Inaugural Indiana festa attracts large crowd

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Cesare Battisti Lodge at Villa Cesare in Schererville spread Italian cheer across Northwest Indiana in August at its first annual Festa Italiana. Roughly 4,000 festival goers were serenaded by traditional and non-traditional Italian music as they made their way to food, craft and beer and wine vendors. They enjoyed non-stop live entertainment, played bocce at their leisure and in tournaments, watched pasta- and pizza-making demonstrations, participated in an entertaining spaghetti-eating contest, and learned from the experts at a wine-and-food pairing. For the rest of the story, visit.

On the food front, there was pizza, Italian beef, Italian sausage, meatball and caprese sandwiches, fried ravioli, arancini and more from a host of vendors, including Frankie V’s, Capri Pizza, Pascal’s Pizza, Calabria Imports, and Kaptur Events – Villa Cesare’s caterer. Dessert options included Italian ice, gelato, tiramisu, and cannoli, as well as biscotti and pizzelles made by the Italian American Women’s Club.

Italian music by La Tosca, Vince Amore, Jim Bulanda and Carmelo Zaccone brought back fond Italian memories, and an at night, Dick Diamond & The Dusters and Shout Out rocked the festa.

Festa Italiana was made possible by the generous support of the following sponsors: Town Planner, Puntillo & Crane Orthodontics, Ameristar, Schererville BMW, WJOB, NW Industrial Specialists, Ogren Insurance, Total Disposal, Schillings, Pepperbrook Desgin, Kaptur Events, Dr. Joseph Brett, Dante’s House of Pizza, Creekside Landscaping, and Paun Family Chiropractic.

Villa Cesare is home to Cesare Battisti Lodge #27, an Italian American organization and a local chapter of the Italian Sons and Daughters of America. The lodge is a non-for-profit and has made contributions to local charities and organizations for almost a century.

For details, click here.

Photos by Matt Mansueto

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