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Newspaper articles Re: Columbus Day Fest

Columbus Day Facts:

Columbus Day first became an official state holiday in Colorado in 1906, and became a federal holiday in 1934.

Italian-Americans observe Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage, the first occasion being in New York City on October 12, 1866.

Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) was an Italian explorer who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, hoping to find a route to India (in order to trade for spices). He made a total of four trips to the Caribbean and South America during the years 1492-1504
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Newspaper articles:
 
Parade & Fest:  2010

CAPE CORAL  BREEZE
10/09/10
DREW WINCHESTER
dwinchester@breezenewspapers.com

Columbus Day is Monday, but the holiday gets an early start this weekend when the Columbus Day Parade and Food Fest returns Saturday with free entertainment and great food.
The parade has been around for decades, but the food fest was added three years ago and was a natural fit, said Linda Biondi.
Organized by Biondi and the Sons of Italy Charles J. Bonaparte Lodge 2504, the event features free music immediately following the parade.

Biondi said everything was falling into place Friday evening.
"The guys are setting up the stage, the bleachers are getting set up ... all the preparations are getting ready," she said. "We're pretty much on track."

The parade begins at 3 p.m., but the event runs until 10.
Along with the parade, another big part of the fest are the live performances, which will be going on throughout the afternoon and evening, according to Biondi.
Z-Bop featuring Vinnie B, the Calendar Girls, The Catman Mario Infante and Mario B, the Del Prados, the Lisa Meyer Dancers, the Tarantella Dancers, and many more, will be performing.

The featured act is internationally known recording artist Maurice Lo Monaco, who makes his home in Southwest Florida.
Both traditional Italian food, as well as other non-Italian fare will be available for purchase.
There will be rides and a rock wall for children, though Biondi said those attractions will cost money.
Biondi is expecting more than 40 vendors.
Biondi said it looks like the weather is going to be on their side on Saturday. Previous years temperatures soared, but things look to be pretty temperate this weekend.
"If the weather is anything like today, it's going to be perfect," she said.

CRA Public Relations Manager Helen Ramey said it is important to watch where you park Saturday if you go to the event.
Parking is available in multiple areas around downtown, but she urged driver to not park in areas where signs are posted saying parking is not allowed.

"Please park in the many public parking lots and avoid private property with posted tow away signs," Ramey said. "Tow operators operate 24/7 and are very active during special events.

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 BREEZE
10/11/10

The spirit, the culture and, of course, the food of Italy was on display in South Cape this weekend, as the Columbus Day Parade and Italian Food Fest returned for another year of family fun.

Blanketing nearly all of Southeast 47th Terrace through the heart of the Cape Coral's downtown district, the parade and food festival provided a little something for everyone.
Whether it was sausage and peppers sandwiches, meatball subs or sweet Italian ices, people who thirst for good food had to look no further then the dozens of vendors along Southeast 47th Terrace.

Then there was people like Frank Rooney, who brought out his two grandchildren to watch the parade, which included local dignitaries, politicians, companies and clubs.
"This is going to be their first parade," he said. "They're very excited."
Of course, Rooney tried some of the food, too, which is why he wanted to come out and experience the event.
"I have a diet until it comes to these things. I'm back on it later, but for now its good," he said. "I tried a little bit of everything."

Organizer Linda Biondi said the parade and food fest likely drew upwards of 20,000 people to downtown Cape Coral.
Sponsored and organized by the Sons of Italy Charles J. Bonaparte Lodge #2504, the parade has been around for decades.

The addition of the Food Fest came three years ago, when it was decided to expand upon the festivities and make it an all-day event. The first two years the event was held in Big John's parking lot, but stretched its legs, so to speak, by expanding down Southeast 47th Terrace. 
Biondi said this year's parade and food fest were a resounding success.

It was so busy, she said, vendors were running out of food and had to restock so they could keep serving all day.
"I think everyone had a great time," Biondi said. "Everyone was very happy. It was amazing."
She thought the parade was the most highly attended in its decades long history.
"I never saw such a crowd on the parade route," she said, adding, "I bet we had 20,000 people throughout the day."

