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ITALIAN TIMES Published by the Italian Community Center 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee, WI 53202 VOL. 35, NO. 2, SECTION A JULY/AUGUST 2013




ICC President/Festa General Chair Gina Spang reports excitement building for 36th Festa Well members and friends, this is it, the count down to Festa Italiana 2013! This issue will provide you a great preview of our entertain-

ment, vendors, menus, special attractions, the raffle, the Cucina, Sunday Mass and much more. Read The Italian Times from cover to cover to get all the details on our 36th annual festival. Vinny “The Kid” of The Bronx Wanderers meets his Festa fans When you are done with that, check out the Apps Store and purchase the Festa App for your iPhone or smart phone. This mobile app has everything you need to know about Festa available on your phone. You will find a map of the grounds, food vendors, directions to the Festa grounds, entertainment stages and schedule and much more. This is a fun and informative tool that you can use before and during Festa. I would like to extend a “Thank You” to our sponsors who generously support our event and a special “Thank You” to Spike Island Adult Lemonade. This is the second year that Spike Island has participated in our event and this year they have really helped us round out our entertainment line up. Be sure to attend this year’s Sunday Mass which will be presided

by Bishop Donald Hying. We are again encouraging everyone who attends Mass to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Hunger Task Force. Volunteers will be collecting food before Mass and will be located at the entrance to the Amphitheater. If everyone would bring one item to donate, it would have a great impact. On Thursday, July 11, we are going to showcase our gondolas on the Milwaukee River to promote this year’s Festa Italiana. We will launch the gondolas at 3:30 p.m. at Sail Loft and make our way down to the Rock Bottom Pub. We will make stops at restaurants along the way and then turn around and head back towards the 3rd Ward area. Join us on the River Walk and help us promote Festa. One last thought that I want to share with you: I recently had a conversation with some friends and we were talking about my vision for the Italian Community Center, our Italian heritage, food, family, traditions and, of course, good wine. We concluded that everyone wants to be Italian because it feels good to be Italian. So with that parting thought, I look forward to seeing you at Festa. – Gina M. Spang Italian Community Center President Festa Italiana General Chair

Read and enjoy Festa! Nightly pyrotechnics by Bartolotta Fireworks

Watch or join “La Parata Italiana”

It is with great pleasure that we publish the July/August 2013 Festa Italiana edition of The Italian Times. We have attempted to provide our

readers with information on nearly all of aspects of the 36th annual Festa, produced by the volunteer members of the Italian Community Center. We hope you enjoy the stories, the features and the photographs. We want to thank everyone who Times photos by Joe Spasiano, Tim Townsend, placed advertising in this issue. Colleen Jurkiewicz and Tom Hemman Without the support of our advertisers, it would be impossible to Rossella Rago, publish this large of a newspaper. “Cooking with Nonna” We encourage our readers to chef returns to Cucina patronize those businesses that Showcase. have placed advertising in this edition. We also hope that everyone who reads this issue will be able to attend Festa Italiana. The festival opens Friday, July 19 and runs through Sunday, July 21 at Henry W. Maier Festival Park (the Summerfest grounds) along Milwaukee’s beautiful lakefront. The staff of The Italian Times is looking forward to covering the festival. Our reports on the 36th annual Festa Italiana will appear in the September 2013 issue. Sunday Mass & Procession. I wish to thank Kalah KrogMadonna del Lume Society shown here. mann, Susan DeSanctis Christiansen, Danita Wendorf, Anna Pitzo, Four down for Charles Joe Zambito, Christina Ziino, Bedwell in Festa’s George Koleas, Maria Tsikalas and Cannoli-Eating Contest, Jacob Born, who volunteered to returning this year write stories for this issue. My on July 20. thanks also to our regular contributors Italian page editor Enrica Tarantino Woytal, Angelo Castronovo, Barbara Collignon, Mario A. Carini and Annette Robertson. My sincerest thanks to Anna Pitzo and Danita Wendorf for writing an doing essential proofreading. If you happen to misplace your print edition of this newspaper, you can also find a copy of it online at the Italian Community Center’s Please turn to page 4A

Enjoy the exciting lineup of shows on the Spiked Island Adult Lemonade Stage at Festa Italiana, July 19-21.

Buona Fortuna, Festa! PAGE 2, SECTION A - JULY/AUGUST 2013


THE ITALIAN TIMES 631 E. Chicago St. Milwaukee, WI 53202-5916 (414) 223-2180 Published 11 times annually Publisher . . . Italian Community Center ICC President . . . . . . . . . . . Gina Spang Newspaper Committee Chairman . . . . . . . Rosemary DeRubertis Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Thomas Hemman Italian Page Editor . . . . . . . Enrica Tarantino-Woytal Advertising Sales Manager . . . . . . . . . . . .Thomas Hemman Advertising Sales Representative . . . . . . Faye Ann Kessler Editorial Contributors and Staff Writers/Reporters . . . . , .Mario A. Carini Angelo Castronovo, Barbara Collignon, Susan Christiansen, Kalah Krogmann, Danita Wendorf, Anna Pitzo, Joe Zambito, Christina Ziino, George Koleas, Maria Tsikalas and Jacob Born Staff Photographers . . . . Joe Spasiano Tim Townsend and Tom Hemman For advertising information, please call (414) 223-2180 or send an e-mail to:

Copyright 2013 The Italian Community Center, Inc. All Rights Reserved All advertisements must be in accordance with the rules and requirements as determined by editorial policy. Paid advertisements are not to be interpreted as an endorsement by the Italian Community Center or its newspaper, The Italian Times. In addition, the Newspaper Committee reserves the right to reject ads based on editorial policy approved by the Board of Directors of the Italian Community Center. The Italian Community Center is a member of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, Visit Milwaukee and the Historic Third Ward Association.

Festa making gondola rides three times as much fun this year By Thomas Hemman Times Editor Gondola rides returned to Festa Italiana in 2011 after over a decade of absence. Festa purchased a 36foot long gondola, obtained the services of four able-bodied gondoliers and went on to provide enjoyable, family-friendly excursions and, for at least one couple, a memorable romantic experience. Last year, Festa added a second gondola, a 24-foot model, courtesy of the Vella family of Peter Sciortino’s Bakery fame. The Vella family purchased this gondola from the Treviso family, whose sons handcrafted gondolas and provided them for the rides that were offered at Festa several years ago. This year, Festa has added yet a

Soccer tournament planned for Festa Details on a soccer tournament at Festa Italiana on Saturday, July 20 were being worked out as this edition of The Italian Times went to press. The tournament matches will take place in an area just north of the Festa grounds. This is the same location where the National Spinal Cord Injury Association will begin its “Wheels & Heels Rush on Festa,” a 5-kilometer run and wheelchair/handcycle race, on Friday, July 19. Look for details on the soccer tournament coming soon at

Whether it’s for a romantic experience for a couple or a bit of family together time (as appears to be the case in this photo), a relaxing ride on one of Festa Italiana’s three gondolas is recommended. Festa will have three gondolas and four, experienced gondoliers ready to take guests on excursions in the Summerfest lagoon all weekend long. (Times photo by Tom Hemman)

third gondola – also a Treviso family product – for festival-goers’ enjoyment. Festa will offer gondola rides each day of the festival, Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21, from shortly after the opening until the nightly fireworks show. The loading dock will be in the same location, on the north end of grounds abutting the Summerfest lagoon. Costs have been set at $25 for a single individual or a couple except during the fireworks show. For those who want to ride the gondolas during the pyrotechnics display, the cost will be $45 for a single individual or a couple. People can

make reservations at a booth on the loading dock. Rides last a minimum of 20 minutes, according to Bill Jennaro, Festa’s manager of gondola rides. Returning to fill the roles of gondoliers will be Sal Galioto, Tony Emmiti, Patrick Lonzo and Anthony Frigo. The gondoliers play lovely recorded Italian music during the rides and sometimes sing to their passengers. Throughout history, a ride on a gondola has known to evolve romance. Last year that proved true on the Saturday night of Festa when a young male passenger proposed marriage to his young female companion during a ride, Jennaro said.

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Festa raffle features $5,000 top prize Festa Italiana will have a raffle with a top prize of $5,000 cash. The other prizes are: an Oriental rug, a 60-inch LED HDTV, a 42-inch LED HDTV and an Apple iPad. Raffle tickets will be $2 each or three for $5 and will be available at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee, and at Festa Italiana, July 19-21. Winning tickets will be drawn 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 21 at Festa. (The stage where the drawing will take place had not been announced before this newspaper went to press.) Winners need not be present. They will be notified by Festa Italiana. Look for more complete details on the raffle at the festival’s website,

Read and enjoy Festa from page 1A website, You can also follow Festa Italiana by downloading the mobile app for your smartphone (go to for details and on Twitter @FestaMKE. Become a fan of Festa on Facebook at ukee to join the conversation. Use the hashtags #MyItalian and #FestaMKE to share your thoughts on Festa. You can also call 414/223-2808. – Thomas Hemman Times Editor

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Festa’s food vendors ready to satisfy your Italian food cravings By Thomas Hemman Times Editor No matter where you go on the grounds of Festa Italiana, you’re going to have the opportunity to avail yourself of a magnificent variety of delicious Italian food prepared by some of the Milwaukee area’s top restaurants, delicatessens and bakeries. There will be 29 food vendors operating 35 booths and portable trailers. While most of the food operators have participated in Festa for many years, the festival is welcoming three new vendors: Divino: Wine & Dine, Red Rock Saloon and Rupena’s Fine Foods. The returning group includes Aliota’s of Wauwatosa. Angelo’s Pizza, Badger Corn, Bobalou Enterprises (Lemon Chill), Cafe La Scala, Carini’s La Conca d’Oro, Catalano Fruit, Fruit Cup & Lemonade, Cataldo’s, Cold Stone Creamery, Crocker Root Beer Barrels, Gelateria Italiana, Glorioso’s Italian Market, Italian Sno, Johnny V’s Classic Cafe, Koepsell’s Festival Popcorn Wagons, Mille’s Festa Sausage, Mille’s Restaurant, Nino’s Italian Bakery, Nuts For You!, Papa Luigi’s, Pietro’s Pizza, Saz’s Festival, Sciortino’s Bakery, Sii’s Mini Donuts, Trattoria di Carlo and Venice Club. What’s on the menu? Two of the most popular items on the Festa food menu – Italian sausage sandwiches and pizza – will be available in multiple loca-

tions. Mille’s Festa Sausage will operate from four booths spread across the grounds. Cafe La Scala, the Italian Community Center’s public restaurant, will operate two booths this year; one in the Spiked Island Adult Lemonade area and the other on the north end of the grounds. Here’s a sampling of what other vendors will have available: calamari (squid), octopus, eggplant spiedini, beef spiedini, Italian sausage sliders, ravioli, gnocchi (potato dumplings), arancini (rice balls), broccioloni (rolled meat stuffed with cheeses, herbs and eggs), sfincione (thick Sicilian-style pizza), various chicken dishes, various pasta dishes, calzone, Italian beef sandwiches, shrimp scampi, roasted corn, cannoli, biscotti, gelato, ice cream sundaes, fresh fruit and much, much more. Beverages Festa visitors will have plenty of opportunities to quench their thirst or cool off. There will be vendors across the grounds selling beer, wine, margaritas and martinis. The Roman Terrace (on the veranda overlooking the Spiked Island Adult Lemonade Stage), operated by Giuseppe Vella, Dean Cannestra and Tony Piacentini, will provide a full-service bar. Supplying the beer for Festa will be Miller/Coors, makers of Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft and Miller High Life. Miller/Coors will also supply Festa with Peroni, Italy’s most popular beer. Miller

Jennifer Koester had a hankering for the food from Cataldo’s booth during her visit to Festa Italiana in 2012. Her plates were filled with sfingi and mozzarella marinara. (Times photo by Tom Hemman)

Lite is the “Official Beer of Festa Italiana.” LoDuca Brothers is the official wine sponsor of Festa. LoDuca will be operating an uncorked wine tent in the Spiked Island Adult Lemonade Area, a wine booth on the southeast side of the grounds, close to the T.J. Bartolotta Stage, and a wine bar on the north end of the Cucina Showcase. Major Goolsby’s will be in charge of the beer, martini and margarita bars. Pepsi-Cola products, including

Aquafina bottled water, will be available at all permanent booths and at the Crocker Root Beer Barrel locations. Calypso Spiked Island Adult Lemonade will be available at the bars serving beer and other alchoholic beverages. Festa visitors will also find specialty coffees, soft drinks, lemonade and milk. Complete menus will be posted at each location and in the brochure available at Festa’s information booths.

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Something special brewing on the Spiked Island Adult Lemonade Stage Plain White T’s, Colt Ford, Matt Nathanson and country superstar to be revealed July 1 among headliners By Tom Hemman and Jacob Born Fans of today’s hit country and pop/rock music: Some of your favorite artists will be playing on the Spiked Island Adult Lemonade Stage at Festa Italiana, Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21 on the Summerfest grounds. Country superstar Colt Ford, who is touring on his Billboard chart-topping album, “Declaration of Independence,” is among the headliners July 19. The twice Grammy-nominated band Plain White T’s, which just released the smash hit single, “Should’ve Gone to Bed,” and platinum-selling song/songwriter Matt Nathanson are co-headliners on July 20. On Sunday, July 21, another country superstar (and Midwest fan favorite) will take the Spiked Island Stage. Look for an official announcement on this act on Monday, July 1. Colt Ford and other July 19 headliners Taking cues from country and hip hop, Colt Ford has charted hits and collaborated with some of country music’s biggest stars including Jason Aldean, Jake Owen and Darius Rucker. Having charted six times on the Hot Country Songs chart, sold over one-million albums

Plain White T’s

and over three-million digital downloads, the songwriter is honest, groundbreaking and refreshingly unique. Whether longtime fans or new to his music, audiences will quickly realize that Ford doesn’t just write about country music, he lives country music. His fourth album, “Declaration of Independence,” became his first number one album on Top Country Albums and its first single, “Back,” a duet with Jake Owen, climbed


the Hot Country Songs chart in 2012. In releasing his fifth studio album this month titled, “Every Chance I Get,” Ford is poised to add to his collection of hits, with tracks such as “Ride Through the Country,” “Cold Beer,” “Chicken & Biscuits” and “Country Thang.” Ford takes the Spiked Island Stage at 9 p.m., Friday night. Opening for him at 6 p.m. is Bella Cain, a newly-formed, young, high-energy six piece Top 40 country group that delivers a non-

Colt Ford

stop and explosive performance. Based in Kenosha, the group has experienced success playing at local venues and is quickly gaining a following across the Midwest. With a “big” guitar sound, they also bring five-part harmonies, fiddle, steel guitar, piano, banjo, a solid rhythm section and both male/female vocals to provide a full and dramatic sound. Festa attendees seeing Bella Cain can expect the hottest new country Continued on page 7A


from page 6A music, along with a few age-old favorites. Keeping the crowd entertained and on their feet after Bella Cain and before Colt Ford and after Festa’s fabulous fireworks show will be top-touring DJ/remixer/producer Dee Jay Silver. Playing at premiere venues in major markets around the world, his unique brand of “party-rock” country style of music has landed him on show packages with the likes of Jason Aldean, Luke Bryant and Rascal Flatts.

Matt Nathanson

Dee Jay Silver

Plain White T’s, Nathanson headline Saturday night One of the summer’s hottest touring acts, the Plain White T’s, having released the single and EP bearing the same name – “Should’ve Gone to Bed” – on Apr. 9 and having appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Apr. 23, perform at 9 p.m. on the Spiked Island Adult Lemonade Stage. Did you catch band member Tim Lopez on Eva Longoria’s NBC dating show “Ready for Love” this spring? Lopez was one of the handsome bachelors. As their many fans know, the Plain White T’s have already experienced much success with platinum-selling hits including “Hey There Delilah” (which reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and topped 13 international charts), “Hate (I Really Don’t Like You),” “1,2,3,4” and “Rhythm of Love.” The group was nominated for two 2008 Grammy Awards for “Song of the Year” and “Best Pop Performance for a Duo or Group with Vocals.” The mega-hit “Hey There Delilah,” which became the fourth song in history to sell over three-million digital downloads, also earned the group an MTV Video and American Music Awards and Teen Choice and People’s Choice nominations. Known for singing songs about love, heartbreak and everything in between, the Chicago-based poprock band draws inspiration from the likes of The Beatles, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp, but the group’s carefree vibes and unique sound are all their own. “Should’ve Gone to Bed” is the group’s seventh studio album. The Saturday night co-headliner is Matt Nathanson, who has been touring the country for years. The 40-year-old folk rock star performs on both acoustic and electric guitar and plays notable hits such as “Faster,” “Run” “All We Are” and “Come On Get Higher.” Nathanson has released nine albums to date, his most successful being his most recent one, “Modern Love,” which reached as high as No. 17 on the U.S charts overall as well as getting as high as No. 4 on the U.S. Rock and Indie charts. His 10th album, titled “Last of the Great Pretenders,” is scheduled to be


released in July (tentatively on July 18, two days before his Festa show). The first single from the album, “Mission Bells” has already been released. His songs have made appearances on notable TV shows such as “NCIS,” “Private Practice,” “Vampire Diaries” and “90210,” helping in some instances to shape the plot lines, have been heard on “Good Morning America” and sung by aspiring artists on “American Idol” and “X Factor.” Fans can see Nathanson on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Sunday night headliners Sorry, folks, but we can’t give you any more clues on who is the Sunday night’s headliner (in the 9 p.m. slot). Be sure to check on July 1 for the official announcement. Opening for the mystery country superstar at 7 p.m. is Old Dominion, a band based in Nashville and comprised of four Virginians, one Michigander and one bearded keyboard player whose place of origin remains a mystery. On the busy country music scene, Old Dominion has managed to carve its own territory with original songs as well as songs of today’s top artists including Steve Holy, Chris Young, Taylor Swift and others. Other Spiked Island acts Joining the nightly headliners will be several acts presenting a wide variety of musical styles starting at noon each day. The Noyz Boyz and Gyrlz will open the stage on all three days at noon. The Milwaukee-based rockin’

rhythm and blues band features a 10-piece horn band with three vocalists. The Boyz and Gyrlz Band plays music from as early as the ‘50s to as late as the ‘90s, meaning there is music for everyone. The Supremes, Joe Cocker, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin and many more R&B artists are covered by this band. Appearing at 1:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday on the Spiked Island Stage is Tre Bella, a threepart harmony female group with a flair towards Italian and Italian

American pop music. The trio is making its first ever appearance at this year’s Festa Italiana. In Italian, its name means “Three Beauties” but when the vocalists combine their powerful voices they become “One Voice.” The trio was formed initially by JoAnn Robertozzi, a vocalist and actress who also is the founder of Ti Piace-Italian American Presentations, a non profit group that is dedicated to promoting positive images of Italian Americans Please turn to page 8A

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Buona Fortuna, Festa Italiana!


