, with the plan to convert the terminal eventually to apartments, the decision has been made to move it to Westpac Stadium to be held on Sunday September 26.
Organisers Antonio Cacace from La Bella Italia and Club Garibaldi President Ginette Toscano-Page said the decision to shift away from the highly crowded late summer events calendar made a lot of sense.
"In the past we have competed for time and attention with many other attractions. A September date gives us the chance to stand out from the crowd," they said.
With the bigger venue it is hoped to have a larger number of Italian producers and exporters represented in the festival which already draws exhibitors of everything from travel and books to fashion.
"We are planning to develop this from a local celebration of Italian heritage to a premier event on the social calendar.
"A bigger venue gives our merchants a better chance to present their wares and to accommodate the crowds who like to linger, trying different foods," Mr Cacace said. A large amount of parking and easy access for stall holders are also regarded as pluses.
The stadium is a proven exhibition venue, hosting the annual Food Show and home and garden expos.
Mr Cacace said uncertainty about how long the Overseas Terminal would continue to be available was a prime reason for the shift.
"We have really appreciated the support of Angela Vinaccia and Kevin Bull, the leaseholders at the terminal. Their backing allowed us to grow the festival from its origins on the waterfront at Petone but it is now time for us to take another step forward."
For further information
Contact Antonio or Miriam at 566-9303.
Antonio e Luisa Cacace Fondatori Della Bella Italia in New Zealand
Antonio and Luisa Cacace Founders of La Bella Italia in New Zealand
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Joe and Gino Cuccurullo
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