Grape stomping. A Roman encampment. Food and wine booths. And a children’s fun zone.
The Italian Family Festa, now in its 41st year, returns to History Park in San Jose this weekend with live entertainment, culinary demos, arts and crafts vendors, and a new Italia Cultural and Culinary Pavilion. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, with an evening street dance, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, with an Anthony Nino Band finale. Admission is free.
Highlights will include a “living history” re-enactment of a Roman encampment and demos of Italian swordsmanship both days; grape stomping contests Saturday; and shows by the Fratello Marionettes and Satvik the Magician. The pavilion stage will host pizza tossing and recipe demos and talks on Italian heritage. Among the musical performers set to appear are Opera San Jose singers, John De Mers (aka the Bay Area Sinatra), Mike Annuzzi and Michela Musolino.
Food is always a headliner at this event. Look for the Tricarico Club’s polenta with sausage and the Sons of Sicily’s ravioli and sausage. Tony and Alba’s will sell slices of pizza; and members of the sponsoring Italian American Heritage Foundation will make meatball sandwiches and fill cannoli to order. Aroma Concessions will offer portobello mushroom sandwiches, eggplant pesto sandwiches, fried artichokes and fried zucchini. New this year: The Cousins Maine Lobster food truck. And someone’s sure to be frying sfingi, the popular Italian doughnuts.
Five wineries will be pouring varietals in the shaded Wine Tasting Garden — Armitage, Bargetto, Fortino, Guglielmo and Rosa d’Oro.
Details: Limited free and paid parking near History Park, 1650 Senter Road; carpooling and ride-sharing encouraged. Find maps, schedule of events at www.italianfamilyfestasj.org.