Spiked Island Stage offers a variety of entertainments each day of Festa from page 7 through art and culture. The other two members of the group are Lorraine Ferro and Rosie DeSanctis, both of whom have artistic and musical backgrounds in singing as well as acting. The group’s harmonies have often been compared to the Andrews Sisters and Destiny’s Child and their song repertoire includes Italian and Italian American favorites as well as other American tunes. Tre Bella performs at a variety of events and venues such as Italian American festivals, community and other civic events. Catch this new addition to the Festa entertainment lineup performing Friday at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. on the Spiked Island Adult Lemonade Stage, as well as daily on the Miller Lite Stage. Appearing at 3 p.m. on Friday only will be The A Side, a Milwaukee-based group playing a mix of Motown, R&B, pop and funk. Taking the stage at 4 p.m. on

Friday only is another Milwaukeebased group, The 52nd Street Band, playing the music of Billy Joel. Its show is packed with hits from start to finish and features “spot on” performances of the songs

that made the “Piano Man” from Brooklyn one of the top selling and beloved artists of all time. With baby grand at center stage and an energetic performance from the supporting cast, 52nd Street is a

show that people will not soon forget. Playing Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. is Charissa Mrowka, a 17-year-old who is already making noise in the country music world. Charissa has performed in places such as the House of Blues and has already released a self-titled EP titled on Guitar Girls Records. Charissa has played with big name country music stars such as Phil Vassar, Billy Ray Cyrus and Kellie Pickler.

Charissa Mrowka

76 Juliet, a Milwaukee-based band founded in 1999, is scheduled Saturday at 4:30 p.m. 76 Juliet doesn’t discriminate when it comes to what music they perform. Instead of limiting musical genres they strive to break through the barriers and deliver “music without prejudice.” The band makes the most of the individual strengths of each performer – playing everything from power-pop to hair metal to country to rock and everything in-between. They continue to evolve their set lists with this thought in mind – “If it’s good, play it.” That means everything from Lady Gaga, Rick Springfield, Nickelback, Taylor Swift, Van Morrison, Katy Perry, Tonic, Abba, Deep Purple, Eve 6 – and much more. Closing out the Saturday lineup will be Greg Koch and John Sieger at 11 p.m. Dubbed “the best kept secret in the guitar firmament,” Greg Koch is a real life Milwaukee guitar hero. Koch delivers rock, blues and funk music with incredible technical skill and personality. With 12 Continued on page 9A



Bartolotta Fireworks: Shake, rattle and rolling the Festa grounds for the 36th time By Thomas Hemman Times Editor Since its beginning in 1978, Milwaukee’s Festa Italiana has been known for its spectacular nightly fireworks shows. Festa officials are promising a continuation of that tradition this year. The responsibility for the nightly pyrotechnics productions for the 36th consecutive year is in the very capable hands of the Bartolotta Fireworks Company of Genesee Depot, Wis. Their shows will be presented at 10:30 p.m. each night – Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21. Jeff Bartolotta, who with his brother, Jim, owns the company, promises that Festa patrons will be treated to “good old-fashioned Italian fireworks.” That means that, while the sky will be ablaze with dazzling color, special emphasis will be placed on noise – both in the air and on the ground. “Italians like to ‘feel’ their fireworks along with seeing the colors,” Bartolotta said. While some shells used in the show are produced at the Bartolotta plant in Waukesha

County, the vast majority is imported from China. Last year, Bartolotta debuted a new shell at Festa called a “wind bell.” While it’s difficult to explain wind bells, Jeff said, “they’re real cool looking and they float in the sky longer than most shells and we’ve got them in the Italian colors – green, white and red – for Festa.” It usually takes about 20 people to set up and fire the Festa fireworks show, which is launched from what’s known as Summerfest Island. It’s a veteran crew that works the Festa show. “Many of them have been with us for more than 25 years,” Jeff said. The most tedious labor in presenting the Festa shows comes before the first shell is fired on opening night and after the last one flames out late Sunday, Jeff said. “It takes a good four or five hours to set-up and two or three to tear down.” The setup includes unloading the trucks, setting all the tubes and other equipment and getting all the pyrotechnics according to the plans that are drawn up for the show. Late Sunday night and early

Spiked Island Stage: Country, rock, Italian music and more

Monday morning, the Bartolotta crew is busy packing away all the equipment and clearing the island of all debris. When the company was founded in 1977 by the late Sam Bartolotta, it produced just a handful of shows each year. Thanks in good part to their much talked about abbondanza-style shows, word about the crowd-pleasing Bartolotta Fireworks shows quickly spread. Today, Bartolotta Fireworks Company produces about 500 shows a year, including the 4th of

July shows in Milwaukee County parks along with several of the biggest event-related shows in the state. Summerfest’s “Big Bang,” on Wednesday, June 26, is Bartolotta’s most prominent show slated in 2013. As one might expect, the 3rd and 4th of July are the busiest days of the year for the Bartolottas. On July 3rd and on Independence Day, the company is at work in numerous Wisconsin communities and employs about 400 people for those days to get the jobs done.

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from page 8 albums released, a series of popular guitar method books and experience as a top Fender clinician, Koch knows guitar inside and out. He is truly an individual artist, full of the humor and soul his music reflects. Joining Koch is Kenosha-native and guitar marvel John Sieger. Formerly of critical darling SemiTwang, a leading band of the altcountry movement, Sieger has played, written, lived and breathed music in both Nashville and Milwaukee. His songs have been covered by the likes of Dwight Yoakam, and he passes on his talents through workshops and lessons. Sieger is deeply involved in the Milwaukee music scene, and his earthy humor is the perfect complement to his organic, down home music. On Sunday at 4 p.m., the Spiked Island Stage spotlight falls on Carley Wilemon, a 15-year old country singer. This Aberdeen, Mississippi native recorded her first CD in 2010 and performs across the nation. Wilemon will be joining the next act on Sunday, the acclaimed Chasin’ Mason starting at 4 p.m. Rooted in country and laced with rock ‘n roll, Chasin’ Mason makes music as rugged and raw as the rough roads and wrong turns that have taken them through seven years of trial and triumph. Their miles are marked with guitars as loud as the lives they’ve lived and lyrics as true as their Sunday morning upbringings. Since their formation in 2003, the Wisconsin based group has wasted little time establishing themselves as one of the hottest up and coming bands in country music. Having sold 15,000 independently released CDs to their constantly growing fan base, it’s evident that the band’s 200 plus shows a year are bearing fruit. Bringing together a melting pot of musical influences, the players in Chasin’ Mason mix Merle


and Mellencamp with U2 and Keith Urban to create their rockin’ edge with a story to tell. Spiked Island Adult Lemonade Gina Spang, president of the Italian Community Center, which produces Festa Italiana, thanked Spiked Island Adult Lemonade for returning a second consecutive year to be a major sponsor of the festival. “We’re extremely grateful to Spiked Island Adult Lemonade for its sponsorship,” said Spang, who is also the general chair of Festa 2013. “With the well-known acts performing on the Spiked Island Stage, we’re expecting large turnouts each of the three days. My advice to everyone is get your advance tickets now.” “We are excited to partner with Festa Italiana again this summer,” said Tim Kezman, president of Calypso Brands, the maker of Spiked Island Adult Lemonade. “We believe the entertainment on the Spiked Island Stage enhances and broadens the festival’s already outstanding entertainment offerings.” Spiked Island Adult Lemonade, which will be available at Festa, is produced by Milwaukee’s own King Juice Company. Unlike other companies that take their product and flavor it like lemons, King Juice uses the same flavor systems and methodology that is used in its category leading Calypso Lemonades. These processes use the finest ingredients to create the highest quality lemonade before alcohol is added. This method creates refreshing adult lemonade without the excessive sweetness and beer taste. Spiked Island Adult Lemonade is available wherever the finest alcoholic beverages are sold. For more information, visit or Follow the company on Facebook or Twitter @Calypso_Brands. The entertainment schedule is subject to change.

BARTOLOTTA Fireworks Company, Incorporated P.O. Box 5 • GENESEE DEPOT, WI 53127 1-800-444-5705 • (262) 968-4178

"May Festa live forever." JULY/AUGUST 2013 - PAGE 9, SECTION A

Three top-notch acts to perform nightly on Giuffre Bros. Cranes Stage By Susie Christiansen with intro by Tom Hemman Performances by multi-talented singers Michèal Castaldo and Ricci Martin along with operatic trained vocalists representing the Florentine Opera Company on its 80th anniversary will be featured each night on the Giuffre Bros. Cranes Stage at Festa Italiana, July 19-21. Castaldo has just released a new CD, Bergamot, a follow-up to his highly acclaimed Olive You. Martin, son of the late, great Dean Martin does a spectacular tribute to his father and the music of that era. Please look for a separate story on the Florentine Opera, written by Maria Tsikalas. Michèal Castaldo was born in the Calabria region of Italy, raised in Toronto, Canada since the age of three and currently resides in New York City. Trained in opera and performing as a classical crossover pop artist, Castaldo’s music is along the lines of Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and Il Divo. Castaldo’s newest album, entitled Bergamot and subtitled A Breath of Fresh Air, is a lively, upbeat arrangement of Italian folk classics and classic American hit songs, all sung in the Calabrian dialect. With the album’s vibe of Flamenco and Mediterranean tempos, preserv-

ing Michéal’s southern Italian culture, Bergamot promises to be another best-seller from Castaldo. Samples of Castaldo’s music can be heard by visiting or and This award-winning songwriter/producer and

Buona Fortuna, Festa Italiana!

recording artist has added the New York City Olive Oil Coop, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, Tuscan Event Planning, the rebuilding of his family villa in Calabria, and La Dolce Vita Foundation to his growing list of entrepreneurial accomplishments. Nowadays Castaldo may be found on any given week performing light Italian opera; hosting an olive oil tasting complete with Neapolitan song or classic Italian pop standards; or onstage at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center and, of course, Festa Italiana each evening at 6 p.m., July 19-21, on the Giuffre Bros. Cranes Stage. For six decades, Dean Martin entertained millions of adoring fans around the world. Since 2003, his son, Ricci Martin, has traveled around the globe entertaining countless numbers of fans – both young and old alike – in a profoundly entertaining show. The show features Ricci singing the classic hits of his father as he celebrates his life like you’ve never seen before. Ricci’s vocals truly make each of Dean’s classic hits come alive! Then there’s the wit and humor. Ricci’s one-onone interaction with the audience always brings laughter and other surprises. Reviews of the show and audience response have been tremendous. It is loaded with music, personal photos and true life stories not only about Dean Martin, the “international entertainer,” but also about Dean Martin, “the Father” – and they are told from the heart by none other than his son, Ricci. In addition to performing on stage, Ricci Martin is also a best selling author with his book “That’s Amore: A Son Remembers,” telling the story of his relationship with his celebrated Dad. In this book, Ricci Martin takes readers on a tour through his childhood, from the star-studded parties to the exploration of three marriages, eight kids, one family, to the treasured one-on-one time he shared with his father. He also discusses Dean’s first meeting with Jerry Lewis and divulges his father’s version of the Martin and Lewis breakup. Ricci Martin and his band will perform live at the Giuffre Bros. Cranes Stage each evening, July 19-21, at 9 pm. His band includes veteran world-class musicians and singers, Robert Zarate (keyboard, vocals), Jimi Seville (piano, vocals), Jerry Vilicich (bass, vocals) and Ron Robertson (drums, vocals).

Proud sponsor of Festa Italiana. Ricci Martin



Florentine Opera singers performance celebrates Italian opera and company’s 80th anniversary By Maria Tsikalas For the first time, Festa Italiana will feature the talented vocalists of the Florentine Opera Company performing on one of its major stages all three nights of the festival. As this newspaper went to press, the Florentine Opera was in the process of selecting its artists for the 7:30 p.m. performances on the Giuffre Bros. Cranes Stage, said Richard Clark, Florentine Opera Company’s Director of Marketing and Communications. The singers will perform a selection of classic Italian arias and art songs from its upcoming 80th anniversary season. The 2013-2014 season will specifically celebrate Italian opera. Selections will include Verdi’s La Traviata, Handel’s Julius Caesar, Puccini’s La Boheme and a serenade from Festa Fiorentina.

The Florentine Opera Company is the sixth oldest in the country. “Our 80th anniversary season will be an incredible milestone for the company,” said General Director William Florescu, “and we look forward to celebrating the heritage of the Florentine with Festa Italiana.”

anniversary and we are also looking forward to the many performances that will be held in the

Dominic H. Frinzi Memorial Opera Tent this year.” (Look for a separate story on the opera tent.)

“Opera is a large part of the Italian culture as it started in Italy at the end of the 16th century in Florence in 1598 with Jacopo Peri’s lost Dafne,” said Gina Spang, General Festa Italiana General Chairperson and Italian Community Center President. “The word opera means ‘work’ in Italian, as it combines the arts of solo and choral singing, acting and dancing. We are very excited to bring The Florentine Opera to Festa as they celebrate their 80th

Lyric coloratura soprano Alisa Suzanne Jordheim and baritone Carl Frank are seen here performing as a duet at a recent Florentine Opera production. Singers representing the Florentine Opera will be performing selections from the company’s 80th anniversary nightly at Festa Italiana, July 19-21. (Photo by Jeff Zmania)

Our best wishes to the Italian Community Center and Festa Italiana on 36 great years!

Mille’s Italian Sausage is proud to announce that our product will be available at Festa Italiana 2013! Since its founding by Italian immigrants Amatore and Antonette Mille in 1932, this famous State Fair favorite has been made from only the highest quality, extra lean pork and the perfect mixture of secret spices. And Mille’s Italian Sausage is now available in local stores!


Find us in these locations at Festa Italiana: North End – Cucina Showcase (front) Miller Lite Oasis Area Spiked Island Adult LemonadeStage Area

See you at Festa!


Miller Lite Stage features some of Festa’s biggest names, diverse entertainment By Danita Wendorf with introduction by Thomas Hemman Louis Prima, Jr. Band, Dick Contino, Bronx Wanderers, Moreno Fruzzetti and Tony Spavone are returning to Festa Italiana and scheduled to perform on the Miller Lite Stage. Joining these acts are a newcomer, Tre Bella (“Three Beauties, One Voice”) and the young performing ensemble of Accompany of Kids. The Bronx Wanderers nightly shows are being sponsored this year by Major Goolsby’s, the popular downtown Milwaukee sports bar and consistent supporter of Festa Italiana. Information on singer Tony Spavone, who recently received an Ellis Island Medal of Honor, can be found in a separate story in this section. He is performing daily at 4:30 p.m. * * * Accompany of Kids is a group

of young, gifted singers and dancers and also a non-profit organization. The mission of Accompany of Kids is to provide young people the opportunity to gain self-confidence, leadership skills and grow into productive and successful adults through the use of the arts. The group consists of 40 to 60 kids, ages 8-20, who sing and dance to all kinds of music such as swing, patriotic, Broadway, oldies, rock and roll and more. Some of the events at which they have performed include Bastille Days, Germanfest, Summerfest, and, of course, Festa Italiana. Recent performances in June included Polish Fest and Fiesta Waukesha. Look for this dynamic and entertaining group to be performing daily from noon to 1 p.m. Dick Contino, “legendary virtuoso of the accordion,” returns for his 34th appearance in the 36 years of Festa Italiana in Milwaukee. He celebrated his 83rd birthday this

Dick Contino

past January and resides in Las Vegas with his wife, Tonia.

Congratulations to Festa Italiana on 36 wonderful years!

