Ingham Daily Press

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‘The original and the best’: It’s festival time again

IT’S festival time again and the 2022 Australian Italian Festival is set to be a weekend not to be missed.

Ingham will come alive on the 4th and 5th of June as the TYTO Parklands are transformed into a full-scale piazza with nonstop entertainment, cooking demonstrations, competitions, free amusement rides, market stalls and of course lots of great food and drinks – guaranteed fun for all ages. 

Festival Director, Ann Vardanega is looking forward to another great festival this year.

“The Australian Italian Festival is one of the longest running cultural events in Australia and is such an significant celebration for our community.

“It’s always so wonderful to see locals and visitors near and far come to join in the festivities over the weekend. This is a real family event with something for everyone to be part of,” she said.

“We have a great line-up of performers, activities and competitions this year as well as the popular Kids Corner.

“And of course the food is always a highlight. I hope everyone is hungry as our volunteers are making arancini. Last year we sold nearly 1500!” Mrs Vardanega said.

The festival is a ticketed event with free entry for children 18 and under if accompanied by a paying adult. 

Wilmar is once again the proud sponsor of the ‘Kids Corner’, where all rides and entertainment are free of charge.

Rides and Slides will be there to provide the activities, and favourite Tommy the Train will return again this year.

Circus with a Purpose will be back with lots of fun and games hosting workshops for the children over the weekend, which has been a highlight for those who have come to the festival in the past. 

The Prima Spada, a Medieval Fencing Troupe will make their first appearance at the festival and will present swordplay demonstrations and run beginner’s workshops on Saturday for teenagers and those young at heart. 

The festival will also welcome Livio, the one-man-band, with his accordion to delight the crowd with his musical talent.

Swordplay: Prima Spada will no doubt be a highlight of the festival, performing demonstrations as well as running beginners workshops for the first time at the event.
One-man-band LIVIO will perform over the weekend.

Two new competitions will also feature over the weekend. ‘Battle of the Bridge’ and ‘Pizza Throw’ will join the all-time favourites of the ‘Pizza and Spaghetti Eating’ and the ‘Greasy Pole’ competitions.

For those who want to test their strength, the Tsingas competition is set to be a show stopper on Saturday night. Each competitor will test their endurance to see how many laps of the course they can complete while carrying weights.

Mrs Vardanega said the Australian Italian Festival will also present an exhibition at TYTO Gallery on Friday 3rd June.

“The exhibition features ‘Window in Time’ out of the festival vault, a series of oral histories collected from 1998 onwards from many locals.

“This work really showcases the cultural diversity and the perseverance and resilience of our earlier residents,” she said.

Also included in the exhibition is a series of video interviews titled ‘Our Town, Our Stories, Our Future’. These interviews capture that moment in time and the interviewee’s vision for the future of our shire.   

Mrs Vardanega encourages visitors to come along to the festival and enjoy all the region has to offer.

“Come for the festival and stay for the entertainment, or consider extending your stay to enjoy all that the natural beauty of the Hinchinbrook Shire offers.

“We are known for the best bush and beach experiences in the district, with excellent shopping, comfortable accommodation, and friendly people,” she said.

“We can’t wait to host you and give you the original and the best Australian Italian Festival experience.”

Tickets are available online here or can be purchased at the gates. Purchasing online will save you 20% off the ticket cost, so make sure you grab yours now.

Follow the festival on social media https://www.facebook.com/aifestival or visit their website https://www.australianitalianfestival.com.au/ for updates and further information.

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