September 2017

A Bit of the Old Country in the Lowcountry

Author: Kitty Bartell

Mark your calendars for the eighth annual Hilton Head Island Italian Heritage Festival, coming to Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn on Saturday, September 16, rain or shine. Hosted by the Italian-American Club of Hilton Head Island, the local non-profit ups their gioco (game) each year, and this year is no exception. Throughout their history, proceeds in excess of $250,000 raised at their annual fund-raising events have been donated to local needs, causes, and charities. “We are a charitable organization,” said John De Cecco, president of the IACHHI. “We’re not just a club that has a lot of fun; we have a lot of fun and, in the process, raise a lot of money for charities.”

This year, 56-plus vendor tents are anticipated, where visitors will enjoy food, drink, games and competitions, entertainment, art and crafts, and more…with plenty of Italian flavor. “It’s all about family,” said Paul Caimano, event chairman. “We want people to have a good time, and we want our local vendors and local non-profits to do well.”

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Food and beverage
If you crave it or are in the mood to discover some new tastes, food vendors galore will be offering Italian dishes, both sweet and savory. Festival goers will purchase their selections from the vendors, with each dish priced at $6 or less. The IACHHI will be serving beer and wine, including Peroni Italian beer, Miller Lite, Pino Grigio, and Chianti, along with softer beverages.

Games and competition
The pizza wheel: Three spins for $5 to win gift certificates from Lowcountry businesses and restaurants.
The cork pull: Draw from a basket of corks and win a bottle of wine.

The silent auction: The IACHHI invites visitors to the big tent at the heart of the festival to place their bids on a remarkable selection of auction items donated by individuals, organizations, businesses, restaurants, salons, doctors, gyms, golf facilities, and much more.

Pizza eating: Whoever eats the most pizza wins, naturally.

Grape stomping: Sign up at the festival, climb into a half wine barrel, and stomp the most juice to win. Heats of four stompers will continue throughout the festival until everyone who wants to channel their inner Lucille Ball can go for the gold, literally, with medals presented to the winners. The judge and jury will be competition coordinator Joe Maggi, who is known to measure the stompers’ output with great precision.
Play zone for all ages: Caricature artist, face painters, games, bouncy houses, bocce, a dunk tank, and train rides for children are all available.

Fine art and crafts, and live entertainment: “Christopher Columbus” will be making an appearance and is looking forward to signing autographs and posing for pictures.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit iachh.org. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; tickets are $6 per person, the parking is free, and visitors are asked to leave pets at home. An ATM will be available on-site for easy cash access. The IACHHI invites local non-profits to sell tickets to the event as a fundraiser where each organization keeps approximately two-thirds of the ticket price.

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