CLICK HERE TO SEE photos:

http://cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com/photos/index.php?id=1615689

cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com

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NEWS PRESS

Columbus Day Parade and Food Fest  N-P  Oct. 9, 2010

Italy is coming to South Cape next weekend when the Columbus Day Parade and Italian Food Fest returns for a third year of free entertainment and great food.

Organized by the Sons of Italy Charles J. Bonaparte Lodge 2504, the parade has been around for decades, but the food festival became part of the celebration three years ago.

Linda Biondi said the idea of combining the parade and the food fest seemed like a natural fit.

"It just seemed like a good way to put things together and promote Italian heritage and promote the downtown," Biondi said.

The parade runs east to west along Southeast 47th Terrace, and the food festival will be on Southeast 47th Terrace between Coronado Parkway and Southeast 15th Avenue.

The parade begins at 3 p.m., and the event runs until 10.

Along with the parade, another big part of the fest are the live performances, which will be going on all day long, according to Biondi.

Z-Bop featuring Vinnie B, the Calender Girls, The Catman Mario Infante and Mario B, the Del Prados, the Lisa Meyer Dancers, the Tarantella Dancers, and many more, will be performing.

The featured act is internationally known recording artist Maurice Lo Monaco, who makes his home in Southwest Florida.

CRA Public Relations Manager Helen Ramey praised Lo Monaco, who also performed at last year's parade and food fest.

"He put goosebumps on my goosebumps," Ramey said. "Everyone simply adored his singing ... I had to stop everything last year when he sang."

Biondi said that the free entertainment and parade are a great way for families to enjoy a day out without breaking the bank.

"It's a chance for us to give back to the city and give back the residents ... it doesn't cost a thing to come out and watch the entertainment," she said. "There will be entertainment all day long ... there will always be something on stage."

Biondi expects roughly 30 vendors for the event.

She said both traditional Italian food, as well as other non-italian fare, will be available for purchase.

There will be rides and a rock wall for the kids, though Biondi said those attractions will cost money.

As the event has grown over the last three years, Ramey said she was impressed at how smoothly everything is organized and run by the Sons of Italy.

Last year more than 15,000 people enjoyed the event, despite the heat, which reached as high as 97 degrees.

"This is a dedicated group and it's amazing how smooth things are going," Ramey said, adding, "It has been a privilege to work with the Sons Of Italy. Two years ago we started with just a concept and we have developed it into this great fun-filled family event."

The Columbus Day Parade and Italian Food Fest is Saturday, Oct 9. For more information, visit SouthCape.net, or call Biondi at 542-2254.

N-P  Oct. 10, 2010

People from throughout Southwest Florida discovered food and fun Saturday at the Columbus Day Parade and Italian Food Festival in Cape Coral.

Ron and Carol Stok didn’t have to cross the ocean, but they drove more than 40 miles from Naples to attend the festivities.
“This is our first time here. It’s a good parade,” said Ron Stok, 66.
“We’ll be back next year,” said Carol Stok.
The weather made it ideal for a parade, with temperatures in the mid-80s and no rain.
In all, more than 15,000 were expected to turn out for the parade and festival in downtown Cape Coral, said Linda Biondi, spokeswoman for the Sons of Italy Charles J. Bonaparte Lodge 2504, host of the events.
There were 58 parade entries and 40 festival vendors offering a variety from Italian sausage and pepper sandwiches to chocolate-covered ants and hand-rolled cigars.
Entries in the parade, in its 27th year, included the Knights of Columbus, the Italian American Club, the Sons of Italy, the Vietnam Veterans of America Lee County Chapter, the Cape Coral police and fire departments, Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott, Cape Coral Mayor John Sullivan and other politicians, and a procession of vintage Corvettes, classic vehicles and Korean War-era Jeeps.
“I liked the cars the best, especially the Mercedes- Benz,” said Richard Jones, 6.
Dylan Baker, 3, said “I liked the candy” tossed from the floats.
There was more to the parade and festival than having a good time.
“We’re hoping to raise $8,000 to $10,000,” Biondi said. Proceeds will go to a variety of charities and causes, including research to find cures for Alzheimer’s for Cooley’s Anemia, a blood disorder, she said.
 

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