Mirboo North was transformed into little-Italy last weekend as a sea of green, white and red graced the leafy town for the Italian Festa.
More than 7000 people braved the wintery conditions to indulge in some Italian cuisine and lap up the the cultural entertainment on offer.
Festa coordinator Rosie Romano said the day was a big success as people travelled from across the state to attend the festival.
“I couldn’t believe how many people came out despite the weather conditions, we had gale-force winds and heavy rain but people were up and dancing and having a great time,” Ms Romano said.
“The Italian food was so popular, we sold over 3000 cannoli and all of the food stalls were busy throughout the afternoon and had mostly sold out by the end of the day.”
Traditional southern Italian band ‘The Rustica Project’ from Melbourne kept crowds entertained with an array of upbeat and uplifting music.
“The band made people get up and boogie, the piano accordion was pumping, it was so good to see,” Ms Romano said.
“The Latin dancers and Roman soldiers were a big hit – they looked amazing, and a roving fisamonica was a pretty entertaining sight.”
The day was emceed by James Liotta with entertainment provided by internationally acclaimed comedian Joe Avati and Tony Pantano.
“We had something for every-one – pizza, pasta, porchetta, meat balls, arrosticini and gnocchi plus gelato but it was a little too cold for that but we had something for everyone.”
The vintage wedding gown exhibition ‘La Vestina Bianca’ was one of the highlights which showcased personal stories of Italian women who migrated to Australia and married in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.
The exhibition has been extended to this weekend as a result of public interest and popularity and will be held in the Mirboo North Town Hall this Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
Entry is by gold coin donation with refreshments available for purchase.
For more information phone Rosie Romano on 0439 344 928 or visit the Mirboo North Italian Festa Facebook page.