Divertimento alla Festa!

August 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

By: Casey Schaak

Ciao amici! This year, the Vollrath Associates team returned to Festa Italiana to offer our public relations expertise. The four-day festival and the weeks leading up to it were jam packed with press releases, alerts, media inquiries and opportunities, as well as some great coverage, if we do say so ourselves. While we were certainly busy with media relations and keeping Festa Facebook and Twitter followers in the know on the latest and greatest happenings, we all had an excellent experience at the event.

From enjoying delicious food, to spending time with the friendly and familiar faces of Festa and watching plenty of entertaining acts and spectacular fireworks, the 35th anniversary of Festa Italiana was a hit with team VA! Take a look at our highlights from the week:


From Italian dancers and musicians, to the Italian Idol contest, opera singers, a surprise country act and even a magic act, Festa provided excellent entertainment that appealed to audiences of all ages.


Phil Vassar was announced as the surprise country headliner for Festa during a special Spiked Island Beach Party at Bradford Beach. (From left to right) Dave Spano, president of Festa, Phil Vassar and Jessica.

Bill Jennaro, Festa board member, joined musicians Michael Castaldo and Frank Tenaglia on Fox 6’s Real Milwaukee with Tony Clark. They even showed off their impressive singing talents on air! (From left to right) Bill, Michael, Tony and Frank.

Team VA joined the fun as the audience danced to the Oldies but Goodies Spectacular on Friday night, after listening to the Ides of March. Phil (left) and Marilyn even whipped out some dance moves!


Of course, we all enjoyed arancini (rice balls) at various times throughout the weekend, as well as sfincione (Sicilian pizza), spinach stromboli and sfingi (Italian donuts). Gelato and vino were also crowd pleasers!

Tiffany Ogle (left), of Today’s TMJ4 Morning Blend, learns how to make pasta melanzani (eggplant) and spiedini with Dean Cannestra, chef and owner of Nessun Dorma and Libiamo restaurants.

CBS 58 caught the action of the cannoli-eating contest. Four-time winner Anthony Paulis took the title again this year, eating a total of 30 mini cannoli.

Bocce Ball

Pronounced “bo-chi” ball (not to be confused with the pronunciation “botch-y,” which means kiss in Italian), this fun and interactive game was available to festival-goers throughout the weekend, with a tournament on Sunday. Also check out the video here!

Prior to Festa, Andrea Anderson with the Journal Sentinel created a video tutorial on Bocce Ball, its history and the rules.


Team VA tried our hand at Bocce Ball. (From left to right) Jessica, Casey, Julie and John.

 For a deeper dive into all the Festa festivities and pictures from all four days, check out the Festa Italiana Facebook page!

Arrivederci until next year!


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