Contino performs regularly across the nation and is especially known for his musical stylings of classic songs such as “Lady of Spain” and “Tico Tico”. According to his website, he is also a Infinite Way practitioner and lecturer. This may be Dick’s secret to maintaining such energy and vibrancy when it comes to performing. Some of the songs which you may hear include Italian favorites such as “Come Back to Sorrento” and “Arrivederci Roma,” along “Swinging on a Star.” One virtuosic technique you may see at his eclectic shows is the bellow shake, along with rapid fingering and glissandos. See this accordion legend perform daily from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Moreno Fruzzetti, who has been awarded with the prestigious honor of the title “Ambassador of Italian Music to America,” is a truly gifted performer. He receives rave reviews at concerts throughout the world. Not only does Moreno have a golden singing voice, but he has an onstage presence that cannot be learned. He brings a sense of flare and personality to his performances Fruzzetti, who will perform at 3 p.m., has released a new CD titled “Pensando”. Fruzzetti croons in both Italian and English on his CD, which includes such tracks as: “Innamorata,” “Sei Sempre Nel Mio Cuore/Always in My Heart,” “Amo Ancora Lei/Let Me Try Again” and “Beautiful Maria of My Soul.” To hear song clips from the album, go to

Sponsor of the Bronx Wanderers Show at Festa on July 19-21.

Enjoy all the great entertainment, ireworks and family-fun activities that Festa has to offer. Congratulations and best wishes to ICC President/Festa General Chair Gina Spang and Festa managers and volunteers. Major Goolsby’s 340 W. Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203 (414) 271-3414 Visit us on Facebook:

Tre Bella, a three-part harmony female group with a flair towards Italian and Italian American pop music, will be making its first ever appearance at this year’s Festa Italiana. In Italian, their name means “Three Beauties” but when they combine their powerful voices they become “One Voice.” The trio was formed initially by JoAnn Robertozzi, a vocalist and actress who also is the founder of Ti Piace-Italian American Presentations, a non profit group that is dedicated to promoting positive images of Italian Americans through art and culture. The other two members of the group are Lorraine Ferro and Rosie DeSanctis, both of whom have artistic and musical backgrounds in singing as well as acting. The group’s harmonies have often been compared to the Andrews Sisters Continued on page 13A



The Louis Prima, Jr. Band

from page 12A and Destiny’s Child and their song repertoire includes Italian and Italian American favorites as well as other American tunes. Tre Bella performs at a variety of events and venues such as Italian American festivals, community and other civic events. Catch this new addition to the Festa entertainment lineup performing Friday and Saturday onthe Spiked Island Adult Lemonade Stage, as well as daily on the Miller Lite Stage. Louis Prima, Jr. is a Las Vegas-based entertainer best known for carrying on the legacy of his late father, Louis Prima, the original “King of Swing.” With a powerhouse eight-piece, brass infused band called The Witnesses and renowned singer, actress and musical theater performer Sarah Spiegel sharing vocal duties, Louis

The Bronx Wanderers

Prima, Jr. is turning up the fire and adding blistering energy to the music and style that his father, Louis Prima Sr., made famous. Prima Jr. is stretching the boundaries between the swing and rock eras. Bringing a new energy and current attitude to the music, Prima Jr. and his band are less concerned about reliving the past than about creating a future for it.

More than a tribute show, he has created a bona fide rock act that pays tribute in a concert atmosphere. Anyone who comes to hear Louis Prima Jr. should be prepared to have their socks knocked off. Prima Jr. comes to rock! He and his band are performing across the nation with vocalist Sarah Spiegel. Among their largest venue engagements are ones at the Riviera Theatre and Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY and at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. Most importantly, they return to Festa nightly at 7:30 p.m.. Visit for more information. Returning to Festa for the fifth consecutive year is crowd pleaser The Bronx Wanderers, known as the “Ultimate Tribute Band”. This family-based group is comprised of founder Vinny Adinolfi, also known as “Yo Vinny”, as well as his two sons, drummer Nicky “Stix” and Vinny “The Kid,”

who plays several instruments including guitar, piano, violin, and bass. According to their website (, their music can be described as one part “oldies” and two parts Rock ‘n Roll”. Some classics from the ‘50’s and ‘60’s such as “Sherry,” “Runaway” and “Teenager in Love” are part of their musical repertoire but may also include modern pop songs such as Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida”. The Wanderers’ renditions of songs from artists such as Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Dion Meucci, Dion & The Belmonts and The Rascals, will transport you back to that nostalgic era with their dynamic stage presence and high energy and especially their true to form vocals. The group maintains a very busy touring and performance schedule and recently entertained crowds at festivals in the Bronx, New York and Chicago. Look for the group performing 9 p.m. nightly.

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Festa star Tony Spavone receives Ellis Island Medal of Honor By Anna Pitzo Tony Spavone, owner of Spavone’s Ristorante in Bloomingdale, Ill. and a featured performer at Festa Italiana, recently went to New York city where he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in the categories of humanitarian and performing arts. The award, given by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, celebrates America’s diversity and honors those who dedicate themselves to serving others while preserving their heritage, promoting tolerance and acceptance, and using their personal and/or professional gifts to benefit humanity. Spavone has demonstrated his humanitarian nature for veterans, children, seniors and anyone in need. Patients at Hines VA Hospital are treated to Christmas parties. In addition, he has held fundraisers for charitable causes and has performed at fundraising events for those in need. He has gone out of his way to give support to young people who are interested in music “I love to give back,” Spavone said. “Children, seniors, veterans. Anytime they approach me for anything like that, I’m there.” Spavone learned the restaurant business from his immigrant father, Joe, who settled in Chicago where he eventually opened the Seven Hills Restaurant in the Lincolnshire neighborhood. The father shared the son’s love of song as an amateur singer at the restaurant. It was at the restaurant that Spavone realized that his voice was

Tony Spavone

a gift and went to Italy to train. He worked full time as a performer for a number of years when he decided to come back to the restaurant business. He eventually opened the Tony Spavone Ristorante nearly 30 years ago where he enjoys serenading customers with Italian music but sings American and Spanish songs as well. He entertains at Italian festivals around the country and will, of course, be at Festa Italiana where his shows will take place at 4:30 p.m., on the Miller Lite Stage, Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21.


Singers sought for Festa’s nightly ‘Italian Idol’ contest By Thomas Hemman Times Editor Could you be Festa Italiana’s next “Italian Idol” winner? For the seventh consecutive year, Festa Italiana is conducting its Italian Idol karaoke competition for amateur singers, 14 years and older. This year, the nightly event will be presented on the Cucina Showcase stage, starting at 8 p.m. Sponsoring the Italian Idol contest for the second consecutive year is WFA – Asset Management, Nick Enea, President. The 36th annual Festa takes place Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21 on the Summerfest grounds. To register to compete in Italian Idol, persons who believe they have some degree of vocal ability are asked to come to the Cucina Showcase starting at 6 p.m. on the Friday or Saturday of Festa to sign up. Idol managers Christine Conley and Sandy Winard said they are looking for 16 contestants each night. At the time of registration, contestants will be asked to decide

what song they wish to perform. They are allowed to choose any title from the extensive karaoke repertoire brought to Festa by Kim Marie, the founder and one of the vocalists of the Oldies But Goodies Spectacular, a rock and roll band that is slated to perform nightly at Festa. Four of the 16 contestants will be selected by a panel of judges on both Friday and Saturday night to move on to the championship round on Sunday, July 21. The eight finalists will sing for a chance to win cash prizes on Sunday night. This year, the prize money is: $500 for first prize, $300 for second prize and $200 for third prize. In the finals, the contestants will not only sing their qualifying song, but will be asked to sing an additional selection for the judges. Last year, Anastasia Lee of Green Bay captured the first prize. Gregory Rogalinski won second prize and Steven Mattox of Kenosha took third prize. Winard will once again be serving as the emcee each night.


T.J. Bartolotta Stage features John Ciotta, Filippo Voltaggio and top local acts By Thomas Hemman and Susie Christiansen Singers John Ciotta and Filippo Voltaggio will be joined by five of the Milwaukee area’s top acts in presenting a variety of entertainment daily on the T.J. Bartolotta Stage at Festa Italiana. The local lineup includes the good-time rock and roll bands the Doo-Wop Daddies, the Oldies But Goodies Spectacular and the Tom Anthony Group, the nationally recognized Italian folk dance group Tradizione Vivente, and awardwinning vocalist/recording artist Jayne Taylor. Look for a separate article on Tradizione Vivente. * * * The opening act each day at noon is singer/songwriter Jayne Taylor, who is making her fifth consecutive appearance at Festa Italiana. This past spring, she released her second CD, Souvenirs, which features an eclectic mix of songs spanning several decades, languages (Italian, Spanish, French and English) and music styles. She was 2012 Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award nominee for “Female Vocalist of the Year” and is a past winner of Festa’s “Italian Idol” contest.

Taylor has sung in major theaters throughout Wisconsin, including the Oshkosh Opera House, Stephanie H. Wells Center in Sheboygan and Door County Auditorium. She demonstrated her vocal styling to some of the biggest hits of the 1950s and ’60s plus two original compositions on her debut CD, Fireworks. In addition to performing, she is a full-time college student. Taking the stage at 1:30 p.m. will be the Tom Anthony Group. Vocalist Tom Anthony has long been a fixture on the Milwaukee area music scene. With his group – Tom Sorce (guitar), Joel Freisinger (keyboards) and Brian Ford and/or Tom Sorce II (drums and percussions), Anthony presents the best of the rock, pop and rhythm and blues era with a bit of today’s country. Anthony is famous for his Las Vegas-style show, singing the hits of Elvis, Buddy Holly, Bobby Darin, Everly Brothers, Frankie Valli, Roy Orbison and even some of today’s biggest hit-makers such as Marc Anthony, Brooks & Dunn and Dwight Yoakam. The latest CD by the Tom Anthony Group is “Just For You.” The group already has several bigtime engagements in 2013 includ-

Tom Anthony

Filippo Voltaggio

John Ciotta

ing the Wisconsin State Fair, Aug. 2-11. John Ciotta has been exciting audiences worldwide for years as an entertainer, singer and percussionist. From Atlantic City to Las Vegas, Singapore to Europe, Ciotta’s combination of high energy and warmth, and his unparalleled charisma and genuine love for his audiences, have made him a favorite in every corner of the world. Whether he’s performing in English, Italian, French, Spanish or German, John has managed to find his way into the hearts of every nationality and culture, no matter how diverse. This year, Ciotta will perform at 3:00 p.m. at Festa Italiana. His website is Described as “High-voltage Italiano,” Filippo Voltaggio brings high energy to his performances – personally, vocally, and musically. His CDs include “Reel Italian – Love Songs from the Silver Screen” and “Love in Italiano.” On the big screen and little screen you can hear Filippo’s beautiful voice in the box-office hit “Noise,” “A Walk in the Clouds,” “Europa” and “Surge of Power.” Voltaggio is award winning and

a multiple grant recipient and has been honored for his talent with a chapter in New York Best Selling Author Richard Grudens’ latest book, “Italian Crooners - A Bedside Companion.” Voltaggio, whose last name means “voltage” in Italian, take the Please turn to page 16A

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Tradizione Vivente preserving Italian heritage through music, dance and costumes By Susan DeSanctis Christiansen Tradizione Vivente, which means living tradition in Italian, has been in existence for over 65 years. The original members of the group have since departed, only to leave behind a treasured legacy – Italian folk dancing. The present members of Tradizione Vivente preserve the Italian heritage through what they love most – the music, dancing and costumes of Italy. Their performances are vibrant and entertaining and transport audiences to another place. It has been their honor to travel throughout the United States performing for various events, such as festivals, weddings, benefits,

anniversaries, religious functions, Italian conferences, and all other types of events both near and far. In Milwaukee, they are proud to participate in local events, such as International Holiday Folk Fair and, of course, Festa Italiana, where they have performed since its inception over 35 years ago. 2013 has provided some really memorable experiences and also promises some exciting opportunities to come. One of the group’s favorite performances was at “A Taste of Italy” at the Italian Community Center, with the smells from the delicious food and the upbeat sound of the Italian music. The atmosphere at “A Taste of Italy” is a lively, joyful

one – it is absolutely a brilliant way to bring people together. In October, the members of Tradizione Vivente look forward to attending and performing at the annual Italian Folk Art Federation of America (IFAFA) conference in Boston, Mass. The IFAFA conference is educational and enriching as it brings together those who love the Italian culture. Offered are workshops and classes in every aspect of the Italian culture – Italian dance and song, Italian costumes and instruments, Italian history, art and traditions and, of course Italian food and cooking. It is a gathering that brings together people with a common cause – to keep alive the Italian folk heritage in America.

Tradizione Vivente has been attending these conferences since 1990, and has hosted three conferences in Milwaukee. The members of Tradizione Vivente will continue to share their love of Italy through dance. They have been vigorously practicing every week at the Italian Community Center, preparing for their most important performance of all – Festa Italiana. Tradizione Vivente will showcase approximately 10 dances, representing the many splendid regions of Italy – involving even the audience in the show as they dance the Tarantella together. You won’t want to miss this spectacular show at the T.J. Bartolotta Stage each evening at 7:30 pm.

Tradizione Vivente is seen here in a performance at the Italian Community Center. (Times photo by Tom Hemman)

Good time rock and roll bands performing at the Bartolotta Stage each night of Festa from page 15A stage at 4:30 p.m.. Performing at 6 p.m. daily and after the 10:30 p.m. fireworks show on Friday and Saturday will be the Oldies But Goodies Spectacular. This multi-talented band was formed by vocalist Kim Marie over 20 years ago after she completed

seven years in Las Vegas and a gig for Chevrolet at New York City’s Lincoln Center and in various cities around the country. Kim Marie said her goal in forming the band was to gather the most talented Milwaukee area musicians from bands popular in the 1960s, and regenerate the nos-


talgic feel of the ‘60s rock and roll era in Milwaukee. Joining Kim Marie today are vocalists Tony Clementi and Chuck Travis, keyboardist Brian Lorde, drummer Bruce Cole, lead guitarist Tom Sorce, bass guitarist Bob Sanders, saxophonist Mike Miller, trombonist Jay Allison, and trum-

peter Mike Betts. The Doo-Wop Daddies take the stage at 9 p.m. Based in Milwaukee, this longtime favorite group captures the demanding vocal styles of doo-wop music with unsurpassed excellence. That’s only the beginning. The Daddies don’t merely recreate this classic genre, but have redefined it and made it their own 21st century doo-wop. The group’s live shows attain that ideal unity of masterful perContinued on page 17A


Jazz artists performing daily at Festa By Thomas Hemman Times Editor Festa Italiana will present live jazz performances daily on a stage in Heritage Square, north of the Cucina Showcase and east of the Giuffre Bros. Cranes Stage. All performances will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. On Festa’s opening day, jazz recording artist Sandra Mandella and blues harmonica hero Steve Cohen will be performing with the Tom Sorce Band.

Vocalist Anita Stemper teams up with the Sorce Band on Saturday and vocalist Tom Anthony performs with the band on Sunday. Tom Sorce, a legendary local guitarist, told The Italian Times that his band will include his son, Tom, and Brian Ford, alternating between drums and percussion, Joel Freisinger of piano and bass during the Festa shows. Mandella, a Festa Italiana regu-

Tom Sorce

Sandra Mandella

Steve Cohen

Anita Stemper

Oldies But Goodies Spectacular and Doo-Wop Daddies closing out the Bartolotta Stage lineup each day from page 16A formance and entertainment. Combining elements of vintage and cutting edge musical technologies, the Daddies produce an exciting theatrical show that remains faith-

lar since 1994, honed her craft in the jazz clubs of Milwaukee and Detroit. She has appeared with some of the big names in show business, has performed with the Detroit Philharmonic, and has been a featured attraction at the Detroit Jazz Festival. She has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad and is a seasoned veteran in the recording studio, having recorded more than 60 radio and TV commercials. Her latest CD, “One Breath Closer,” is widely available. Cohen has played his harmonica and guitar with some of the world’s top blues players. He was a finalist in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis as a solo

performer in 2010 and has received over a dozen awards. Cohen, who performs with several of his own ensembles, averages more than 100 appearances a year. His current regular performance projects include the Steve Cohen/ Greg Koch Band, the Leroy Airmaster blues band, and jazz group The Riccos. Anthony’s unique blend of music brings back memories and creates new ones with every performance. While many know him for his rock and roll shows at Festa and the Italian Community Center, his impressive vocal range allows him to capture the smooth stylings of Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble’.

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Best Wishes Festa Italiana

ful to the doo-wop style. The Doo-Wop Daddies’ lineup includes Mike Sturino, Mike Welch, Ryan Clark, Mark Lansing, Tom Riepenhoff, Lee Stephens, Lee Wanek and Terry Casey.

