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3rd Annual Gloucester County Italian Festival Slated for September 24th Performers will feature Opera, Italy’s DisCanto, and Dennis DiBlasio Jazz Quintet Italian Folk Arts, Crafts, Food, and Children’s Activities

(Deptford, NJ) – Gloucester County Freeholders announced the line-up today for the 3rd Annual Gloucester County Italian Festival will be held on Sunday, September 24 from 12 noon until 7 pm at Gloucester County College.  The festival is free of charge, and will be held rain or shine.

Freeholder Director Sweeney said that more than 5,000 people of all ages, coming from every county of New Jersey, and from Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, and Maryland attended last year’s Italian Festival.

“We anticipate that this year’s Italian Festival will be bigger and better than last year’s and that it will keep going strong,” stated Freeholder Director Sweeney.  “We have very popular musical performers lined up, including the Dennis DiBlasio Jazz Quintet and DisCanto from Abruzzi Italy.” 

Sweeney noted that DisCanto visited Gloucester County earlier in the year and have played on WXPN World Café and that The Dennis DiBlasio Jazz Quintet features Dennis DiBlasio who is the Director of the Jazz Program at Rowan University, conducts Rowan’s Lab Band and holds the seat as the Executive Director of The Maynard Ferguson Institute of Jazz Studies at Rowan.

“The Italian Festival in Gloucester County is an event you don’t want to miss,” said Sweeney.  “The music, food and atmosphere are just amazing.  This free Italian street fair will have something to offer everyone.”

Frank DiMarco, liaison to the Cultural and Heritage Committee, said, “Thirty-four percent of Gloucester County's population is of Italian origin, the second largest population of Italian-American citizens in New Jersey.” 

Freeholder DiMarco noted that Gloucester County schools have shown the fastest-growing rate of Italian language studies in New Jersey for the past eight years. One purpose of the Festival is to raise scholarship money for students studying Italian and to promote the continuation of that study to meet the growing need for Italian language teachers.

3rd Annual Gloucester County Italian Festival
August 14, 2006

The Gloucester County Italian Festival is sponsored by the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Gloucester County Cultural and Heritage Commission and a grant from the NJ State Council on the Arts.   The event is coordinated by the Italian Advisory Committee and Gloucester County College generously hosts the location for the festival.

*An Italian Wine and Cheese Tasting will take place on Thursday, September 7th at Auletto’s to benefit the 3rd Annual Gloucester County Italian Heritage Festival.  Tickets are $35 per person, for information please call Auletto’s Caterers, 856-227-3800 or the Gloucester County Cultural & Heritage Commission, 856-464-9518

3rd Annual Italian Festival Performance Schedule:
Emcee:             Luigi Patitucci from WNWR 1540 AM

12 Noon – 1 pm                        Tony Neglia Marching Band
1 – 1:30                        Opening Ceremonies
1:30- 2:15                     Fulvio & Friends
2:30 – 3:15                    Vivaci – Ballerini e Voci d’Italia  (folk dancers)
3:30- 4:15                      Fulvio & Friends
4:30 – 5:15                    Joseph & Lauren Musimeci (Teenage Opera Stars)
5:30-6:15                       DisCanto – (web site: info@discanto.net or www.goabruzzi.com)
6:15-7:00                       Dennis DiBlasio Jazz Quintet, Dennis’s percussionist David Witten played with Frank Sinatra

Craft Vendors/Food Vendors/Demonstrations

Children’s Activities from 1-5 PM in College Center

Dr. Neff’s Incredible Puppet Company
“Opera dei Pupi”        Sicilian Marionettes       (2 performances)
Based on the legends of the Crusades and adapted over 500 years. The characters are knights and their enemies, and romantic ladies of medieval times.

“Artigiango Popolare”           Italian Folk Arts & Crafts Activities for children scheduled from 1-5 pm in the college center.  Venetian masking, tambourines and more!

“The Legend of Old Befana”  Storyteller Dorothy Stanaitus   (2 performances)
Children of all ages and families are invited to learn the legend of La Befana.

Magic Show/Renaissance Face Painting

The Gloucester County Italian Heritage Festival is a rain or shine event.
All activities for the GC Italian Heritage Festival will take place in or around the College Center.
Gloucester County College is accessible to those with physical disabilities. Handicap parking is available.

There is no charge to attend the festival.  Gloucester County College is conveniently located off exit 56 on Route 55 at Tanyard Road, Sewell, NJ.  For directions go to www.gccnj.edu