Watertown’s Bravo Italiano Festival returning with new traditions in 2021

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — A greatly anticipated event will soon return to the North Country.

The Annual Bravo Italiano Festival only weeks away in the North Country, and the appetite for this 3-day event could not be larger. This festival has been hosted in Watertown by the Italian-American Civic Association for 36 years.

However, after being cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, organizers shared their excitement to bring annual traditions back, like the Miss Italia Pageant and Bocce Ball tournament.

“We are really thrilled to bring the Bravo Italiano festival back, hopefully better than ever,” Bravo Italiano Festival Committee Member Jerri Gosier said. “I think we could all use a little bit of fun and excitement after an incredibly long and stressful year.”

This year’s festival will introduce new “traditions” to the North Country. One including the Run for the Pasta 5K race, and the new Bravo Dance with music from Fred and the Eds. According to Gosier, the goal of these events is to engage new community members.

“One thing we wanted to do was really draw in a variety of people, especially people who may be haven’t come to the festival,” Gosier expressed. “While it is the Italian American festival, it isn’t just for Italian Americans, it’s for our community at large.”

As the Festival derives from the core of Italian culture, focusing on food and family, Gosier discussed how the Bravo fest will aim to bring the “family” of the North Country together.

There is no better way to get together, share your memories, celebrate your wins for the year, and really look out in a positive way. And hopefully we can do all of these things safely together,” she expressed.

The 53rd Annual Bravo Italiano Festival will kick off on August 27 following a bocce tournament the weekend before. Admission for the festival is free to all community members. A full schedule of events is listed below:

August 27:

  • 11 a.m.: Wreath Laying Ceremony for Prisoner of War Italian soldier buried at Sheepford Cemetery, Fort Drum
  • 4:30 p.m.: Opening Ceremony
  • 5 p.m.: Dinner, food opens
  • 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Wine, beer and food tasting from local vendors
  • 5 to 7 p.m.: Paolo and Felice
  • 5 to 7 p.m.: Brushstrokes by Melina: Face painting and balloon twisting
  • 7 p.m.: Miss Italia Princesses
  • 7:30 p.m.: Miss Italia Scholarship pageant

August 28:

  • Run for the Pasta
    • 8:30 a.m.: Kids one mile dash
    • 9:00 a.m.: Adult 5K run
  • 11 a.m.: Doors open, lunch and dinner begins
  • 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Brushstrokes by Melina: Face painting and balloon twisting
  • 1 to 1:30 p.m.: Story time with Miss Suzie from the Flower Memorial Library
  • 2 to 2:30 p.m.: Italian duet classics performed by Jenessa Loomis and Perry Morgan
  • 2 to 5:30 p.m.: Music and entertainment
  • 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.: Private Italian wine tasting class
  • 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Wine, beer and food tasting with local vendors
  • 5 p.m.: Dinner
  • 5 to 7 p.m.: Paolo and Felice
  • 7:30 to 10 p.m.: Adult Dance

August 29:

  • 10 a.m.: Roman Catholic Mas
  • 11 a.m.: Lunch specials
  • 2 p.m.: Festival ends

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