Thursday, June 07, 2001

Italianfest moves to river


Celebration starts tonight

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — Frank Peluso said he'll probably go through 150 gallons of his tomato sauce and about 500 pounds of his family-recipe Italian sausage in the next four days and nights as the 11th annual Italianfest opens at its new home on the riverfront.

        Mr. Peluso, Newport city clerk and water works director, will once again operate a booth at Italianfest featuring specialities from his catering business.

[photo] Italianfest is moving from the Newport Shopping Center to the river, where a barge will hold a stage for music.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        “If the weather is good, we'll be busy from (tonight) right through Sunday,” the Newport native said. “Everyone seems to like our food, and we provide large portions. It's a lot of work, but it's also fun because Italianfest is a real family affair.”

        The festival, which has been held for the last 10 years at the Newport Shopping Center and attracted about 50,000 people last year, celebrates Newport's Italian heritage and the many generations of Italian families living here.

        Mr. Peluso, whose family traces its roots back 100 years in Newport, was working Wednesday with other restaurateurs and caterers preparing their booths for tonight's “Opera Night” 6 p.m. opening and the long weekend.

        Several opera artists and the Italianfest 2001 symphony orchestra will perform tonight on the stage set up on a barge in the Ohio River at the location of the former Barleycorn's restaurant. The festival features a variety of musical offerings every day and night through Sunday on the stage.

IF YOU GO
   • What: The 11th annual Italianfest festival.
   • Where: On Riverboat Row at the site of the former Barleycorn's restaurant.
   • When: 6-10 p.m. tonight; 6-11:30 p.m. Friday; noon-11:30 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday.    • Admission: Free.
   • Parking: Parking available for about 2,000 cars within a short walk of Riverboat Row, including the aquarium garage and the parking lot at 4th and Columbia streets.
        Ted Bushelman, the communications director at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and a cable television producer, will have five cameras capturing everything that happens on the stage for local cable access.

        “I've done this with the Florence Y'All festival for years,” Mr. Bushelman said of his cable television presentation. “We want to let people at home see what's going on and then they'll want to come to the festival. And for people who can't leave their home, we give them the opportunity to watch the entertainment.”

        Other highlights:

        • The Spaghetti Nob 5K race Friday, beginning at 8 p.m. in south Newport and ending at the festival grounds.

        • Fireworks Friday and Saturday, put on by the Rozzi family of Loveland, known for the Labor Day Riverfest show.

        • A pizza-eating contest and an Italian navy boat parade Saturday.

        • A Mass at 11 a.m. Sunday, celebrated on the main stage, and a cooking contest at 3 p.m. Sunday.

       



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