Getting Festive at Festa!

August 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Written By Casey Schaak

Ciao amici di Vollrath Associates! Where to begin with the four exciting days of Festa Italiana? A whirlwind of opera, Ferraris, gelato, gondolas, cannoli, rice balls, vino and the Cake Boss. Sorry Phil, I almost forgot to mention amaretto cream puffs! Oh, and fireworks too! And that’s not even the half of it. The biggest cultural festival in Milwaukee was packed full of delicious food, great entertainment and, most importantly, friendly people.

Did I mention that this was work? The VA team coordinated interviews with various media outlets on and off the festival grounds during the week of Festa, as well as the months leading up to it.  While we faced a lot of heat, a little bit of rain and maybe even some sleep depravity, our team enjoyed getting to know the people that make Festa possible, all elements of the festival itself and, of course, the satisfaction every PR pro gets when an article or news segment for your event pops up in the media.

Check out some Festa highlights as the VA team reflects on our favorite moments:

“My favorite part of Festa was the Anthony Crivello performance.  He has a fabulous voice and seeing the Phantom of the Opera in real life was a very special treat.  It was exciting to see a local resident make it to the big time.  He is very down-to-earth and so appreciative of the opportunities he has had.  Anthony is a wonderful role model for young Milwaukee performers and a tribute to our Italian community.”

-Marilyn Vollrath

Anthony Crivello serenading Molly and Tiffany from TMJ's Morning Blend, while Bill Jennaro and Maria Liber enjoy the music and cannoli.

“I really enjoyed trying different Italian food that I haven’t had before, including rice balls and chicken spedeni. The first ever fashion show was a success as well. As always, I had a great time working with the media to promote this fun and exciting cultural event throughout the Festa week.  And lastly, I enjoyed seeing Pauley drive around in his golf cart every day and making me laugh!!!”

-Jessica Vollrath

The VA team bonding over the delicious Italian food.

“Italy is my favorite place. I like the reminders of Italy at Festa Italiana, including the outstanding food and great statues like David at the entrance. The fashion show and gondola rides were outstanding reminisces of Italy and the Amaretto cream puffs were simply an unbeatable attraction of their own.  I also enjoy the family orientation, and the wall of family pictures, which make this festival a family and hometown event. It is a closely attached group and leaves memories until next year.”

-Phil Vollrath

The VA team exploring the sites and the statues at the festival grounds.

“For me, the best part of the four, fun-filled days of Festa Italiana was the music! This year’s line-up did not disappoint with musical offerings including The Monkees, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, SwedTunes Int’l with the Music of ABBA and countless others. It was a special treat to not only meet the Bronx Wanderers, but Anthony Crivello as well! After hearing Anthony Crivello burst into song on the TMJ4 Morning Blend and again at Festa, I knew I had to see him in his leading role. So, I booked a flight to Vegas, and am eagerly awaiting the show in a few weeks!”

-Liz Grams

Kidd O’Shea from 99.1 interviewing the Bronx Wanderers, an Italian band from New York.

“I really enjoyed getting to spend time out of the office with the VA team whether it was running around coordinating media interviews, riding around on golf carts or relaxing at the Guido Lounge! The foodie in me also loved having the excuse to indulge in gelato and shrimp scampi nearly every day. Overall, the weekend was a great success filled with lots of fun and new learning experiences.”

-Julie Caan 

Jessica and Julie checking out the MSOE Lego replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Personally, I loved arriving at the festival grounds at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, coordinating a band, three food and drink venues and a cultural tent to fill eight television segments for two different news stations. While it might not sound like the ideal way to spend a Saturday morning, I enjoyed the thrill and sense of accomplishment I got when seeing the final video clips. I also loved meeting TLC’s Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro!

Liz and I snagging a picture with Buddy Valastro (TLC’s Cake Boss).

To wrap it up: 6 VA team members spending 4 days (not to mention the weeks leading up to it) meeting dozens of great, mostly Italian, people, working with the media and making all PR activities run smoothly at the Henry Maier Festival Grounds resulted in lots of excitement, learning and success!



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