Have loads of fun the Italian way

Pizza, pasta, face-paint and fireworks will all be part of Wollongong's annual Italian Festival tomorrow.

The 32nd annual festival will focus largely on food, with cooking competitions, eating races, food stalls, wineries - as well as fashion stalls, rides and fireworks.

"The festival will showcase the culture and traditions of Gizzeria and the whole of Italy," Italian festival secretary Connie Sacco said.

Gizzeria is a region in Calabria where Ms Sacco's family, and many of the festival's founders, are from.

The festival starts with Mass at Saint Francis Xavier's Cathedral Wollongong followed by the procession of the Saint John the Baptist statue to the Sacred Heat Chapel in Stewart Street.

The festival is organised by the South Coast St John the Baptist Association. The organisation is a non-profit group that works to keep traditional Italian spirit alive.

"The festival gets stronger every year," Ms Sacco said.

"It's great to see a lot of young people from all over the world joining in and experiencing Italian culture."

Special guest performances from X-Factor's Audio Vixen and The Voice contestant Chris Ninni will be part of the outdoor entertainment.

Entry to the festival is free for all ages. An unlimited rides ticket costs $18 pre-purchased and $20 on the day.

The Italian Festival will be held tomorrow from 2pm till 9pm at The Fraternity Club, Fairy Meadow.

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