Joe Bevelacqua and Anthony Paparella
Joe Bevelacqua and Anthony Paparella.

The South Florida Italian Culture & Heritage Festival (aka “SoFlaFeast”) will launch on Sunday, October 11, 2015 at beautiful ArtsPark at Young Circle in downtown Hollywood, Florida. The SoFlaFeast will be produced by Anthony Paparella of Gino’s Market and Joe Bevelacqua of Cobra Joe Productions.  Their shared mission is to create a festival that will highlight the best of Italian and Italian American culture in our region and to create an annual tradition that will continue for many years to come.

South Florida has many ties to all of Italy’s twenty diverse regions.  Italians are known around the world for their contributions to almost every industry, ranging from fashion to science, but in the United States especially for the contribution of Christopher Columbus, our nations’s founder.  To honor him the festival will coincide with various local Columbus Day celebrations.

ArtsPark at Young Circle
ArtsPark at Young Circle

SoFlaFeast is also grateful for support from the City of Hollywood, which has embraced the vision for the festival as both an opportunity to support local business and to celebrate the ethnic heritage of many of its citizens who have contributed to its growth and development.

There will be a wide variety of activities to enjoy throughout the day at the SoFlaFeast, including traditional Italian games, such as Bocce and vendors ranging from food to arts and jewelry.  Nationally recognized performers will grace the stage throughout the day, including headliners, The Mystics, who were recently inducted into the Doo Woop Hall of Fame.

Proceeds from the SoFlaFeast will directly benefit the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital (JDCH), one of the

Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital
Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital

region’s leading pediatric hospitals, offering a comprehensive scope of healthcare services and programs in a child-friendly atmosphere. JDCH has the only pediatric trauma center (Level I) in South Broward County and has recorded approximately 101,342 pediatric emergency department visits.

Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital will also stage an area dedicated entirely for children to enjoy at the SoFlaFeast.  Their activities will range from face painting to games and plenty of prizes and treats for kids and tweens.

Finally, SoFlaFeast will spotlight and honor various local nonprofit cultural organizations that work tirelessly to support Italian culture.