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6 August, 2022

La Festa, an Italian extravaganza

A part of the Cairns Italian Festival, La Festa – Food and Wine celebrated on Saturday, July 30 at Fogarty Park was a massive success with the Cairns community, with over 13,500 people attending the event.

By Isabella Guzman Gonzalez

La Festa was the Italian extravaganza event that turned Fogarty Park into a culinary paradise of over 20 food and drinks stalls representing the food across the different Italian regions, quality wine, coffee, and entertainment for the whole family. 

The event showcased live performances by Siesta Cartel, food, cocktails, activities for the whole family, live entertainment throughout the day and fireworks to close the evening. 

Cairns Italian Festival President Steve Cordenos said they were overwhelmed by the community’s positive response. 

“We were hoping for seven to 10,000 people,” Mr Cordenos said. 

“But we estimated the attendance was around 13,000 to 13,500 people. 

“It exceeded our expectations.” Mr Cordenos said 

La Festa was an event full of activities and entertainment for Cairns residents. 

“The event started at 11am and went until 9:30pm,” he said. 

“We had the band Siesta Cartel from Melbourne, a Made in Italy Show from Sydney, a fashion show by Australian designer Milva Carucci, Daniela and Stefania from My Kitchen Rules and James Liotta as the MC. 

“It was a full day of entertainment. 

“We had the opera singers as the last act, which was amazing, followed by the fireworks.” 

The first Cairns Italian Festival has been getting a lot of love from the Cairns community, and La Festa was no exception. 

“This has been probably one of the biggest cultural events in Cairns,” Mr Cordenos said. 

“We’ve had excellent reviews. 

“One of our greatest ambassadors is the 4CA announcer John MacKenzie; he’s been one of the best radio announcers in Cairns for 40 years; he’s rated us – the best event he’s been to in Cairns. 

“It just exceeded our expectations; the biggest thing people told us on the day of La Festa was – what a beautiful, happy event.” 

La Festa was a success, and Mr Cordenos took the opportunity to thank the volunteers and the committee for their hard work. 

“We had 20 food stalls representing the different regions in Italy; we had massive queues on the food stalls only because of the volume of people there,” he said. 

“Next year, we’re looking to add more food stalls to accommodate the number of people we had. 

“Overall, the day went excessively well; for our first-time doing festival, everyone will tell you that it went extremely well. 

“I want to pay tribute to our amazing volunteers that always had a smile on their faces; they were always happy to assist everyone. 

“My committee was extraordinary; we worked all day throughout the festival and worked like a team to put everything together; it was wonderful.” 

Although La Festa has passed, the Cairns Italian Festival is not over, and Mr Cordenos wanted to encourage the community to keep supporting them. 

“We have the Gala Ball tonight, Joe Avati on Sunday night, and the salami and sausage competition on Sunday,” he said. 

“I would like to personally thank, as a president, the Cairns community for the overwhelming support they’ve given us, and I thank them for coming along and appreciating what we’ve put together.” 

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