The Doo-Wop Daddies



Let the music come to you during your Festa visit By Thomas Hemman Times Editor Music and dance are major components of Festa Italiana with performers scheduled on six stages and in an opera tent. But if someone doesn’t want to go to the music, there’s a very good chance the music (and dance) will come to them. Local groups – the Sicilian Serenaders II, the Italian Serenaders and the Elegant Gypsies – will be strolling the grounds sharing their music and often inviting their listeners to dance and sing along all three days of the festival. The Festa Regional & Renaissance Dancers, young female dancers and ambassadors for the festival, are back. Also returning will be La Banda Siciliana di Chicago (the Sicilian Band of Chicago). Sicilian Serenaders II Look for three men in red vests, carrying instruments and singing, and you’ll find yourself in the presence of the Sicilian Serenaders II. Those three men are Peter Balisterieri on guitar; Tom Pappalardo on accordion; and Ted Pappalardo on mandolin. They represent the second generation of the group which was founded in the early 1950s by their fathers, Frank Balistrieri and Joe Pappalardo, both of whom are deceased. The current Sicilian Serenaders perform in the Milwaukee area throughout the year. You may have seen and heard them at the Italian Community Center’s “A Taste of Italy” this past April. Italian Serenaders of Milwaukee This duo has a link to the original Sicilian Serenaders in the person of accordionist John Carini. He played for two decades alongside the late Frank Balistrieri, who played guitar and sang. When the Italian Serenaders play at Festa, Carini will be joined by guitarist Ron Erskine. Carini, a native of Porticello in Italy’s Sicily region, has been playing accordion since he was 14 years old. During his career, he’s written big band arrangements and music for jingles. Erskine’s wife, the former Domenica DiSalvo, is also a native of Porticello.

Carini and Erskine started working together in the early 1980s. The Elegant Gypsies Classically trained musicians Jim Waller and Holly Trimborn Schuh have been performing together since 1997. The selection of the Elegant Gypsies name was prompted by their wide musical repertoire. While their focus at Festa will be Italian music, they also play classical, jazz, ancient Celtic, Mediterranean and Klezmer music, along with American standards. Waller plays finger-style guitar; Schuh is a violinist/fiddler. You may have seen the Elegant Gypsies performing at Tulip – A Mediterranean Restaurant on Erie Street in Milwaukee.

The Sicilian Serenaders II – Peter Balistreri, Tom and Ted Pappalardo

Festa Regional & Renaissance Dancers Serving as both cultural performers and ambassadors for Festa Italiana are the members of the Festa Regional & Renaissance Dancers. This all-female unit has been part of the festival since its early years. All of the young women are 14 to 21 years of age and are from an Italian ancestry. They wear sashes representing the different regions of Italy and perform traditional Italian folk dances each day of the festival and serve as greeters at special events during Festa. Sicilian Band of Chicago The Sicilian Band of Chicago will be a participant in “La Grande Parata, the festival’s grand parade on Saturday and Sunday, July 20 and 21 and in the Sunday religious procession. Keep an eye out for other performances both days as the band marches across the Festa grounds. The band has a long history of winning awards and participation in events internationally, including performing at the Vatican. Expect some impromptu marches, too. Festa Italiana is just one of the festivals it will participate in this summer. Since the early part of the 1900s, this band has participated in Italian festivals in Milwaukee. Editor’s notes: Prior to presstime, The Italian Times learned that a group called Festival Strings would be performing near the Venetian bell tower.

The Italian Serenaders – Ron Erskine and John Carini

The Festa Regional & Renaissance Dancers seen here performing in an open area at Festa Italiana in 2012. (Times photo by Tom Hemman)

William A. Jennaro Law, LLC General Practice of Law 330 E. Kilbourn Ave., Ste. 1170 Milwaukee, WI 53202 414.271.1440 – Office 414.224.8660 – Direct Line 414.271.7680 – Fax The Elegant Gypsies – Jim Waller and Holly Trimborn Schuh playing for guests at a previous Festa Italiana.


Of Counsel with the firm of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP







Reina’s Gelateria Italiana products now at Cafe La Scala and during ICC’s Courtyard Music Series Angelo Gelato Italiano products, Festa favorites since 2002, are now available at the Italian Community Center and its restaurant, Cafe La Scala. Distributed by European Gelato, a company owned by longtime ICC members Joe and Mary Reina, Angelo Gelato Italiano is authentic Italian gelato, spumoni and fruit sorbet, and has been the star of the Reinas’ Gelateria Italiana during Festa each year. The Angelo Gelato Italiano products are also available during the ICC’s free summer Courtyard Music Series, which runs through September. Joe and Mary, joined by their children, close relatives and friends, will again operate two booths at Festa Italiana, July 1921, where Angelo Gelato will be available by the dish. Look for the Reinas’ Gelateria Italiana booths on the north and southeast ends of the festival grounds. Angelo Gelato Italiano products Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream. Although gelato has a texture similar to custard, it doesn’t have the butterfat of custard which clogs your taste buds. This allows gelato to have a fuller flavor. “Your tongue may tell you, it’s custard because of the texture, but gelato’s creaminess comes through because of the techniques used to make it,” Joe said. Gelato is served at a higher temperature than the ice cream we are used to in the Midwest. Lower temperatures tend to freeze your taste buds; that’s another reason why gelato has more flavor. Here are some more facts about gelato. It has less air whipped into it than ice cream, resulting in a denser product. Angelo Gelato Italiano is all natural with no artificial ingredients or preservatives and is gluten-free. While gelato is a dairy-based

Hand-layered spumoni, featuring (from top) pistachio, Cassata Siciliana, strawberry and chocolate gelato.

Joe and Mary’s daughter, AnnaMela, serving gelato at a past Festa.

product, sorbetto (sorbet) is fruitbased – fresh fruit, water, sugar and pectin, a binding agent used in jelly. Angelo’s sorbetto is also dairy—fat- and gluten-free. Joe and Mary also recommend trying their briosche, Italy’s version of an ice cream sandwich; best described as “gelato in a raised, unglazed doughnut without a hole.” How about a tartufo? That’s their truffle gelato laced with chopped hazelnuts, wrapped around a maraschino cherry and rolled in ground chocolate. For a real treat, pour an espresso over the tartufo! Also try affogato, a scoop of vanilla gelato literally smothered in espresso. And ripieni are lemons, oranges and peaches which have had the inner flesh of the fruit removed and made into a sorbet, which is then served in the original fruit shell. Angelo Gelato’s spumoni features four hand-layered flavors of gelato: chocolate, pistachio, strawberry and Cassata Siciliana, which is like cannoli filling, including the candied fruit. Available also are Italian Ices, or sorbetti, very smooth summertime treats. All of Angelo Gelato’s products are made in a newly expanded, state-of-the-art facility in Franklin Park, Ill. by a gentleman named Angelo, who was born in Naples, Italy. Angelo learned his craft from gelato masters, and uses all Italian ingredients, recipes, techniques and machinery. How the business started About two months after Joe and Mary were married in 1997, Joe came back from Chicago and announced, “We’re going into the gelato business.” Mary’s initial response was, “Are you out of your mind?” Both already had active, full-time business careers, family responsibilities and other obligations. Joe and his broth-


The ripieni family (l-r): peach, lemon and orange. Each on the menu at Cafe La Scala. Delizioso!!!

ers, Lorenzo and Ignazio, have owned and operated the imported car dealership Reina International Auto for more than 35 years. During the last two decades, they’ve added Italian-made motorcycles and scooters such as Vespa, Piaggio and Moto Guzzi to the lineup at the Brookfield dealership at 12730 W. Capitol Dr. Mary said she also pondered how well gelato would go over in Milwaukee, where custard has long been king. Joe insisted she taste the gelato. It was gianduia, a chocolatehazelnut gelato. “I tasted it, looked up, and said, ‘When do we start?’ And that how’s we got into the gelato business,” Mary said. Having been born in Sicily, Joe had grown up enjoying authentic Italian gelato, and he knew he had found the tastes of his childhood in America when he tasted Angelo Gelato Italiano. Joe and Mary, who handle all the day-to-day operations, have brought their children into the business. Joe’s adult daughter, Marilena, has worked with them since 2002. Mary said she is gradually teaching their younger children, Joseph, 12, and AnnaMela, 10, how to do all of the jobs in the Gelateria and demonstrations in grocery stores. “The plan is that, in a few years, they’ll be able to do the demonstrations on their own, and we’ll be able to service more stores,” Mary said. Angelo Gelato Italiano is available in several area grocery stores

and can be ordered by calling 414/380-9678 or emailing In all, 14 flavors of gelato plus spumoni are available in pints. The Reinas’ Gelateria Italiana has been part of Festa Italiana since 2002. “We have been blessed to have a wonderful family and circle of friends who volunteer to help in our booths at Festa each year. Many of them take vacation time and travel long distances to help out in the booths,” Mary said. “We have written a lot of recommendation letters for our teen volunteers through the years, and provided a fun way to earn volunteer hours for Confirmation candidates. For many, the Gelateria is their first opportunity to earn a real work reference for when they apply for a job.” she added. The Gelateria Italiana booths are always fun places to visit, enjoy the friendliness, music and the perfect summertime treat. Italian music is always played, and you’ll likely find yourself singing along with the crew on favorites by Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, Rosemary Clooney and Dean Martin, too. The south end Gelateria Italiana offers visitors a chance to view some of Reina’s line of Italian cars, scooters and motorcycles. Joe and Mary and their family have long been supporters of the Italian Community Center, having participated in “A Taste of Italy,” “Il Grande Carnevale” and many other events.






Sicilian Tamburinari of Aspra, Sicily coming to Milwaukee’s Festa By Gaetano La Licata “Un’e` festa siddu un ci sunnu tammurina,” literally translated from a Sicilian dialect to English means: “It is not a festa if there are no drums.” Since he was a little boy, this Sicilian proverb rumbled in the heart of Gaetano La Licata, the founder of the Sicilian Tamburinari of Aspra (Palermo), Sicily, a group coming to Milwaukee’s Festa Italiana, July 19-21. La Licata followed the “tamburinari” (the drummers), fascinated by the beat of their drums which announced the start of the festival. These drummers bring color and sounds and kick off the start of the holiday or celebration. They have become a highlight for most Sicilian

festivities, both for religious occasions as well as for traditional ones. So begins the story of Gaetano La Licata “U Tammurinaru,” who fell in love with the rhythm of the drum roll. In the 1980s, La Licata formed a drummers’ group, consisting of his two brothers and his nephews to preserve and advance this ancient Sicilian tradition. His experience began in his native town, Aspra, a fishing village near Palermo. In Aspra, he played for the feast of the town’s patron saint. Since then, relying on his natural sense of rhythm, creativity and his particular style, La Licata has traveled throughout Sicily performing at folkloristic events and various festivals including the International


Festival of Almond Blossoms in Agrigento. He also has participated in diverse national and international events and on television programs, including “Linea Blu” (a regular program shown on RAI 1). With great dedication to the study and in-depth research of the drumming rhythms of Sicilian drums, La Licata has managed to establish a real drummers’ school to not only teach this ancient art, but to pass the popular tradition on to the next generation. In 2000, the school became known as “Associazione Folkloristica Tamburinari di Aspra”. Most recently, the group has been enhanced with the inclusion of a group of majorettes. Below are some of the events and locations where they have par-

ticipated: Malta, Feast of Santa Rosalia in Palermo, Festino di Santa Rosalia at Quisquina, Festa Maria SS. Del Lume at Porticello, Festa del SS. Crucifix in Monreale, Feast of St. Vitus in Mazara del Vallo, Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Sferracavallo, Festivities of Santa Fortunata at Baucina, Feast of Maria SS. Addolorata at Aspra, Feast of St. Joseph at Bagheria, Feast of the Madonna delle Grazie in Ventimiglia di Sicilia, Feast of Maria Lauretana in Altavilla Milicia (PA), Feast of SS. Crucifix in Travia, Festa della Madonna in Terrasini, Festa della Madonna di Cinisi, Feast of St. Joseph in Casteldaccia, Feast of San Giuseppe di Borsetto, Feast at Montedoro and other national and international festivals.


l Gruppo Tamburinari Siciliani di Aspra (Palermo) di Gaetano La Licata “Un’è festa siddu un ci sunnu tammurina” non è festa se non ci sono tamburi. Sin da piccolo questo proverbio rimbombava nel cuore di Gaetano la Licata che seguiva affascinato i tamburinari che nelle occasioni festive annunciavano l’inizio della festa e facevano da cornice sia nelle occasioni religiose che in quelle tradizionali. Comincia cosi la storia di Gaetano la Licata “U Tammurinaru” innamorato del ritmo del rullo dei tamburi. Negli anni 80 riesce a formare un gruppo costituito dai suoi due fratelli e dai suoi nipoti con lo scopo di difendere e portare avanti questa antica tradizione siciliana. Inizia cosi l’esperienza nel suo paese nativo, Aspra, un borgo marinaro vicino Palermo, suonando in occasione della festa padronale. Da allora, contando sul suo naturale

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senso del ritmo, all’estro e al suo stile particolare Gaetano ha girato tutta la Sicilia negli eventi folkloristici, feste patronali e manifestazioni varie. Ha partecipato, inoltre, a vari eventi nazionali ed internazionali ed in alcuni programmi televisivi tra cui e “Linea Blu” (RAI 1). Con grande dedizione allo studio e alla ricerca approfondita sui ritmi dei tamburi siciliani, Gaetano la Licata è riuscito a fondare una vera e propria scuola per insegnare e tramandare ai ragazzi questa antica arte e tradizione popolare. La scuola, che nel 2000 diventa Associazione Folkloristica Tamburinari di Aspra, si è impreziosita con l’inserimento di un gruppo di Majorettes. L’associazione annualmente partecipa a raduni, manifestazioni religiose e storiche tra cui la Sagra Internazionale del Mandorlo in Fiore Agrigento.

del SS. Crocifisso a Monreale – Festino di San Vito a Mazara del Vallo – Festa dei Santi Cosma e Damiano a Sferracavallo Palermo – Festeggiamenti di Santa Fortunata a Baucina – Festa di Maria SS. Addolorata ad Aspra – Festa di San Giuseppe a Bagheria – Festa della Madonna delle Grazie a

Ventimiglia di Sicilia (PA) – Festa di Maria Lauretana ad Altavilla Milicia (PA) – Festa del SS. Crocifisso a Trabia, Festa della Madonna a Terrasini, Festa della Madonna di Cinisi – Festa di San Giuseppe a Casteldaccia – Festa di San Giuseppe di Borgetto – Festa a Montedoro etc.

Alcuni nostri eventi Malta - Festino di Santa Rosalia a Palermo – Festino di Santa Rosalia a Quisquina – Festa Maria SS. Del Lume a Porticello - Festa

You’ll find it all at

Cafe La Scala And every Friday night, an all-you-can eat fish fry. 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee

Dine-in, Carry-out 414/223-2185



Festa to have opening day ‘happy hour’

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New this year at Festa Italiana is an opening day “happy hour.” Festa’s happy hour will actually run for four hours – from 2 to 6 p.m. – on Friday, July 19. Festival attendees will be able to enjoy half off on selected food items – one item at some vendors’ booths, two items at others – plus beverages, including Miller Beer brands. “It’s a great way to kick off the 36th annual Festa,” said Gina Spang, general chairperson of Festa Italiana and the president of the Italian Community Center, the festival’s host organization. “We know people are always looking for family great deals. This is one not to be missed.”

St. Joan Antida reunion planed for Festa Attention all St. Joan Antida High School alumnae: Come to Festa Italiana to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the first graduating class. All alumnae are welcome for this two-day event, which will celebrate all SJA alumnae as well as the nuns who supported them throughout the years. The dates set for the reunion are Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21. The alumnae meeting location is set for the pavilion above the Venice Club food booth. There will be a dinner, wine toast and short program on Saturday. Sunday’s activities will start with a breakfast, attendance at the Festa Mass in a specially designated section and participation in the religious procession. Class gatherings are welcomed. There will be assigned area for these activities both days. Planning has begun on a possible bocce tournament with the nuns and faculty and an alumna of the year award. For further information on this reunion, please contact Marilyn Venturi (Class of 1960) at 414/7624744 or

Gumina family descendants to have Festa reunion The descendants of the late Antonio and Mary Gumina plan to have a family reunion at Festa Italiana on Saturday, July 20. More than 60 people from across the United States, Italy and Germany are expected to attend, said Jeff Sardina, one of the organizers. The family of Antonio and Mary Gumina, immigrants from Porticello, Sicily who settled in Milwaukee’s old Italian Third Ward in the early 1900s, have branched out to include the Sardinia, Dentice and Mages families. The reunion will be an all-day event. Antonio was born in 1898 and died in 1993. Mary (Crivello) was born in 1905 and died in 1995. For more information on the event, call 414/791-4225.


