It's called Viva L’ Italia - the ninth annual Italian American Heritage Festival of Iowa - and it's underway in downtown Des Moines.
Willie Farrell joined Van and I on the early show this week to discuss the history of the festival - including how it landed in the current location - Western Gateway in downtown Des Moines - which is a FABULOUS place to have the event, which has really grown over the years.
The festival got underway at 10 am Friday and continues until midnight then resumes Saturday from 11 am until midnight (we love to party late!)
Though the tendency is to focus on food (I'm guilty of that!), the event also celebrates Italian heritage and culture in Iowa. This year, the festival is spotlighting the regions of Sardinia and Tuscany.
But the food! Of course, there's pizza but the festival features every type of Italian food (Willie Farrell likes to joke that all the noodles are made the same, just in different shapes so that they can be named differently) and there's non-stop entertainment. I'm looking forward to Bostyx, a band that plays Boston and Styx songs.
Here's the complete schedule. I'll go AT LEAST twice (maybe more - a boys gotta eat!) WIll I see you there?