Fantastico! Sault has a blast at 2023 Italian Festival


Pictured: Having fun at Giovanni’s Italian Festival Sunday are, from left to right: Eva and Mike DeVuono, and Annelise and Jim Malesh, from Sault Ste. Marie.

Beautiful mid-summer weather and heavy attendance marked Giovanni’s Italian Festival 2023, Sunday.

The Roberta Bondar Pavilion was jammed with smiling faces, taking in the music and sampling the many food and desert options.

Outside the Pavilion were scores of still more people soaking up some sun and enjoying cool refreshments. Kids were busy frolicking on slides or maybe getting a face painting.

All in all, to say the event was popular would be an understatement. Annelise Malesh, called the event “fabulous!” in all respects.
“Kudos to everyone from Giovanni’s and all the volunteers,’ she said, beaming. “The entertainment is great. The food is great and the people are great!”

Jim Malesh said their group was having fun, adding “Sault Ste. Marie needs more events like

Elvis impersonator Larry Tschekalin took the stage at mid-afternoon and rocked the Pavilion with Presley classics including Jailhouse Rock and Hound Dog, closing his set with the mid-60s Elvis hit Suspicious Minds. Tschekalin also worked the crowd by visiting and serenading tablefuls of toe-tappers.

“I’m happy to see so many people here,” said Adam Bernardo. “It’s a wonderful turnout and it’s a great thing (organizers) are doing for our city.”

Other entertainers included singer, imitator and TV showman Antonio Mezzancella, Windsor, Ontario group Fantasia, and local talents Frankee Productions and Mustang Heart.

The festival was held at Roberta Bondar Pavilion for the first time. In 2022, the event was held at the parking of Giovanni’s Restaurant on Great Northern Road.

“If they had held up at the parking lot this year, they’d have had a tough time getting all of
these people in,” offered Mike DeVuono. “Great idea to have it over here.” More space filled by more happy people. Perfect.

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