ICC members: Get your free Festa ticket As a benefit of membership in the Italian Community Center, each member is entitled to one free Festa Italiana ticket, which is good for admission to the festival any one of the three days. There are two ways for members to obtain these member-only tickets. Those members who wish to pick up their tickets in person can stop in at the ICC office reception desk weekdays between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Be sure to bring your current membership card with you. You will be asked to present the card. Those members who cannot pick up their tickets in person can order them through the mail. You must include a self-addressed, stamped return envelope. Ticket requests that do not have the return envelope will not be processed. Mail orders must be received by Monday, July 8 to allow sufficient time for processing and delivery to your residence. The 36th annual Festa is Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21 on the Summerfest grounds. Anyone with questions can call Salina Castro at 414/223-2180 or send her an email at this address:

Get your advance Festa tickets now 3-day pass available online only Get your advance admission tickets now. Festa officials have kept the price for an advance admission ticket for the 2013 festival the same as last year – $10. That’s a $3 saving over the gate admission price. The 36th annual Festa is Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21 at Henry W. Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds). New this year, attendees can purchase a three-day pass for just $25. The pass is available online only at In fact, the easiest way to order advance tickets – good for admission any of the three days – or the three-day pass is to go online to and purchase them with a credit card. Once on the website, click on “Get Your 2013 Festa Tickets,” follow the instructions and print your order. These ticket-purchasing opportunities will be available through July 1 only. You may also buy advance tickets in person at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee, or call the ICC at 414-223-2180 and have your credit card ready. You can also use the form that accompanies this article to order your advance admission tickets. Persons using the advance ticket

Festa admission deals Festa Italiana offers some opportunities for you to attend the festival for free. Festa will take place for the 36th time at Henry W. Maier Festival Park (the Summerfest grounds) for free. Pre-Festa deals Purchase one 12-pack or two 6packs of Peroni Beer at participating supermarkets and liquor stores and receive a ticket good for one free admission to Festa. This offer is valid while supplies last. Tickets are redeemable at the Mid-Gate only. Everyday deals On each of the three days of Festa, children 12 years and younger, when accompanied by an adult, will be admitted for free. July 19 deals From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, July 19, Festa Italiana and its VIP Day sponsors are

offering people with disabilities along with their caregivers free admission. These free admission tickets must be obtained in advance. Look for a separate VIP Day story in this section that has the details on ordering VIP Day tickets. Festa Italiana invites everyone to the festival for free between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. This free admission offer is courtesy of the Italian Conference Center and Cafe La Scala, the public restaurant at the Italian Community Center.

order form must have their envelope postmarked by July 5. Advance tickets are also on sale at Glorioso’s Italian Market, 1011 E. Brady St., Milwaukee, Peter Sciortino’s Bakery, 1101 E. Brady St., Milwaukee, and Nick’s Barber Shop, 1520 E. Capitol Dr.,

Shorewood. As always, children 12 and younger are admitted to Festa for free when accompanied by an adult. Festa Italiana will be open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to midnight each of the three days.

ORDER YOUR FESTA ITALIANA 2013 ADVANCE TICKETS Name(s) ____________________________________________________ Address _____________________________________________________ City, State, Zip _______________________________________________ Phone ________________ Email _________________________________ I/we want to order _____ advance tickets @ $10.00 each. Total amount enclosed: $________________________________________ Payment by check, money order and credit card accepted. Credit Card No. _______________________________________________ Credit Card Expiration Date _____________________________________ Mail this form with your payment to Festa Italiana, 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee, WI 53202. Checks or money orders are payable to Festa Italiana. Your advance tickets will be mailed to you. Requests for advance tickets must be received no later than July 8, 2013.

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Festa Mass From 10 to 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, July 21 at the south gate entrance only, there will be free admission to Festa Italiana when you attend the Mass in the Marcus Amphitheater, which will be followed by a religious procession through the grounds.

You can be assured of the quality and value of your most precious selection when you shop at

Sicilian Food “The way Nonna made it!” Banquets up to 75 people.

Stop in and enjoy our entire menu. At Festa, visit us in the Miller Area for our Calamari, Eggplant Pasta, Eggplant Spiedini, Pork Sandwich and Risotto Rolls.


2nd Floor • 1018 E. Brady St. • Milwaukee, WI 53202 Daily & Evening Appointments (414) 272-1311 • (414) 347-0992 • Fax (414) 276-3968



3468 N. Oakland Ave. 414/963-9623

Visit us at our store during Festa Italiana and we will shuttle you to the Festa grounds!



La Grande Parata della Festa Italiana The Grand Parade of Festa Italiana By Susie DeSanctis Christiansen Parade Manager Since Saturday and Sunday are such family-oriented days at Festa Italiana, this year’s Grand Parade will wind through the festival grounds at 5:30 pm both days (July 20 and 21) celebrating famiglia (family), cultura (culture) and all things Italian. It will begin at the south end and finish at the north end. Leading the way with the reverberating echo of their drums will be I Gruppo Tamburinari Siciliani di Aspra (The Sicilian Tamburinari of Aspra, Sicily). They are coming to Festa after performing for many years at folkloristic events and various festivals, including the International Festival of Almond Blossoms in Agrigento (Sicily), Italy. They have also participated in diverse national and international events and on television programs. (See separate article.) The parade will also include La Banda Siciliana di Chicago (Sicilian Band of Chicago), Pinocchio, Geppetto, Blue Fairy and Topo Gigio, Tradizione Vivente (the Italian Dance Group of Milwaukee), I Bei Bambini (Children’s Italian Dance Group), Regional and Renaissance Dance Group, a celebration of the Italian Community Center’s Carnevale, the Sicilian Carretto (Sicilian cart), our large wooden Pinocchio on a tricycle, our beautiful Pinocchio float and much more. There will be children – lots of children – in Venetian masks and in other costumes. Italian music will fill the air and jugglers will entertain. This year, we will be joined by members of the Madison Area Jugglers, the premier juggling club of Madison. The audience will no doubt hold their breath as they watch the jugglers send objects

sailing through the air. The parade will be colorful, entertaining and will fill the air with Italian music.

Festa Italiana celebrates the music, culture, food and spirit of Italy, as well as our community, family and good friends. We strive to create a

On each day of Festa Italiana, children are selected to ride on the Pinocchio mobile in La Grande Parata (The Grand Parade). The mobile, which was designed and built by Italian Community Center member Cosmo Carini, has been a popular feature of Festa since 2009.

festive atmosphere and fond memories that you will enjoy and remember throughout the year. Join us in the celebration. A presto!

In this photo, the Italian Community Center’s 2012 Carnevale Principe Joseph Cannestra and Principessa AudriAnn Schwindt were along for the ride. (Times photo by Tom Hemman)

Calling all children for fun opportunities, seeking parade floats By Susie DeSanctis Christiansen Festa Parade Manager Not only do we invite all children to march in Festa Italiana’s Grand Parade wearing either an Italian costume or a clown costume, but we also present a new, really fun opportunity for children to participate. You provide the children, we provide the masks. We are looking for 20 children to walk in the parade, wearing feathered Carnevale masks. Festa is just a few weeks away, so there is no better time to get ready than now. Search online for a colorful clown costume or Italian costume. Search the shops. Have nonna make an Italian costume – a labor of love that will surely result in an amazing costume. You may also allow us to feature your children in beautiful Carnevale masks supplied by the Italian Community Center. We would love to have as many children as possible march in the parade. Imagine how happy and festive and touching our parade will be with the sweet faces of children throughout. That is our dream. Help us realize it.

Searching for floats Do you have access to a parade float that we might be able to borrow or rent in July 2013 for our parade? Do you know of an organization or person who has a float


available? We hope to add beautiful floats each year that will make our parade really special. Please consider lending us a float for our parade. We will treat it with the utmost respect and take

meticulous care of it. If you have a float available or have any questions about the parade, please contact me, Susie Christiansen, at 414/217-0174. See you at Festa!


From dance groups to a magician, an authority on exotic bugs and ‘Button the Wonder Dog,’ Festa’s Children’s Stage has it all By Jacob Born Festa Italiana aims to bring fun to young and old with Italian-style flair. To accompany this, Festa presents its Children’s Stage, featuring six family fun programs throughout the weekend, July 1921. The first performer on the stage is Susanna with Button the Wonder Dog. Button, a Shitzu Maltese, is no stranger to the stage, performing at senior citizen centers, fundraisers and many other events. Her act includes some shopping, maintaining a hotel, and playing in her own band and other tricks. She was also named to Animal Planet’s Cutest Pets in 2011. Susanna and Button can be seen at 2 p.m. Friday through Sunday. I Bei Bambini (the Children’s Italian Dance Group) has been performing at Festa Italiana for a number of years and continues to be a fan favorite. The dance group, made up of nearly 40 children, celebrates Italian folk dancing, costumes, culture and music. Some of their dances include the Bal de Truc, Tarantella dei Bambini and Tarantella Festiva. Susie (DeSanctis) Christiansen, director of the I Bei Bambini dance group, proudly proclaims, “The children of the dance group are the future of the Italian community. We ensure the survival of our heritage by passing on to them our

Festa’s Children’s Stage line-up 2 p.m. – Susanna & Button the Wonder Dog 3 p.m. – I Bei Bambini (Children’s Italian Dance Group) 4 pm. – Anita’s Dance Companies (Sat. only) 5 p.m. – Tony’s Creepy Crawly Zoo. 6 p.m. – The Magic of Rick Allen & Company 7:15 p.m. – Anita’s Dance Companies.

Button The Wonder Dog

most cherished traditions through music and dance – this has resulted in something beautiful.” I Bei Bambini will be performing on the Children’s Stage at 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday. An exclusive for Saturday only is Anita’s Dance Companies. Anita’s Dance Center has now been performing at Festa Italiana for 26 consecutive years, and it does not seem like Anita and her youth dancers will be stopping any time soon. Anita’s Dance Center is home

to students from more than 40 different Milwaukee-area communities and teaches children from as young as three to as old as 18 in various dance genres. In case you missed their Saturday afternoon only performance, Anita’s dancers will take the stage Friday through Sunday at 7:15 p.m. Back for the second year is Tony’s Creepy Crawly Zoo. Tony’s Zoo is no ordinary zoo, such as a petting zoo, but rather is home to the incredibly creepy bugs. The zoo is designed to not only be fun but also to be educational to the world of invertebrates and show that they aren’t as creepy as they seem. Tony, also known as the Bug Whisperer, has more than a decade worth of experience working with students of the bug world. His show is educational, but he uses pranks and humor, even throughout some of the serious parts. His audiences can come up and handle the bugs sometimes during and once the shows are over. Tony’s Creepy Crawly Zoo will be held at 5 p.m.

Friday through Sunday Rick Allen is responsible for booking and coordinating all of the events on the Children’s Stage, but he doesn’t just sit back and watch all the shows. He will be performing in his own show, The Magic of Rick Allen and Company, as well. Allen not only uses completely original illusions, but also performs classic magic tricks. The show is fast paced and fun for all ages. Allen and his assistant Kristen make sure that everyone is entertained and awestruck by their performance. Allen will be performing his act Friday through Sunday at 6 p.m. All times and entertainment are subject to change. The Children’s Stage is located on the east side of the festival grounds, facing the lake and is just north of the T.J. Bartolotta Stage. Sponsoring the Children’s Stage again this year is Sil’s Mini Donuts. Look for Sil’s freshly made mini donuts in a mobile booth on the Festa grounds.

I Bei Bambini seen here performing at a previous Festa Italiana.

Magician Rick Allen is seen here. Rick is not only performing at Festa Italiana on the Children’s Stage, but it serving as the stage manager.

Entomologist Antonio Gustin brought his “Tony’s Creepy Crawly Zoo” to Festa Italiana for the first time in 2012. He and his exotic bugs from around the world are back in the 2013 lineup at the Children’s Stage. Here, Gustin is showing an enthralled group of children a Madagascar hissing cockroach. Gustin is the son of the Italian Community Center director Peter Gustin. (Times photo by Tom Hemman)


Young dancers who participate in Anita’s Dance Companies.


Bishop Hying to be Main Celebrant of Festa Mass Most Reverend Donald J. Hying, Vicar General/Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, has accepted an invitation from the Festa Italiana Mass & Procession Committee to serve as the Main Celebrant of the 2013 Festa Mass on Sunday, July 21. Hying was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on May 20, 1989. He was ordained the seventh auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on July 20, 2011. Prior to being named auxiliary bishop, Hying served as rector of Saint Francis de Sales Seminary from 2007 to 2011 under appointment by then-Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan. Hying was the temporary administrator at St. Augustine Parish, Milwaukee, in 2006. He also filled the post of the dean of Formation at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary from 2005 to 2007. Hying was pastor at Our Lady of Good Hope Parish, Milwaukee, from 1999 to 2005, and St. Anthony Parish, Milwaukee, from 1998 to 1999. He also served as temporary administrator at St. Peter Parish, East Troy, 1998, and as a team member for La Sagrada Familia Parroquia, Dominican Republic, from 1994 to 1997. His first priestly assignment was as associate pastor for St. Anthony Parish, Menomonee Falls, from 1989 to 1994. Hying, a native of West Allis, was born to Albert and Catherine Hying (both deceased) on Aug. 18, 1963 as the youngest of their six sons. After attending St. Aloysius

and Immaculate Heart of Mary grade schools, he graduated from Brookfield Central High School and Marquette University. He earned his Master of Divinity from Saint Francis de Sales Seminary and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He is also the spiritual advisor for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. The Festa Italiana Mass is set for 11 a.m. on July 21 in the Marcus Amphitheater followed by a religious procession.

Festa attendees can help Hunger Task Force with food donations at Mass Goal is 10,000 pounds Festa Italiana officials are urging people who come to the festival on July 21 for the Sunday Mass to bring along nonperishable food items for donation to the Hunger Task Force. The goal this year is to collect 10,000 pounds in donations, said Gina Spang, Italian Community Center President and Festa General Chair. The Hunger Task Force will be collecting these items near the entrance to the Mass, just outside the South Gate. Last year, some 4,000 pounds was collected for the Hunger Task Force before the Festa Mass. “I want to encourage all of our ICC members and all of our Festa volunteers to join the public in making these nonperishable food donations and help us to achieve

our goal of 10,000 pounds,” Spang said. Festa first started teaming up with the Hunger Task Force in 2009. That year, about 1,000 pounds of food was donated.

Festa Mass Committee seeking donations to July 21 celebration The Festa Italiana Mass and Procession Committee has issued its annual plea for donations to offset the cost of the religious celebration on Sunday, July 21.

Bishop Donald J. Hying

Comgratulations to the Festa Italiana Mass & Procession Committee. We support your efforts to carry on the religious and cultural traditions brought to America from Italy by your forefathers and mothers.

“We’re extremely grateful for and appreciative of the support we to have received from the sponsors of the Mass and procession over the last several years,” said committee co-chairs Vivian Balistreri and Sal Lo Coco. “It is a very costly undertaking to convert the Marcus Amphitheater from a concert venue into a place of worship. “For the last several years, a number of people have stepped forward with individual donations to help defray those costs, and we hope that people will be similarly moved this year,” the co-chairs said. Every year, the overnight transformation of the Amphitheater is accomplished successfully by the Mass Committee, as evidenced by

comments received on a regular basis from people – including visiting clergy – who attend the Mass for the first time. The Mass and the traditional procession that follows have, since the beginning, been an essential component of Festa Italiana. Festa itself is an outgrowth of the street festivals held at Our Lady of Pompeii Catholic Church to honor patron saints. Persons interested in making donations for the Mass and procession are advised to send checks made out to the Italian Community Center with “Festa Mass” written on the memo line. Mail those checks to the ICC at 631 E. Chicago St.,. Milwaukee 53202-5916. Donations by credit card can be made by calling Constance Palmer at 414/223-2808. Persons with questions are invited to call Lo Coco at 414/9619823 or 262/617-8727 or Balistreri at 414/690-1299.

THE WISCONSIN CHAPTER OF THE JUSTINIAN SOCIETY OF LAWYERS an affiliate of the National Italian American Bar Association

Congratulates 1-800-927-2547 •

FESTA ITALIANA on 36 great years!

James T. Guardalabene (262) 781-8350 •


For membership information contact: Attorney Christine Davies D’Angelo - President D’Angelo & Jones, LLP N14 W23755 Stone Ridge Drive, Waukesha, WI 53188 (262) 523-4321 •


Spotlight on the 2013 Festa Mass soloist Rebecca Carvalho By Dr. Marisa Gatti-Taylor, Ph.D. This year’s Festa Mass soloist, Rebecca Carvalho, is pure homegrown talent. She learned her first Italian words while attending Enrica Tarantino-Woytal’s Saturday Italian language classes for children at the Italian Community Center and her first Italian songs and folk dances while participating in Susie Christiansen and Maria Mattia’s Children’s Italian Dance Group of Milwaukee. She graduated to the adult folk dance group Tradizione Vivente at the age of 14. She also works as a member of the Italian Conference Center catering staff, serving at many occasions held at the Center. Rebecca attributes her love of music to her Sicilian roots: “I’m sure I inherited my singing voice

from my Sicilian grandparents who came here from Porticello and Santa Flavia. But my entire family encouraged my love of Italian opera, enrolling me in voice and piano lessons at a very young age,” she said. In the summer of 2011, Rebecca traveled to Novafeltria, Italy to participate in a summer opera program, La Musica Lirica, under the direction of Brygida BziukiewiczKulig, a vocal professor at UWWhitewater. Both BziukiewiczKulig and Julie Maurer, South Shore Youth Opera Ensemble founder and director, have been Rebecca’s dedicated voice teachers. Under Maurer’s direction, Rebecca performs with the South Shore Youth Opera Ensemble yearly in the Festa Italiana opera tent

and during the summer Courtyard Music Series. This year, the group can be seen at the Festa Italiana opera tent on Sunday, July 21 at 4:30 p.m and in the ICC courtyard on Wednesday, July 31 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. At present Rebecca attends DePaul University in Chicago and studies voice with Elizabeth Byrne. As a young person who appreciates and enjoys her Italian heritage, Rebecca hopes that her rendition of the “Ave Maria” at the Festa Mass will inspire young and old to deepen their religious faith and value their ethnic roots and traditions. She concludes, “The heart and soul of our Italian roots stem from our religious traditions. I am deeply honored to participate in this year’s Mass.”

