Community & Business

28 July, 2022

Family fun Italian style

A MAJOR family fun day filled with Italian food, songs, dance and comedy will fill Fogarty Park in Cairns this Sunday as the inaugural Cairns Italian Festival kicks off in style.

Comic James Liotta will MC on the day.
Comic James Liotta will MC on the day.

La Festa will transform the park with the best Italian culinary delights celebrating mouth-watering produce with a fabulous array of food and drink stalls, cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, live band performances by Siesta Cartel, the Made in Italy Show, Pizza Acrobatics and Daniela and Stefania from “My Kitchen Rules”, Italian music and dancing, a fashion parade and kids’ activities.

The day will end with a spectacular fireworks display. MC for the day is award-winning performer James Liotta. 

With more than 25 years of experience, James has toured constantly around Australia as a stand-up comedian alongside ethnic comedy icons such as Joe Avati, George Kapiniaris and Tahir. 

He is well known for having MC’d countless Italian festivals across Australia as well as major events both corporate and public. 

He continues to tour around the country both as a comic and MC with a focus on his co-produced comedy shows alongside his partner in crime, Piero Viavattene, with their side-splitting antics as “Pippo and Pasquale” who have amassed over five million views collectively online and have sold thousands of tickets to their live stage shows. 

Another act not to be missed on the day is Siesta Cartel, a group of young Italians from Melbourne whose hearts beat to the music they play from a time long ago, where their beloved traditions was born. 

Melbourne-based band Siesta Cartel will perform Italian songs from the 1800s to the 1960s.
Melbourne-based band Siesta Cartel will perform Italian songs from the 1800s to the 1960s.

Adam Cursio formed Siesta Cartel in late 2018 with a goal of reconnecting with the traditional Italian music he grew up with. 

His ambitions for the band, however, are grander in scale – to help reunite all Italians in Australia with their roots. 

Siesta Cartel’s first gig was at the 2018 Carlton Italian Festa where they received immediate support from the city’s Italian community. 

They have since played at the Australian Open, Crown’s Gradi Italian Festival and Lygon St’s Melbourne Italian Festa. 

The Siesta Cartel repertoire includes Italian songs spanning from the 1800s to the 1960s. 

“There’s a lot of Neapolitan songs, songs from Napoli in Italy,” Adam says. 

“There’s a lot of songs from around Sicily, Calabria and generally the southern part of Italy, which is where most of the migrants here are from and that’s the music that we grew up with.” 

La Festa starts at 11am on Saturday and goes through until 10pm. 

Tickets for adults are $17.90, $5.50 for children, or $40.68 for a family pass.


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