Ingham ready for Italian fun

A celebration of all things Italian

Local Business Feature
CIAO: There are always plenty of colourful characters at Ingham's Australian Italian Festival, as Grace Finnigan and Caleb and Gemma Harbort from Townsville discover, meeting festival mascot Luigi (aka Graham Cockrell).

CIAO: There are always plenty of colourful characters at Ingham's Australian Italian Festival, as Grace Finnigan and Caleb and Gemma Harbort from Townsville discover, meeting festival mascot Luigi (aka Graham Cockrell).

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Guests to the 23rd Annual Australian Italian Festival will feel like they’ve been whisked away to a genuine Italian piazza upon entering through the gates to this year’s event taking place in Ingham on August 4-5.

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GUESTS to the 23rd Annual Australian Italian Festival will feel like they’ve been whisked away to a genuine Italian piazza upon entering through the gates to this year’s event taking place in Ingham on Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5.

Festival director, Donna Zanotto, said this year’s festival theme is “Sapore di Roma or “Flavours of Rome” and there will be lots of delicious authentic Italian food available at the Festa. 

“To further enhance the atmosphere there will be around 110 entertainers including tenors, singers, showbands, 1RAR Pep and Rock bands, musicians, comedians, dancers, pizza acrobats, a master puppeteer, fire twirlers, circus with purpose and more,” Ms Zanotto said.   

“They will appear on two stages across the two-day festival.” 

Games and competitions

PARENTS and kids alike are welcome to join in the games and competitions including the greasy pole climbing, pizza and ravioli eating, grape stomping, gondola races and more.

Due to the overwhelming demand Luciano and Martino “The Italianos” from My Kitchen Rules fame will host the Flexicomms cooking demonstration this year, presenting guests with the taste and aromas of authentic Italian cooking.

Younger guests are also well catered for with amusement rides such as a rock climbing wall, rocking pirate ship, double lane inflatable slide and a large jumping castle.

There will be free face painting, hoola hoop workshops, educational Circus with Purpose and a puppet show with a master puppeteer just back from a stint at Covent Garden’s West End in London. 

The Kid’s Corner sponsored by Wilmar will be the fun place to be at this year’s Festa. 

All Kid’s Corner rides and workshops are free.

This year will include the Adrenalin Games for the teenagers and young adults featuring Laser Skirmish, Nerf Combat, bubble soccer and archery combat so all ages will be catered for, making it a family event.  

There will be a discounted fee for the Adrenalin Games at the festival.

APRONS ON: Luciano Ippoliti and Martino Convertino from My Kitchen Rules will return to this year's Australian Italian Festival at Ingham to cook up a storm. Photo: Channel 7.

APRONS ON: Luciano Ippoliti and Martino Convertino from My Kitchen Rules will return to this year's Australian Italian Festival at Ingham to cook up a storm. Photo: Channel 7.

Fashion focus

IN keeping with all things Italian, fashion will also be a focus. 

“The Hair, Fashion and Bridal Spectacular will be held on Thursday night, August 2 at the Hinchinbrook Shire Hall, and is selling fast,” Ms Zanotto said. 

“Booked out last year, this is always a popular event.

“Our inaugural Bridal Spectacular will see brides from the last 12 months show off their stunning gowns with the possibility of winning a fabulous accommodation package at Thala Beach Nature Reserve Resort at Port Douglas and other prizes.

“Guests will also be entertained by beautiful voices of Dolce Entertainment.”

Going glitzy 

RETURN to Hinchinbrook Shire Hall on the following night Friday,  August 3, to soak up all the glitz and glamour of the Gala Masquerade Ball. 

Comedian James Liotta will MC the evening ensuring visitors have a great time with family and friends.

Guests will enjoy a delicious seven-plate authentic Italian meal served with Italian beers and wines.

Also back by popular demand, Memory Lane Showband will provide the music so ball goers can dance the night away and they will also back Paul Gulinello, a pop opera tenor and his magnificent voice and entertainer and singer extraordinaire Dean Canan. 

Stalls with more

THERE will be plenty to take in for those that just want to wander between the sites and stalls at the festival. 

The organisers aim to provide visitors with a variety of experiences and part of that experience is providing an extensive choice of stalls set in the picturesque setting of TYTO, Ingham's award winning wetlands.

Crafts and art will be available to purchase, as will plenty of homemade treats. 

History 

THE Australian Italian Festival began in 1995 after community consultations were called to discuss ideas for economic diversity within the growing community of Ingham.

The Australian Italian Festival is an authentic Italian cultural event held on the first weekend of August in Ingham, North Qld.

The festival is an artistic and cultural festival highlighting the Italian influence on Ingham and North Qld and their involvement in the sugar Industry. 

There were many immigrants who came to Ingham in the late 1800's and early 1900's to work in the cane fields and stayed to raise their families here in North Qld.

The location

THE Australian Italian Festival is enhanced by the beautiful TYTO wetlands and parkland setting, with its lagoons, raised walkways and alive with Australian flora and fauna.

The area is made up of regenerated 110 hectare wetlands that are home to a remarkable 27.4 per cent of Australian bird species in one location, plus beautifully tended parklands.

 It is a place of inspiration that honours, in name, the endangered Tyto Capensis Owl. 

EXTRA INFO

TICKETS for all events can be purchased at www.townsvilletickets.com.au 

“You can save 25 per cent off your festival tickets if you pre-purchase online. Children 16 years and under enter for free, when accompanied by an adult,” Ms Zanotto said.

For further information and enquires please visit our event website, Facebook (@aifestival) or Instagram (australianitalianfestivalqld) pages.

For further information visit the Australian Italian Festival website.

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