Little Italy FESTA Fiesta!
Visitors to San Diego and residents alike are looking forward to the 20thLittle Italy FESTA, a tradition that celebrates Italian-American culture in a variety of fun and delicious ways. This festival is organized by The Little Italy Association (LIA) of San Diego and features vendors and entertainment all day long. The FESTA, the largest Italian American festival in the nation, attracts more than 120,000 attendees each year.
Essential Facts About the Little Italy FESTA
Time, Date and Location -The Little Italy FESTA will take place on Sunday, October 12, 2014 from 10 am to 6 pm. It will take place in the area of San Diego known as Little Italy, by India Street.
Admission -Admission to the FESTA is free.
Driving and Parking -From Interstate 5, heading South: Get off at the Front Street/Civic Center exit, make a right on W. Ash Street. After four blocks, make a right on India Street and park beneath the ESET Building. You can also park in several lots near the festival and take a trolley to the festival area.
Trolley -The Green Line trolley stops at the Little Italy/County Center Stop. From there, walk east on W. Cedar Street for two blocks and make a left on India Street.
Food and Drink
One of the highlights of the Little Italy FESTA is the amazing Italian food that’s available. Festival attendees will be able to sample offerings from some of the area’s finest restaurants. For full course meals, you can be sure that restaurants in the Little Italy area will be offering many special menus for FESTA attendees! In addition, this year’s FESTA will have Coppola Wines and Ballast Point Brewing Company on hand so that guests may sample a variety of wines and beers.
This year’s festival, to mark the event’s 20-year anniversary, is holding some extra special events.
Collaborative Chalk Art Piece -This will be a large, collaborative work depicting the Virgin Mary in stained glass. It will be done by several area artists.
Chalk Art Contest -Anyone can participate in this contest, which has cash prizes of up to $500. Participants will be able to work in a 6’ x 8’ square to create their chalk art masterpieces. The only requirement is that the art depicts something relevant to Italian American culture.
Entertainment -The FESTA will feature a wide variety of entertainment all day long. There will be music performed on four different stages, giving audience members a wide choice. Some of the performers include David Patrone, Marine Band San Diego, Big Daddy Orchestra, Teagan Taylor Trio, Smilin’ Jack, Pizarro Brothers and NovaMenco.
Bocce Ball Tournament -Guests can take part in this traditional game at the Amici Park Bocce Ball Courts. Prizes between $100 and $500 will be awarded.
Vintage Italian Art Exhibition -This exhibition will feature marketing posters from Italy as well as Old Master prints from as early as the 16th century.
Festival Accommodations and Nearby Attractions
Visitors to San Diego have many choices when it comes to fine hotels and other places to stay. One convenient hotel, Hotel Vyvant, is partnering with the festival and offering guests special discounts. Hotel Vyvant on Grape Street is a boutique hotel located right in the heart of Little Italy. This is not only convenient for attending the FESTA, it’s also close to lots of great restaurants and bars. This neighborhood is also close to many of San Diego’s most exciting attractions, such as:
The San Diego Zoo
San Diego Harbor