23 March, 2022
New festival brings Italy to the tropics
EVERYTHING Italian will be celebrated and showcased in a new 10-day festival to be staged from 28 July to 6 August.
Italian history, culture and flavours will all be in the spotlight as part of the new festival which features some amazing events with a wide variety of activities, offering something for everyone.
Cairns Italian Festival president Steve Cordenos said the festival had been developed to honour the Italian culture.
“The festival will start on a Saturday with the Italian Festa which will have music and an array of food representing the 20 different regions in Italy. It’s a very busy day with six hours of music and entertainment,” he said.
“On Sunday, we’ll host La Dolce Vita at the Salt House – this will be incorporated with the car show, so the people of Cairns can come and see motorbikes and cars all made in Italy.
“We’re also having ‘A Big Fat Italian Wedding’, a wedding theatre hosted over three nights, and it’s one to look at.
“We’ll have an exclusive hall of fame dedicated to past and present Italians that have made a difference in FNQ.
“And finally, Italian-Australian comedian Joe Avati will close the festival on a Saturday night at the Brothers Leagues Club.”
The Cairns Italian Festival is a first of its kind in FNQ, and it will celebrate the history of the first Italian immigrants in the region and their impact on the culture.
“The Italians have been coming here since the 1930s, and, strangely, we haven’t had an Italian Festival prior to 2022,” Mr Cordenos said.
“We really need to honour the people that migrated here and what they did for FNQ.
“We never want to forget our roots and the sacrifices of those that made our lives what they are today.
“This is an opportunity for people to experience the true Italian culture, food and family values in the atmosphere of what being Italian truly represents.”
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said Italians are part of the backbone of the FNQ community, and it is time to celebrate them.
“A lot of Cairns has been built on the toil of many Italians that migrated here after the Second World War,” Mr Entsch said.
“They’re an essential part of our community, and it’s great to be able to celebrate their heritage.”
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said the Cairns Italian Festival highlighted the diversity of FNQ.
“I remember, not long after the war, when the Italian people came here in big numbers,” Cr Manning said.
“Everything Italians do, they excel at. They put all the eff ort into everything they do, and people love them.
“I think this Festival will become one of the highlights of the year for Cairns. Events like this make the city livelier, and they will become a big part of Cairns tourism.”
Mr Cordenos said the Cairns Italian Festival would become a meaningful event for the community, and he hoped it would be bigger and better in the years to come.
“This is only our first year, and we’re very grateful for Cairns Regional Council to have our backs; we hope to bring it back every year and have the support of more sponsors,” he said.
“We have about 45 people in the organising committee, and it’s been enormous to create a 10-day event, but I’m blessed to have the best people behind me, and I’m sure we will deliver an incredible event.
“And why wouldn’t you come? Nobody makes a festival like the Italians.”
Tickets for the Cairns Italian Festival will go on sale next week on the Cairns Italian Festival website at www.cairnsitalianfestival.com.au