Sing in Festa Choir; register now Singers wishing to join their voices to this year’s Festa Choir will be rehearsing at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, 5400 W. Washington Blvd., Milwaukee. Rehearsals will last 90 minutes and music will be provided. Some of the hymns will be sung in Italian and Latin but no previous knowledge of either language is necessary as Dr. Marisa Gatti-Taylor will provide language coaching. The mixed chorus is open to all voice parts (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). No auditions are necessary; however, Maestro Michael Kamenski requests that you have had some experience singing in a choir. Choir members must attend at least three of the following choir rehearsals: July 9, 11 and 16 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and July 13 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. The final rehearsal on Thursday, July 18, from 7 to 9 p.m., is mandatory for everyone. The Mass, which is the heart of Festa Italiana, will be held on July 21 at 11 a.m. in the Marcus

Call put out for Festa Mass ushers Ted Catalano, Mass & Procession Committee member and usher recruiter, has issued a call for at least 15 new ushers to step up and volunteer for this year’s Festa Italiana Mass on Sunday, July 21. To be an usher, you must be at least 16 years old. The only other requirement is that you attend a brief instructional meeting at the Italian Community Center on Monday, July 15 at 7 p.m. At that time, information on the duties of an usher during the Mass and the procession, which follows the Mass, will be discussed. Catalano requests that new ushers sign up with him early and then follow through on their commitment. To volunteer as an usher or for more information, call Catalano at 414/305-9769. At least 55 ushers are needed every year for the Mass, which has drawn up to 15,000 people. Catalano said he has about 40 dedicated ushers who show up automatically each year.


Amphitheater. Anyone interested in registering for the Festa Choir or wishing to ask questions is cordially invited to contact the director, Michael

Kamenski at 414/453-1928 or send im an e-mail at (please use “FESTA CHOIR” in the subject line).

Rebecca Carvalho

On Brady since 1946

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Cucina Showcase to offer a full schedule By Maria Tsikalas Festa Italiana may have been shortened by one day this year, but that isn’t affect the bustling Cucina Showcase – Festa’s culinary exhibition – from featuring as many events as ever. “We have as much going on in three days as we had previously in four days of Festa,” Cucina Showcase Manager Marie Lieber said. Her staff of volunteers, which includes her husband, son, grandson and other volunteers, will have to move more quickly than in the past to make it happen, but nevertheless, the volunteers look forward to the weekend thanks to the tasty rewards. Celebrity chefs Maria Liberati and Rossella Rago are back again, headlining the Cucina’s events. Liberati is a former supermodel and the author of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking book series. In February 2010, the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards selected the second book in the series, The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions, as “Best Italian Cuisine Book in the USA.” Liberati developed her interest in cooking in Italy, studying and working with chefs in trattorias and bed-and-breakfasts throughout the country. She also began writing restaurant reviews and articles about food. She is considered one of the foremost experts on Italian cuisine and has been described as the “Italian Martha Stewart” by Celebrity Chef Magazine. She has also appeared on many radio and television programs to talk about

Rossella Rago

Maria Liberati

cooking. She will be cooking for audiences all three days of Festa – Friday at 3:45 and 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 6:45 p.m. Rossella Rago is a 26-year-old actress who will be making her second consecutive Festa appearance. She was the recent winner of Food Network’s 24-Hour Restaurant Battle – Battle Italiano. She hosts the online cooking series “Cooking with Nonna,” which she will be replicating once again at Festa for a nominated Italian grandmother in attendance. The daughter of Italian immi-

grants, Rago grew up spending summers in Italy learning to cook with her aunts, and she speaks the language fluently. Her family is from the Puglia region in southern Italy. Rago is a member of the Order Sons of Italy in America, National Italian American Foundation and active in societies related to the Region of Puglia. She has been acting since she was 11 years old, appearing in major films and television series such as “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” “13 Going on 30,” and “The Sopranos.” She will cook at Festa on Saturday at 6:45 p.m. and Sunday at 4:30 p.m. The Cucina Showcase will kick things off with demonstrations from Steve Perlstein’s Simmer Truck, one of the newest food

trucks in Milwaukee. The former Buca Di Beppo chef makes soups and stews from scratch in the Simmer Truck. Featured on Friday also are cooking demonstrations by Anthony Mandella of Fattoni’s Deli & Catering in Wauwatosa and Dean Cannestra and Tina Conley of Divino – Wine & Dine, which opened on Milwaukee’s East Side earlier this year. The weekend has a full lineup of local crowd favorites, too. Friday’s roster additionally features chefs Mark Weber from Mason Street Grill and a Pfister Hotel culinary expert and Christina Meiers from Mozzaluna Pizzeria & Ristorante in Brookfield. Saturday’s offerings include Andy Schneider and Patrick Murphy of LeReve Patisserie & Café, Wauwatosa; Audrey Vandenburgh of Potawatomi’s Wild Earth Cucina; Suzette Metcalf of The Pasta Tree Restaurant & Wine Bar; and Dave Sapp of Maggiano’s Little Italy. On Sunday, Jessie Sousa of Zin – Uncommon California Italian; Tomas White, Jr. of Mia Famiglia Italian Ristorante & Steak House, Hales Corners; Tony Evans of Bravo Cucina Italiana; and Miles Borghgraef of Ristorante Bartolotta, Wauwatosa, will be displaying their cooking talents. Those who watch the demonstrations can enjoy free samplings of the items prepared by the chefs and free recipes. Festa-goers can look forward to the wildly popular Cannoli Eating Contest on Saturday afternoon and the Kids’ Pizza Making Contest on Sunday afternoon. (Look for separate stories on both.) Local vendors at the Cucina will include American TV – Brown Deer; Due Sorelli; E. Formella & Sons, Inc.; Ferrero U.S.A., Inc.; Nutella; and Oro Di Oliva.

See Us at Festa Italiana!



Anthony Paulis ready to defend Festa’s Cannoli-Eating Contest championship By Maria Tsikalas Returning to Festa Italiana’s Cannoli Eating Contest is four-time defending champion Anthony Paulis of Milwaukee. “That guy can put away cannoli like there’s no tomorrow,” Cucina Showcase Manager Marie Lieber said. “I think the second year he had a champion belt made just like the pro wrestlers wear.” Last year, Paulis put away 30 mini cannoli in six minutes. Paulis, 37, initially entered the competition in 2009 on a dare from a friend. He tied for first that year, and he’s been coming back ever since. “In the regular size cannoli, I did 10 and a quarter in five minutes,” Paulis said. “I could’ve done more if I wanted to, but I had everybody beat by that point, so I thought, might as well let it be so I could break the record the following year.” Last year, the Cucina Showcase volunteer crew set up a separate table just for him after receiving complaints the previous year that he had – let’s just say everything that makes cannoli so tasty – flying during the competition. “I think I kind of psych out the other people,” Paulis said. “They just kind of look at me. Last year, right before the contest started, this one guy (a competitor) had his whole family pointing at me, talking smack. After the contest, I kind of pointed back at them, and they kind of bowed.”

Paulis has a crew of his own to cheer him on while he’s demolishing the Sicilian delectables. “I have a mini fan club, I guess you could say. This year, some co-workers are going to be coming, I have some family, some friends. It’s usually pretty packed in there, and it gets pretty loud during the contest,” he said. Paulis, a tax compliance administrator for U.S. Bank, added, “I’ve always been a big eater, but going into the contest, I have my own training method. Usually the week beforehand, I might buy a couple cannoli, just kind of get the feel for it so I know what to expect. About 36 hours beforehand, I eat eight to 10 pints of gelato. After that, I just drink a lot of water.” When asked how he prepares mentally, Paulis says you have to know your food. “The shell is the tough part. If it gets caught in your throat, you’re in trouble.” In case a medical issue arises, Festa Italiana always has medical professionals on hand who closely monitor the competition, Lieber said. In addition to the defending champion, about 10 other pastryeaters compete in the contest, whose names are drawn at random about a half-hour before the action get underway. Peter Sciortino’s Bakery, located on Humboldt and Brady Street on Milwaukee’s East Side, provides the cannoli and serves as the official sponsor.

By devouring 30 mini-cannoli in six minutes, Tony Paulis of Milwaukee easily won Festa Italiana’s 2012 “Cannoli-Eating Contest” championship. This marked the fourth time he has won the title. He captured the championship outright in 2009, 2011 and 2012 and tied Tony Carlson of Minnesota for the title in 2010. Carlson finished second in this year’s contest, digesting 24 cannoli in six minutes. Paulis received a $75 cash prize and a firstplace t-shirt for winning the contest. Seen here with Paulis is Marie Lieber, Cucina Showcase Manager.The champion is expected to defend his title at the 2013 Cannoli-Eating Contest on Saturday, July 20. The contest is again sponsored by Peter Sciortino’s Bakery of Milwaukee (Times photo by Joe Spasiano)

Paulis, as you might guess, plans to break his cannoli record again this year. “I don’t know what to expect; I don’t know how they’re going to mix it up on me this year,” Paulis said. “Last year, they tried to do the minis. If it’s mini, I could

see myself doing more than 30, maybe 36. People definitely need to get there early if they want a seat.” The cannoli eating contest is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Cucina Showcase. As usual, a large crowd is anticipated.

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Festa’s Fine Arts Show will exhibit 18 artisans By Kalah Krogmann Eighteen artisans of Italian descent and representing most of the regions of Italy will be selling and exhibiting their respective works mediums in the Fines Arts tent at Festa Italiana, July 19-21. For eight years running, Italian Community Center member Valorie Sanfilippo Schleicher, a Milwaukee sculptor and photographer, has both organizing and is in charge of the tent, which is located just past the Giuffre Bros. Cranes Stage on the north end of the festival grounds. Schleicher reported that there will be a mix of authors, sculptors, jewelry makers, painters, photographers, ornate plaster workers, pottery, ornaments, fused glass, illustrators, ring makers, wearable art, printmakers and furniture makers. The following is a list of the featured artisans and a brief description of their art: • Paul Salsini – A historical fiction writer from Milwaukee’s east side, Salsini will be showcasing the three books that comprise his “A Tuscan Trilogy” – The Cielo: A Novel of Wartime Tuscany; Sparrow’s Revenge; A Novel of Postwar Tuscany; and Dino’s Story: A Novel of 1960s Tuscany. He will also display The Temptation of Father Lorenzo: Ten Stories of 1970s Tuscany. • Yvonne Stevenson – She owns a studio in Shorewood called Bad Dog Studio and is primarily a painter who uses oils, acrylic and mixed media. She also designs jewelry. At the Fine Arts Tents she will be showing abstract paintings, primarily in vivid colors. • Paula DeStefanis Christensen – She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, where she majored in illustration with a minor in graphic design. She will be showcasing her hand-painted wearables. Joining Paula is her son Josh, who is a print maker at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. He recently participated in the AIG Printmakers conference here in Milwaukee and was instrumental in gathering the young printmakers at MIAD for an exhibition and events held throughout the weekend. He recently spent some time with doing a community project at the 66th Street School here in Milwaukee with the students. • Donna Pogliano – She has been making jewelry in the Bay View area for about six years and will concentrate on millefiori and art glass pieces for Festa this year

which has proven popular with audiences in the past. There will also be the ever-popular earrings, anklets and bracelets in the colors of the Italian flag on display and for sale. • Arthur Cola – He has been writing for seven years and began writing books to “provide a legacy for my grandchildren and to create stories which also have a message of faith, hope and love. It is my desire to open the world of fantasy, history and cultural traditions to the young and young at heart.” He will be presenting all three of his novels: The Stone Cutter Genius, The Shamrock Crown and Papa and the Leprechaun King. He will also be presenting his Christmas themed children’s book: Papa and the Gingerbread Man. He is currently working on a screenplay for his novel, The Stone Cutter Genius. • Mary Anne Schall – She works in her Shorewood studio and is a

jewelry artist who manipulates wire into wearable pieces of art. Lately, she has been collecting lake glass and stones and is exploring new ways of highlighting these simple, yet beautiful found-objects in sleek, contemporary designs. At Festa, she will be showcasing some exciting new necklaces, earrings and bracelets. • Debra Stubbe BurkartOrlandini – She has been working on some new and exciting paintings and drawings of both Milwaukee and Italian landmarks. She will have both available as originals, prints and greeting cards, derived from their original art. • Marie White – An import to the state of Iowa some 40 years ago and originally from the Chicago area, she is versed in mixed media in painting and clay. She will be showcasing some of her ornaments and pottery. • Angela White – From Iowa,

she has been creating art since she was a small child. She is currently a teacher and when she has time to create her own works of art, clay is her preferred art medium. At Festa Italiana, she will be exhibiting her Horse Hair Pottery. • Anthony Zignego – He wrote Milwaukee’s Italian Heritage: Mediterranean Roots in Midwestern Soil. This book was his master’s thesis at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is the most extensive study of the history of Milwaukee’s Italian community and the history behind Festa Italiana’s origins. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history and has been accepted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. • Orlandini Studios (Eugene Orlandini) – Orlandini Studios was begun by Matthew Orlandini, who began apprenticing for a local plasContinued on page 35A

Due Sorelli bringing back kids’ pizza making contest By Maria Tsikalas This year, Festa will celebrate its third annual Kids’ Pizza Making Contest at the Cucina Showcase on Sunday, July 21. The children who participate are chosen in a random drawing and have about 10 to 15 minutes to craft their beautiful, handmade pizzas. “Some really, really want to do it – they put their names in about 25 times,” Cucina Showcase Manager Marie Lieber said. The contestants are judged on creativity and how visually appealing their pizzas are. Lieber attempts to pick judges who have experience pizza making as well as judges who are artistically creative people, such as graphic designers. “I try to get a variety so they’re not all migrating to the same person,” she said. Taste is not a factor for the judges, but luckily for the kids, they can bake their pizzas immediately following the contest and

eat them on the spot. The contest is sponsored by Due Sorelli, a local Italian company that sells dough, pizza sauce, dressing and spices. The company provides t-shirts and small gift bags for all the participants, and the winners usually get something like a hat, an apron and a kit of pizza mix and sauce. “The little kids are pretty funny trying to make the dough, and the big kids don’t have much patience,” Lieber said. “I think they all have a good time and are all really proud of what they make.” While the contest is meant to be a spirited good time for the families involved, it also offers some children a rare opportunity to shine. “The first year we did this, there was a little boy, who you could tell he was a little shy, and unfortunately he didn’t win,” Lieber said. “But his dad came up to us and said his son had autism,

and that this was the first time he had ever done anything like that with a group.” She added, “While most kids are cheered on by enthusiastic parents yelling ‘Faster! Faster!’ this father had tears in his eyes. I said (to the father), ‘Well, make sure you come back next year and enter him again.’” This year, the drawing of names for contestants will take place at 1:45 p.m., and the first competition – for the 4 to 9-yearolds – will begin at 2 p.m. The 10 to 16-year-olds will start their contest approximately a half-hour later.

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Festa’s Regional exhibit expands its scope Puglia to be the centerpiece By Christina Ziino Regional Exhibit Manager As Festa Italiana continues its journey through the regions of Italy, the exhibit will expand its focus. In addition to highlighting the Region of Puglia, the members of the Italian Community Center’s Culture Committee will incorporate mini-exhibits featuring Italian fashion designers, explorers, inventors and architects. Harleys The Store for Men in Shorewood is putting together an attractive ensemble of clothing to display. Eugene Orlandini will showcase some of his amazing plaster work. We will have examples of products created by Italian inventors. The Christopher Columbus Museum is lending us some materials. The Italian influence on local architecture will have you looking at some familiar sites in a new way. We will also be highlighting some local Italian-Americans in these various fields –Donna Ricco in fashion and Tony Zulli in architecture. Our exhibit will be located in Heritage Square north of the Cucina Showcase just past the Giuffre Bros. Cranes Stage. The Puglia region may not receive as much attention as other areas of Italy, but it certainly deserves to be considered as a travel destination. Surrounded by four bodies of water, it forms the “heel” of Italy and boasts some of the most pristine beaches. Its architecture is varied and unique due to the multitude of groups that conquered this area. (A model of a “trullo”, the unique house from the Alberobello province, will be on display.)

Puglia was occupied by the Greeks, Carthiginians, Normans, Turks, Romans and Goths, just to name a few. These occupations led to the development of various dialects, some of which are spoken in only a specific town. Puglia flourished in the early centuries as a major producer of grain and olive oil. This is still true today. Forty percent of Italy’s olive oil is produced here. Some of the best flour for the production of pasta and the “Altamura” bread is grown in the region. All this information and much more will await visitors to the exhibit. There will be posters showcasing the region’s beauty along with an exhibit of photographs. We will display some clay figurine whistles which are handmade and a specialty of a town near Bari, various food products direct from their producers, ceramics and continuous DVDs of the beautiful sights. The committee is working with Rosella Rago, the “Cooking with Nonna” chef, who is appearing in the Cucina Showcase at Festa, to give a presentation in the tent Saturday and Sunday afternoons

about Puglia and its cuisine. As of this newspaper press time, the presentations were set for 2:30 p.m. each day. Please check with us at Festa for the exact time. Rosella and her father, Vito, are very involved with the Puglia Center of America organization in New York, which has been a major help in organizing this exhibit. They have had their contacts in the region working on our behalf. The official website is: www. Once again, the genealogy organization, headed up by George Koleas, will be located in the tent. Members of Pursuing Our Italian Names Together Chapter 22, the

Italian Family History Club and the Milwaukee County Genea-logical Society’s Italian Area Interest Group will be available to answer your questions about researching your Italian family on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the tent. There will also be an informational table from CCI Greenheart, a cultural exchange organization. Working together, CCI and Greenheart combine cultural exchange and community service to benefit the global community and environment. As in previous years, we will be raffling off a basket of wonderful Italian merchandise and food.

