By, Ashley Fountain
The 18th Annual Italian Experience Festival was celebrated at Hoftsra University on Sunday, September 19th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event has gained popularity over the years and continues to be a highlighted tradition for Long Island residents and members of the Hofstra community.
Giovanni Rizzo, 18 a resident of Jerico, New York has been attending the Italian Experience Festival with his parents for four years. He feels the festival is an occasion to look forward to. “My family and I are proud of our Italian heritage. It is plain to see by this Italian flag painted on my cheek that I will demonstrate my pride that I have for my culture whenever I get the chance,” said Rizzo. “My favorite part about this celebration of course is the great music and delicious food that is served.”
Those who attended the event were able to enjoy Italian culture by engaging in children’s activities, practicing art through a variety of crafts, and tasting an assortment of food while browsing through a variety of merchandise. Entertainment was also a component of the festival encompassing Italian folk songs and dance. A few of the special performances featured include Angelo Giudici and The San Remo Duo; The Long Island Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra; Our Lady of Good Counsel Band; The Magic of Maione; Katie’s Puppets and Michael Amante, also referred to as “The People’s Tenor.”
“My favorite performance of the day was listening to Michael Amante. His voice silenced the entire audience. I was amazed by him,” said Rizzo. I hope this festival continues so I can bring my kids to enjoy it in the future.”