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30th Annual Italian Festival Up and Running

July 28, 2012
By CASEY JUNKINS Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - From a giant sliding board and rides for children to food and entertainment for everyone, fans of the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival can experience a little bit of everything at Heritage Port.

A couple of late afternoon showers failed to dampen attendees spirits as the 30th annual festival got under way Friday. Wheeling residents Rosemarie Kelly and Dick Bom are among those who take in the festival on annual basis.

"It's great for the city - and it's great for me," said Kelly. "I have been to every one of these, except for years when I have been on vacation."

Article Photos

Photo by Casey Junkins
Wheeling residents Rosemarie Kelly and Dick Bom enjoy some freshly fried chips Friday during the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival at Wheeling’s Heritage Port.

Bom said both the music and the food of the Italian Festival are major attractions for him.

"I try to come down every year, too," he said as he and Kelly enjoyed some freshly fried chips.

In terms of the food, one could satisfy his or her hunger with everything from a gyro to a funnel cake or Asian food, in addition to the more traditional Italian items.

It's those Italian offerings that keep Valley Grove residents John and Claire Walters coming back to the festival year after year. John said he prefers the Italian sausages, while Claire likes the stromboli.

"It's all wonderful," John Walters added.

Events at the Heritage Port Stage today include:

-Noon - Veterans Appreciation Ceremony

-1 p.m. - Ronnie Fiorentino

-2:30 p.m. - The Joseph Sisters

-4:30 p.m. - The Fabulous Bender Boys

-7 p.m. - scholarship awards ceremony

-7:30 p.m. - Avanti

-9:30 p.m. - Fireworks from the Wheeling Suspension Bridge

-10 p.m. - US Kids.

Events set for the Cultural Area Italian Stage today include:

-Noon - gnocchi making lesson

-1 p.m. - Matt Schafer

-2:30 p.m. - The Jim Frank Band

-4 p.m. - Ronnie Fiorentino

-5 p.m. - The Faiellas

-6 p.m. - Matt Schafer

-7:30 p.m. - Allegro Dance Co.

-9 p.m. - Ohio Valley Connection.

Sunday features the OVAC All-Star Band, Allegro Dance Co., the New View Trio and Moreno Fruzetti.

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