North End Marketplace gets its own tent The small but quaint market of Italian products normally found inside Festa’s Regional Exhibit will be located in a separate tent this year. It will still sell various ceramics, jewelry, soaps and other items from Italy along with

Italian themed merchandise. The market can be found in Heritage Square near the Regional Exhibit tent north of the Cucina Showcase, behind the Giuffre Bros. Cranes Stage. Come do some shopping!

Festa’s Fine Arts Show . . . from page 34A terer in Milwaukee in 1918. A fine craftsman in the middle of a bustling city and a growing industry, he started his own business, Orlandini Studios Limited Decorative Plaster Supply Co., in 1936. The work of Orlandini Studios graces some of Milwaukee’s most famous structures, plus many private homes throughout the area. The family tradition continues with Eugene Orlandini who makes some of his plaster works while Festa visitors watch. • The Green Man Wood Services, Inc. (Peter Gustin, Sr. and Peter Gustin, Jr.) – The Green Man Company cuts and removes urban lumber and makes various functional works of art with them. Peter Jr. considers himself a carpenter who’s working on becoming a woodworker. Peter Gustin, Sr., was born in Valle d’Istria, province of Pola. The town and province, originally part of Italy, were given to Croatia after World War II. After many years of working as a teacher and salesman, he and his son, Peter, Jr., founded Green Man Wood Services, Inc., a landscape company. Designing and building pieces of art and furniture from the wood has become the latest passion of Peter, Sr.



Puglia genealogy to be displayed in Festa’s Regional Exhibit By George Koleas This year’s Regional Exhibit at Festa Italiana is featuring a presentation from Pursuing Our Italian Names Together, Chapter 22, on genealogy in the region of Puglia and in other parts of Italy. Puglia is a southern region of Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its most southern portion, known as Salento peninsula, forms a high heel on the “boot” of Italy. If you are researching a family from Puglia, the following resources are being referenced in the display: Records of births, marriages and deaths that can be found at the Diocese and in individual Catholic churches. The following are contacts at the Diocese: • Altamura - Gravina - Acquaviva delle Fonti Vescovo: S.E. Mons. Mario Paciello, Indirizzo della Curia: Arco Duomo, 1 70022 Altamura (BA) telephone: 080 3117024, Fax: 080 3117024, e-mail: • Andria Vescovo: S.E. Mons. Raffaele Calabro, Indirizzo della Curia: Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 23 76123 Andria (BT): telephone: 0883 593032, fax: 0883 592596, e-mail:; • Bari-Bitonto, Arcivescovo: S.E. Mons. Francesco Cacucci Indirizzo della Curia: Corso A. De Gasperi, 274/a 70125 Bari (BA) telephone: 080 5288111, fax: 080 5244450, e-mail: • Brindisi – Ostuni Arcivescovo: S.E. Mons. Domenico Caliandro, Arcivescovi, emeriti: S.E. Mons. Rocco Talucci, S.E. Mons. Settimio Todisco, Indirizzo della Curia: Piazza Duomo, 12 72100 Brindisi (BR), telephone: 0831 523053, fax: 0831 528315, e-mail: • Castellaneta Vescovo: S.E. Mons. Pietro Maria Fragnelli, Indirizzo della Curia: Via Maria Immacolata, 4 4011 Castellaneta (TA), telephone: 099 8441421, fax: 099 8435099, e-mail: • Foggia – Bovino Arcivescovo: S.E. Mons. Francesco Pio Tamburrino, Arcivescovo emerito: S.E. Mons. Giuseppe Casale, Indirizzo della Curia: Via Oberdan, 13 71121 Foggia (FG), telephone: 0881 766111, fax: 0881 723271, e-mail: Sito diocesano. • Lecce Arcivescovo: S.E. Mons. Domenico Umberto D’Ambrosio, Indirizzo della Curia: Piazza Duomo, 11 73100 Lecce (LE), telephone: 0832 244765, fax:. 0832 251331, e-mail:; • Lucera – Troia Vescovo: S.E. Mons. Domenico Cornacchia, Vescovi emeriti: S.E. Mons. Raffaele Castielli, S.E. Mons. Francesco Zerrillo, Indirizzo della Curia: Piazza Duomo, 13 71036 Lucera (FG), telephone: 0881 520882, fax: 0881 520882, e-mail: • Manfredonia - Vieste - San Giovanni Rotondo Arcivescovo: S.E. Mons. Michele Castoro, Indirizzo della Curia: Via Campanile, 66 71043 Manfredonia (FG), telephone: 0884 581844, fax. 0884 516715, e-mail: • Molfetta - Ruvo - Giovinazzo – Terlizzi Vescovo: S.E. Mons. Luigi Martella, Indirizzo della Curia: Piazza Giovene, 4 70056 Molfetta (BA), telephone: 080 3374221, fax:. 080 3374230, e-mail: • Nardò – Gallipoli Amministratore Diocesano:Mons. Luigi Ruperto, Indirizzo della Curia: Piazza Pio XI, 24 73048 Nardò (LE), telephone: 0833 871659, fax: 0833 874651, e-mail: • Oria – Vescovo: S.E. Mons. Vincenzo Pisanello, Indirizzo della Curia: Piazza Cattedrale, 9 72024 Oria (BR), telephone: 0831 845093, fax: 0831 849844. e-mail: • Otranto Arcivescovo: S.E. Mons. Donato Negro, Arcivescovo emerito: S.E. Mons. Vincenzo Franco, Indirizzo della Curia: Piazza Basilica, 1 73028 Otranto (LE) Recapiti: telephone: 0836 801133 - 0836 801382, fax: 0836 801133 - 0836 801382, e-mail: • San Severo Vescovo: S.E. Mons. Lucio Renna, Indirizzo della Curia: Via Soccorso, 38 71016 San Severo (FG), telephone: 0882 331044, fax: 0882 336658, e-mail: • Taranto Arcivescovo: S.E. Mons. Filippo Santoro, Arcivescovo emerito: S.E. Mons. Benigno Luigi Papa, Indirizzo della Curia: Largo Arcivescovado, 8 74123 Taranto (TA), telephone: 099 4709611, fax: 099 4709610, e-mail: • Trani - Barletta – Bisceglie Arcivescovo: S.E. MONS. Giovan Battista Pichierri, Arcivescovo emerito :S.E. Mons. Carmelo Cassati, Indirizzo della Curia: Via Beltrani, 9 76125 Trani (BT), telephone: 0883 494211, fax: 0883 494251, e-mail:;; • Ugento - Santa Maria di Leuca Vescovo:S.E. Mons. Vito Angiuli, Indirizzo della Curia: Piazza San Vincenzo, 73059 Ugento (LE) Recapiti: telephone: 0833 555049, fax. 0833 955801, e-mail: Not all family history records are at the Diocese or the church. Records of births, marriages and deaths can also be recorded in archives. The archives with family history information in Puglia are found at: • Bari Province (BA): Population: 1,569,133 Towns: 48 Capital: Bari. Archivio di Stato di Bari Via Pietro Oreste, 45 70123 Bari, Italia, telephone +39 080 099311, • Brindisi Province (BR): Population: 414,906, towns: 20, capital: Brindisi. Archivio di Stato di Brindisi, Piazza Santa Teresa, 4 72100, Brindisi telephone: 0831/523412, fax: 0831/521308 e mail:;


• Foggia Province (FG): Population: 697,638, towns: 64, Capital: Foggia. Archivio di Stato di Foggia, Piazza XX Settembre, n. 3 71121 Foggia, Italia, telephone 39 0881 721696, fax 39 0881 777879, e-mail: • Lecce Province (LE): Population: 818,033, towns: 97, Capital: Lecce. Archivio di Stato di Lecce, Via Sozy Carafa 15 73100 Lecce, Italia, telephone 0832/246788 – telephone: 0832/242437 - fax:0832/242166. • Taranto Province (TA): Population: 590,358, towns: 29, Capital: Taranto. Archivio di Stato di Taranto, Sede Centrale Via di Palma 4 74100 Taranto, Italia, Sede Succursale Via Aristosseno 21 - 74100 Taranto, Italia, telephone: 099 4529412, 099 4526575, fax 099 4526575, A mailing list is a way for people with a common interest, to share information and ideas about a particular topic by e-mail. ITA-PUGLIA-L A is a mailing list for anyone with a genealogical interest in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy consisting of the provinces of Bari, Brindisi, Foggia, Lecce, and Taranto. For questions about this list, contact the list administrator at Subscribing: Clicking on one of the shortcut links below should work, but if your browser doesn’t understand them, try these manual instructions: to join ITA-PUGLIA-L, send mail to with the single word subscribe in the message subject and body. To join ITA-PUGLIA-D, (digest mode ) do the same thing with ITA-PUGLIA-D-). To lean more about Italian Genealogy, go to There is a login page where you can set up a free account and start to record and preserve your family history, but this is not required to view the information on the site. At the very top of the page is the word “Get Help”. Click on “Get Help” then select “Help Center”. Select “Learning Center”. Select “Take a Course”. Then select “Italy”. A list of articles about Italy will appear. Select “Basic Italian Research”. This is a free 59-minute video. The Mormon Church, the parent of this website, is in the process of digitizing the considerable store of records that it has microfilmed throughout Italy and the world. To return to the home page select “Search” and use this site to search for records about your family. Return to this site again and again, as more records are constantly being digitized and added. Puglia records currently available at include: • Italy, Puglia (Regione). • Italy, Benevento, Puglianello. • Italy, Avellino, Savignano di Puglia. • Italy, Bari, Canosa di Puglia. • Italy, Bari, Gravina di Puglia. • Italy, Bari, Ruvo di Puglia. • Italy, Campobasso, San Giuliano di Puglia. • Italy, Foggia, Anzano di Puglia. • Italy, Foggia, Casalvecchio di Puglia. • Italy, Foggia, Monteleone di Puglia. • Italy, Foggia, Orsara di Puglia. • Italy, Foggia, San Ferdinando di Puglia. • Italy, Foggia, Sant’Agata di Puglia. Our members are researching their families from many different parts of Italy. We welcome you to visit our website at You will find our meeting dates, our last meeting minutes, and the list of surnames our members are researching. You are welcome to attend the next meeting of Pursuing Our Italian Names Together, Chapter 22, on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee, starting at 10:30 a.m. and concluding at noon. Our last meeting in 2013 will be Nov. 9. We welcome anyone with an interest in Italian families. If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact me, George Koleas, by e-mail at or by calling 262/ 251-7216 after 7 p.m.

Congratulations and Best Wishes Festa Italiana 2013!

THE RADKE CHIROPRACTIC OFFICE 4353 S. Howell Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53207 414-483-3550 Dr. David A. Radke THE ITALIAN TIMES

Exposing Festa-goers to the beauty of Italian opera; many for the first time By Maria Tsikalas Believe it or not, some Festagoers have never heard opera performed live before, and some have never heard opera at all, reports Kay Sparling, the talent manager of Festa Italiana’s opera exhibition, located in the Dominic H. Frinzi Memorial Opera Tent. The tent and performances can serve as that introduction. People are more likely to walk inside the tent, which is free, rather than shell out a large amount of money at an opera house, Sparling said. “The Midwest is a little behind,” she said. “In Wisconsin, it’s still very much a movement. Festa is really one of the bigger things in Wisconsin that does that for opera. Most likely, we’re going to catch them at Festa first.”

Congratulations Festa Italiana from

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Sparling, an international opera singer, has her own studio Jefferson, Wis. where she instructs students in the art. The soprano moved from New York several years ago and got involved in Festa Italiana by accident. She visited Festa Italiana with a friend simply to see what it was about, walked into the opera tent and met the late Dominic H. Frinzi, a past president of the Italian Community Center, a longtime Milwaukee attorney and a respected opera aficionado. Sparling’s involvement expanded from there. She began singing at Festa in 2006, and this will be her third consecutive year as “impresario,” the opera agent or producer, the role that formerly belonged to Frinzi and then his relatives after he died. Sparling is in charge of recruiting and scheduling the performers, negotiating their salaries and organizing the exhibit. “I want to give every opportunity to every opera singer in the area because there just aren’t that many,” she said. Sparling will offer a lecture on an Italian opera great each day of Festa, discussing Giacomo Puccini on Friday, Enrico Caruso on Saturday and Giuseppe Verdi on Sunday. Each lecture is about 45 minutes long and includes some demonstration. “I dig up some very interesting facts about all of them,” she said. “A lot of folks will try to come and listen because all three of those

The Milwaukee Ladies of U - Unity N - Neighborliness I - Integrity C - Charity O - Opportunity serving the community. JOIN US SEPT. 21, 2013 FOR OUR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AND FASHION SHOW.

Kay Sparling

men were quite colorful.” Friday and Saturday’s exhibit will feature the Young Opera Apprentices of Wisconsin. The Apprentices are college students training to be singers, with most training to be Italian opera singers, Sparling said. They will perform a variety of Italian opera from 1600s material to Puccini, from arias to small ensembles. “That’s always fun to see the young people,” Sparling said. “People are always just blown away. It’s always a favorite.”

Local pianist, singer and professor at University of WisconsinMilwaukee, Kerry Hart, will be performing Friday along with a small group of singers, as Kerry Hart and Friends. Hart, a mezzosoprano, has been an accompanist and voice coach for companies such as Florentine Opera, Skylight Opera Theatre and the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Hart’s group will be followed by Sparling herself, who will perform a range of pieces both Friday and Saturday, including classical works that are crowd favorites. “People don’t get to hear Verdi and Puccini every day,” she said. Sal Quarino, the Opera Exhibit Manager, touts that Sparling is “one of the most talented singers in the Midwest, and a great teacher, too.” Jillian Bruss and her ensemble, Jill Bruss and Friends, will be singing Saturday afternoon in a performance entitled, “Vivace!”, an Italian musical term for a quick, lively movement. Bruss, a mezzosoprano, works as the development manager of the Florentine Opera and as a vocal teacher at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. She has performed opera across the U.S. and internationally. The Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra and Opera Singers will be performing Sunday. This group consists of adults who travel all Please turn to page 38A

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Treasures of the Italian church presented in Festa exhibit By Thomas Hemman Times Editor In a continuing effort to convey the importance that Italians have long placed on their religious beliefs and customs, Festa Italiana presents its inspirational Pompeii Church Exhibit, a tribute to Our Lady of Pompeii Catholic Church, which was built by Milwaukee’s immigrant Italians in the city’s old Third Ward. The Pompeii Church served the community at its Jackson Street location from May of 1905 until its demolition in October of 1967. New location This year, the Pompeii exhibit is joining all of the festival’s cultural, arts, operatic and cinematic presentations in an area north of the Cucina Showcase and east of the Giuffre Bros. Crane Stage. The

area is being called “Heritage Square.” A great share of the artifacts that are displayed in the Festa exhibit were salvaged before the demise of the church, which occurred under an urban renewal project order, said Mario A. Carini, Italian Community Center Historian and exhibit chairman. Some of the attractions in the Pompeii exhibit will be: • The Our Lady of Fatima grouping. Carini described the display as a beautiful four-piece grouping, featuring the Blessed Mother and three children. The grouping was hand-carved in wood in the Trentino area of northern Italy in 1930, he said. • The Addolorata (the Sorrowful Mother) statue, which appeared on the side of the main altar at the

Pompeii Church. At Festa, it will be fronted by the statue of Christ in Repose, a kneeling angel, candelabra and other artifacts from the church. The Christ in Repose statue was put on view at the Pompeii Church each Good Friday, near the bottom of the main altar. This statue was donated to Festa in memory of Elizabeth Pinchar by her husband, Frank. • La Madonna del Lume (Our Lady of Light), the patron saint of Porticello, Sicily. The Madonna del Lume setting once graced the north side of the Pompeii Church. At Festa, La Madonna del Lume will be displayed with a stream of ostensori (monstrances), which were used during the Benediction ceremony, Carini said. Some of these monstrances date back to the 1850s and were made in various European countries including Italy,

Germany and Austria. • The Our Lady of Lourdes statue, which was displayed at May crowning ceremonies at the Pompeii Church. It was donated to Festa by the C.W. Purpero family in memory of Rosalie Purpero. • One of the two angels that graced the sides of the altar of the Pompeii Church. This was a gift to Festa from Salvatore and Antonina Alfino, who were wed at the church on June 26, 1926. • Statues of St. Joseph and the Christ Child that were among the original statues in the Pompeii Church. Exhibit’s Sunday closing time People who plan to visit the Pompeii exhibit are asked to do so before 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 21. The exhibit will officially close at that time, Carini said.

