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Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014
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Ciao down: Festa Italiana returns to Ybor

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The streets of Ybor City will be awash with red, white and green this weekend as Festa Italiana returns to Tampa for a 16th year.

The annual festival celebrates Italian culture through food, music and games in the historic neighborhood with a deep history of Italian heritage. Thousands of Italian immigrants moved to Ybor in the early 20th century to take part in the neighborhood’s thriving cigar industry era.

Free events will take place in Centennial Park until 6 p.m. today, including the annual Bocce Ball Invitational Tournament, the Italian Idol competition and a homemade wine competition and tasting. There will also be a variety of food vendors.

On Sunday, the main festival will run from 11:15 to 6:30 at Centennial Park and will include more than 30 restaurants, grape stomping, cooking demos and live music throughout the day. Admission is $5.

Sunday’s celebration kicks off with a 10:30 a.m. Catholic mass at the Italian Club in Ybor, followed by a procession and parade to Centennial Park.

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