West End update – Bob Hendrickson – GINCC

Italian Fest today

ISHPEMING — With summer hitting mid-stride this weekend, everyone is invited to Ishpeming’s Italian Fest happening today, July 30, at Al Quaal Recreation Area from noon-7 p.m.

Hosted by the St. Rocco-St. Anthony Society of Ishpeming this year marks the 123rd festival.

According to the festival website, “Although this event is a way for Italian-Americans to follow the Italian tradition of honoring St. Rocco and St. Anthony, it is also a time for all of us to enjoy food, music and family.”

Food, music and family? Sounds like amore to me. And to top it off it’s free to attend.

Reminisce of family-style community picnics of years ago, this long-standing tradition on the West End of Marquette County is a way for the people to celebrate cultural heritage and friendship.

Festivities start at 12 noon with Italian food and drink for sale, other food options will also be onsite. But hey, this is an Italian Fest so have a homemade spaghetti dinner with meatballs, or maybe a cudighi or meatball sandwich.

The band Party to Jazz will kick off the music playing from 12-2pm. They will be followed by Soundz of Time taking the stage from 2:30-4:30 and capping the day off is the very popular Diamanti band from Chicago will perform classic contemporary Italian and American music from 5-7pm.

Kids activities will be ongoing throughout the afternoon starting at 1:30pm. An inflatable slide and obstacle course will be onsite and games like sack races, egg toss, a sawdust pile and ring toss will be offered. For those who looking for a little more challenge, try the grease pole climb with a $100 prize at the top.

This year’s festival is back to full offerings after scaled back celebrations the past two years. For more information go to: www.ishpemingitalianfest.com.

Coming up next weekend, August 6, is the 46th Annual Ishpeming Gem & Mineral Show taking place at the Ishpeming Elks Club. This year will bring back the field trips to local quarries and rock piles. The day of the show will feature dealers, a kids table, silent auction, a cracker-barrel and working demonstrations throughout the day. For more information go to www.ishpemingrocks.org.

To learn more about the GINCC, visit our website at www.gincc.org, give us a call or stop in. Office hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. We are at times out of office on Chamber business. Please call ahead to confirm a visit, 906-486-1111.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bob Hendrickson is the executive director of the GINCC. He currently resides in Negaunee with his wife, Laura, and daughter, Sierra. He enjoys mountain biking, skiing, fishing and hunting along with family time.


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