Exposing Festa-goers to the beauty of Italian opera; many for the first time from page 37A around the area, with usually about 12 mandolin players and featuring an opera singer. The group’s focus is more Neopolitian, with romantic songs in Italian, and can be identified as having more of a folk classical feel, Sparling said. The South Shore Youth Ensemble will wrap up the weekend. The ensemble is another group of young people that also brings a small string orchestra with them and will perform a variety of pieces. The director of this group is Julie Maurer. Because most of the performances are in Italian, Sparling and others describe what is going on in the scenes before the songs begin to help audience members form more of a connection to what they are hearing. In addition to the performances, the tent will also house a museum of Frinzi’s opera memorabilia, including posters, photos and lis-

tening stations, with Sparling on hand to answer questions. She rotates the items from year to year since Frinzi had such a large collection that it cannot all be displayed at one time. The goal of the tent is to offer a glimpse into the world of opera and its connection to Italy and specifically to Milwaukee’s Italian immigrant community, which was at its peak in the late 1930s and ‘40s. “In the streets of Milwaukee’s Old Third Ward, there would always be music being played; you could hear it all day long,” said Sal Quarino, exhibit manager. “You walk down Jackson Street, and the smell of the food, when you talk about the perfume of Italian cooking, I mean you just couldn’t believe what the smell was … Listening to the chorus of men singing opera – it was the biggest thrill I had in my life.” Quarino explains that the whole point of Festa is to recreate that feeling.

“As a kid, I enjoyed it. As an adult, going back and thinking about it, I enjoy it even more. We

generally have excellent representation of our entertainment. I think first class,” he said. Quarino thanked Sparling for efforts in obtaining the diverse opera and classical music entertainment for the performances in the tent. “She does a fantastic job,” he said.

Mary-Kate Bock, Young Opera Apprentice

Zach Rosado, Young Opera Apprentice

David Zapp, Young Opera Apprentice

The Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra in a photo taken in 2010.


Find out how inexpensive and effective newspaper advertising can be. Contact The Italian Times for details. Phone: (414) 223-2180 Email:


Festa’s vintage Italian photo exhibit brings back a lot of fond memories, provides perspective for younger generations By Thomas Hemman Times Editor Always one of the most viewed and most commented upon attractions at Festa Italiana is the Vintage Italian Photo exhibit that will appear in the Pompeii Church exhibit, north of the Cucina Showcase and east of the Giuffre Bros. Crane Stage. The official name for the area is “Heritage Square.” When witnessing the thousands of people who annually view the vintage photo exhibit, expect to see a wide range of emotional reactions. Some will break out in tears upon seeing a photograph of a deceased family member or relative they so loved and cherished. Some will be beaming with a smile when see a photograph of their mother, father or grandparents in a work setting or in a military uniform or enjoying themselves at a picnic from years gone by. You certainly will see a lot of people conversing with each other as they view the vintage photos and recall the good-old-days. For younger generations, the exhibit gives them an opportunity to see what life was like for their ancestors from the living conditions years ago, to the kinds of work they performed and the experiences they had.

This year, up to 1,200 photographs of families, street scenes and business places of Milwaukee’s early Italians will be showcased in the vintage photo exhibition at Festa Italiana, Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21 at Maier Festival Park. One section of the exhibit will be devoted to Italians and Italian Americans who served in the military. Another section will feature wedding photos taken 60 or more years ago.

The MPS photos mostly depict activities in the early and mid 1900s at the Andrew Jackson School and Social Center on Detroit Street in the old Third Ward. Carini noted that these photos “reflect the importance the center had in the lives of the early Italian immigrants. It was at the center that they were introduced to American institutions and lifestyles.”

Many of the pictures on display this year will be shown for the first time at Festa, Carini said. Visitors are reminded that both the vintage photo exhibit and the Pompeii Church exhibit will officially close at 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 21. (Please note: This exhibit is in a different location than the last several years when it was situated on the far south end of the grounds.)

Returning to the exhibit will be pictures of Milwaukee’s early Italian families, their livelihood and the kinds of activities in which they participated, said Mario A. Carini, who coordinates the photo exhibit. Even Italians who aren’t from Milwaukee can relate to these photographs because their parents or grandparents likely had similar kinds of experiences, he said. Several years ago, the ICC acquired numerous historic photographs from Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and the City of Milwaukee Department of City Development (DCD) of the old Third Ward and the Bay View area of Milwaukee, which were the primary settlements for most of the city’s early Italians. Some of these photos will be on display at Festa.

From the left: Rosalie Scamardo and Jamie and Jackie Forman, all of Madison, viewed some wedding photos in the vintage Italian American photograph collection that were on display in the Pompeii Sacred Art tent. (Times photo by Tom Hemman)

Please join our sponsors for fun and exciting activities at the LEGO® tent on the north end of the Festa grounds in the Kids Area Zone.



Play bocce during your visit to Festa By Thomas Hemman Times Editor One of the pleasant diversions at Festa Italiana is a game or two of bocce, the Italian version of bowling on the green. The game continues to grow in popularity because people of all ages and physical abilities can play. Bocce sets – eight balls and a pallino (target ball) – are widely available, and the game can be played virtually anywhere there is an open space. At Festa, grass bocce courts of regulation size are set up. This year, the bocce courts are returning to the area behind the Flags of Festa, just south of the Cucina Showcase. Catholic Financial Life is serving as the presenting sponsor of bocce at Festa this year. Supporting sponsors are Palermo’s Pizza, U.S. Foods, General Casualty Insurance and Attorney Angela Dentice. The price to play bocce remains

the same as it has been for the last several years: $2 per person per 12point game. Open bocce courts for Festa attendees’ enjoyment will be available from opening to 9 p.m. on the festival’s opening day, Friday, July 19; from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 20; and from approximately 6 to 9 p.m. on

Sunday, July 21. On Sunday, Festa’s 36th annual bocce tournament will be played starting at 2 p.m. Assuming the entire tournament field is filled with 32 teams, the event could go on until 6 p.m. or a little later. Volunteers needed Bocce manager Dan Conley said

he is looking for volunteers all four days during the open bocce periods. Volunteers would collect players fees, serve as referees and provide general supervision of game activities. Persons who would be interested in volunteering can contact Conley at 414/759-5991. Volunteers receive free admission and free parking.

Relax, enjoy Italian cinema at Festa By Kalah Krogmann If you need to relax after long walks at Festa Italiana, head over to the north end of the festival grounds and relish in all that the Cinema Tent has to offer. This year, the Cinema Tent will showcase four feature-length films, three travelogues of Italy and the popular “Guess Who’s Italian” contest. Also displayed in the tent will be posters, photos, biographies and other interesting information regarding the innumerous contri-

butions that Italians and Italian Americans have made to the film industry. Experience all of this while indulging in specialty refreshments, cocktails and treats also available for sale in the Cinema Tent. Film schedule The following is a tentative schedule of films being shown in the Cinema Tent: • Benvenuti al Sud (Welcome to the South) – Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m.: A self-pitying

northern man and his wife are unhappily dispatched to the Mezzogiorno. There, they must contend with their own northern prejudices, as they find the people of the small hilltop town are friendly, honest and live in a place of heartstopping natural beauty. Starring Claudio Bisio, Alessandro Siani and Angela Finocchiaro. • Benvenuti al Nord (Welcome to the North) – Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.: The sequel of Benvenuti al Sud, the film ridicules hatred and rivalries that exist between the North and South of Italy. Directed by Luca Miniero, starring Claudio Bisio, Alessandro Siani and Angela Finocchiaro. • To Rome with Love – Sunday at 2 p.m.: A realist romantic comedy told in four separate vignettes: a clerk who wakes up to find himself a celebrity, an architect who takes a trip back to the street on which he lived as a student, a young couple on their honeymoon and a funeral director who has a talent for singing in the shower. Written by, directed by and starring Woody Allen and featuring an all-star cast including Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis and many more. • My Brother is an Only Child (Mio fratello è figlio unico) – Sunday at 6 p.m.: An Italian drama directed by Daniele Luchetti and based on a novel by Antonio Pennacchi. The film was the winner of several Donatello Awards for best actor, best supporting actress, best screenplay, and best editing. Starring Elio Germano, Riccardo Scamarcio and Angela Finocchiaro. Three travelogues will alternate in between the featured films throughout the weekend. These include: • Visions of Italy: Southern Style – A seamless journey along the rugged western coastline to the toe of the “boot.” • 7 Days in Italy – Experience an in-depth, seven-day sightseeing video tour of Italy. • Italia: Opera Unica – A beautiful depiction of Italy’s diverse mosaic landscape. “Guess Who’s Italian” Contest Back by popular demand, the Cucina Tent crew is bringing back the “Guess Who’s Italian” contest. Each day, participants will examine pictures of three featured actors and submit a ballot indicating which of the three they think is Italian. At 10 p.m. each day, a ballot will be drawn and the winner will be notified. Prizes include gift cards to local establishments and cash. Winners do not need to be present for the drawing and can pick up their prizes the same night, any time during Festa or the following week at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee.



Youth prevailed in Festa’s bocce tournament last year Celebrating Thirty-Six Years! with our 36th Annual Festa Bocce Ball Tournament Sunday, July 21st @ 2:00 p.m.

Presenting Sponsor

Festa’s Location: Summerfest Grounds Bocce Court Location: Straight back from the Mid-Gate (Chicago St. entrance) between the fountain & Flags of Festa area and the lakefront. Next to the Children’s Area.

Wanted... • 32 Bocce teams consisting of 4 players each. • Entry fee of $50.00 per team. • The first 32 pre-paid teams will make up our tournament roster. • This is a single elimination tournament with a consolation round (guaranteeing all teams will play at least two games). • Trophies & Prize Money will be awarded to the 1st & 2nd place teams from the winners’ bracket. 3rd place will go to the winner of the consolation bracket and includes a cash prize. • 1st place - $500, 2nd place - $300, 3rd place - $200. • Other prizes and drawings throughout the event.

The first Festa Italiana bocce tournament in 1978 was won by the OldTimers, a team of elderly Italian Americans captained by the late Joseph Puccio. At Festa 2012, youth prevailed as Young Money, a team featuring players ranging in age from 11 to 23, won the championship. Festa presented the team with a $500 cash prize and each player received a trophy. Guido, the Klement’s Italian Sausage, joined the winning team for this photo. From the left: Zach Martens, 11, Justin Mudlaff, 20, Guido, Joshua Martens, 16, and Trevor Norgal, 23. The 2013 tournament will be played on Sunday, July 21. (Times photo by Tom Hemman)

Festa’s Piazza di Pompeii offers unique shopping experience In the tradition of Italian marketplaces, Festa Italiana will present its “Piazza di Pompeii.” Manager Judy Menos is assembling an array of vendors from around the country for everyone’s shopping pleasure. The Piazza di Pompeii can be

found southeast of the Miller Lite Stage and northwest of the Spiked Island Adult Lemonade Stage. Shopping the the piazza begins when the Festa “doors” open on Friday, July 19 and continues until closing on Sunday night, July 21.

Please complete the form below and send a check or money order to: Dan Conley, Tournament Coordinator, at 1676 N. Cass St., Milwaukee, WI 53202 Make checks payable to Italian Community Center. ONLY ONE CHECK PER TEAM PLEASE. COMPLIMENTARY SUNDAY FESTA ADMISSION TICKETS WILL BE MAILED TO THE TEAM CAPTAINS UPON RECEIPT OF THE TEAM “PRE-PAID” REGISTRATION FORM. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS $52 THIRTY-SIXTH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL. For questions or more information, call 414-272-8249 or 414-759-5991. Come join us & help celebrate our 36th anniversary. Thank you!

REGISTRATION FORM Team Name: _____________________________________________ Team Sponsor: ___________________________________________ Team Captain: ___________________________________________ Address: _______________________________________________ Phone # _______________ Email address: ____________________ Player #2 _______________________________________________ Player #3 _______________________________________________ Player #4 _______________________________________________



Milwaukee County Transit System offers hassle-free options to get you to and from Festa The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) is making it easy for you to travel to and from Festa Italiana, July 19-21, on the Summerfest grounds. A downtown shuttle service will again be provided along Wisconsin Avenue to the festival. MCTS Freeway Flyers will take passengers to Festa’s Mid Gate from five park-ride lots. Downtown shuttle service Shuttles will provide service roughly every 30 minutes from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20; and from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 21. Festa-goers can hop on the eastbound shuttle along Wisconsin Ave. between N. 6th St. and N. Jackson St. At Jackson, the shuttle travels south non-stop to E. Chicago St. and then directly to the festival grounds’ Mid Gate. All inbound stops are on the south side of the street, except for the stop at Wisconsin and N. 6th St., which is on the northeast corner. Stops along the route are indicated by the Summerfest logo. When leaving Festa, shuttle passengers can board outside the Mid Gate. Stops will be made along Wisconsin Ave., between Cass St. and 6th St. The round-trip shuttle fare for adults is $3 in cash. The fare is reduced to $1.50 cash for children (ages 6-11), seniors (65 and older) and disabled persons with proper identification. In both cases, a weekly or monthly MCTS pass or a

valid transfer will also work. Children under 6 ride free. In all cases, exact fare is required. MCTS has many local routes throughout Milwaukee County that connect with the shuttle. Freeway Flyer service Festa-goers can catch a Freeway Flyer from these park-ride lots: Watertown Plank (Watertown Plank Road, west of U.S. Highway 45), Brown Deer East (Brown Deer Road, west of I-43), Holt (Holt Avenue, west of I-94), College (College Avenue, east of I-94)), and State Fair Park NE (S. 76th St. and W. Kearney Ave.). Parking is free at all park-ride lots. Service operates every half-hour beginning a half-hour before the opening of Festa each day and ending a half-hour after Festa closes. On the return to the park-ride lots, Freeway Flyers drop off passengers one block north of lot. Round-trip Freeway Flyer fares are $6.50 for adults. For children, seniors and the disabled with ID, the fare is $3. Again, exact fare is required. People can also board the Freeway Flyer with a weekly or monthly pass plus $2. Need more information? For additional route, schedule or fare information, call the MCTS BusLine at 414/344-6711. Automated recorded information is available 24 hours a day. The same information is also accessible online at



Having up to 300 dinner guests?

Entertain them at the Italian Conference Center’s FESTA BALLROOM. A gorgeous setting in which to enjoy great food! The Italian Conference Center in the Italian Community Center 631 E. Chicago St. (a block west of Summerfest) Call David or Michelle at 414/ 223-2800 to reserve your party or meeting space at the ICC. Visit:

Congratulazione, Festa Italiana XXXVI

1433 W. Silver Spring Dr., Glendale (Just west of Bayshore Town Center) 414-228-9000 • In celebration of Festa’s 36th anniversary, bring in this coupon with your car to Lexus North Shore for a free exterior car washing. Courtesy of General Manager Joseph Palmisano & Lexus North Shore. Coupon valid through Aug. 31, 2013.



People with disabilities will be Festa’s special guests on Friday, July 19 By Thomas Hemman The Italian Community Center welcomes all persons with disabilities to attend the 33rd annual VIP

Festa 2013 mobile app now available Gina Spang, president of the Italian Community Center and Festa Italiana, issued this important announcement to The Italian Times for those with Apple iPhones or Android devices. “We are very excited this year to launch our first Festa Italiana mobile app. From our knowledge, we believe Festa will be the first ethnic festival in Milwaukee to have a mobile app. In conjunction with local design firm Thiel Design and developer, Xorbix Technologies Inc., the mobile app is available for iPhone and Android devices. The name of the app is FestaMKE. The app features an interactive map of the grounds, entertainer information and performance times, food vendor locations, attractions, links to engage with Festa social media and a photo gallery.”

Day at Festa Italiana on Friday, July 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be free admission for all those with physical challenges and their caregivers. Read the details on ordering admission tickets three paragraphs down. Participating food vendors will offer two menu items and soft drink at half the regularly posted price during the three-hour period, said Bill Jennaro, VIP Day chairman. An anonymous area fruit wholesaler is again making a donation which will allow Festa volunteers to hand out two pieces of fruit to each VIP guest, Jennaro said. This distribution will take place from

the fruit stand in the Miller Oasis Area (the same location as past years). To obtain VIP Day tickets, anyone with a disability is asked to send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:. VIP Day, c/o Festa Italiana 631 E. Chicago St. Milwaukee, WI 53202-5916 Each ticket admits one VIP and one guest. Please include the name of the VIP and guest (any more than one guest per VIP is prohibited) and indicate the type of disability as well as any special needs. This information is important to festival planners to ensure that all

guests’ needs are met and that suitable accommodations are present on the grounds during VIP Day. For large group VIP Day ticket orders, please contact Gina Manning in the Festa Italiana at 414/223-2805 or since mailing of tickets may not be possible. The deadline for ordering VIP Day admission tickets is Friday, July 5. Returning as a VIP Day sponsor is Goodwill Industries. “We’re looking forward to it and we hope we’re going to have a nice turnout and good weather,” said Jennaro.

For your Wedding Reception and Rehearsal Dinner

The Italian Conference Center located at the Italian Community Center 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee You'll welcome our attention to detail and the way our staff goes out of its way to meet your every need. Your guests will love the setting, the food, and easy access and parking. Our wedding specialists will work closely with you to make certain that your day is everything you dreamed it would be. They'll even assist with floral arrangements, music, photography, ordering the wedding cake and other extras. Call David or Michelle now for available dates and a tour.

(414) 223-2800



Section a  

June 2013 - Italian Times

Section a  

June 2013 - Italian Times