Food, fashion and fun on Commercial Drive marking Italian Day

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s one of the biggest street festivals in western Canada, and today, it’s back to delight potentially hundreds of thousands of people in East Vancouver.

It’s Italian Day on Commercial Drive and organizers are promising the usual splash of music, good food, and some new offerings.

It’s an embracing event, bringing together community, and celebrating heritage, explains Brunella Gaudio who is the executive director of the Italian Day Festival Society.

This year’s theme is Musica and Gaudio adds one of the special attractions is a free concert in Grandview Park featuring a celebrity artist from Italy.

“Edoardo Bennato which is kind of like a cross between a Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen sort of symbol. He’s a singer-songwriter — folk, pop, [he] does a bit of everything.”

Another new attraction is a food and wine sampling area with products flown in especially for the event.

There will, of course, be pizza on hand but there are many other food options to check out including: fried Italian doughnuts, cannoli, pasta, wood-oven panini, meatballs, gelato, arancini and espresso-based drinks. There will also be 15 extended patios and several food trucks in the area.

You are being encouraged to leave your pets at home because it’s so busy and it could get a little hot and stuffy.

There will also be some dance lessons, a fashion show and you’ll have the chance to play Bocce.

Members of the Vancouver Whitecaps will also be on hand as well as folks from our sister stations JACK 96.9.

The festival runs until the evening with 14 blocks of Commercial Drive cut off to all vehicles between Venables Street and the Grandview Cut. Gaudio says it’s best to walk, bike or take transit to the area, as a result of the expected traffic tie-ups.

The event runs until 8 p.m.

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