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September 2009

CityLink Seattle

Festa Italiana Seattle, Sept. 26 – 27

From classical and popular music to pasta and wine, Festa Italiana Seattle is a “Celebration of All Things Italian.” Food vendors, crafts, a wine garden, puppet theatre, bocce ball tournaments, grape-stomping competitions, Italian films and much more honor the “old country” and transform Seattle Center into a little Italy, Sept. 26, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., and Sept. 27, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Food takes center stage this year at the “Great Italian Chefs” cooking demonstrations outdoors in the Fisher “piazza,” featuring nationally-known PBS chefs and authors Christina Pirello, famous for her vegan Italian cooking, and Nick Stellino, joined by local chefs from Seattle’s best Italian restaurants. On Sunday at 3 p.m., Christina hosts the final round of competition of a great new feature at the festival: the Cuoco di Ferro (“Iron Chef” in Italian) Cooking Contest. Three national finalists will compete to win a culinary tour of Tuscany with Christina as their guide.

Legendary accordionist Dick Contino and his band headline a free all-ages concert in Fisher Pavilion, Saturday at 7 p.m. Contino, who stars in showrooms from Las Vegas to Atlantic City and headlines many fairs and festivals across the country, has become known as the “World’s Greatest Accordionist,” famous for his distinctive playing technique, the “bellow shake,” and ability to captivate an audience. Opening the show will be a plethora of local accordionists, each featuring their specialty numbers.

Additional guests and activities this year include:

  • “Taste of Italy” (wine tasting), Sept. 25, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Live music all day, both days on the Moretti Mainstage
  • Early Music Guild performances of 17th Century Italian Music
  • Salumi Salami Challenge
  • Italian Film Festival at SIFF
  • 10th Annual Foto Italiana Gallery Show (juried photographic exhibit)

Join us at Safeco Insurance Festal and become a culture carrier (someone who contributes to cultural understanding through the sharing of stories, songs, music, food and family traditions). This festival is produced by Seattle Center in partnership with Festa Italiana, The event is FREE, and there is an entrance charge for the wine tasting.  For more information on Safeco Insurance Festál and other Seattle Center programming, click on

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