By Burt Davis
Photos by Burt Davis or Dianne Davis unless otherwise noted
You don’t have to be Italian, you just have to feel Italian, to enjoy the San Gennaro Feast at the Grand Canyon Shopping Center grounds at 4245 Grand Canyon Drive in Las Vegas. The feast is “A Love Affair with Italy” honoring the patron saint of Naples, Italy. The event includes great food, entertainment , specialty booths and rides for the kids – and adults who feel like kids.
You can literally eat your way through the feast. Italian food is the main feature. When I was there on opening night, vendors were cooking up endless amounts of sausage and pepper sandwiches, pizza, artichoke hearts, clams and Calamari. Those few whose tastes run in other directions can enjoy fresh corn on the cob or food from Thailand, Mexico, or India. You can even check out the fried Twinkies. Just don’t tell your cardiologist.
Celebrity entertainer Tony Sacca serves as master of ceremonies Tony performs and introduces talents. Performers lined up to perform include Denise Clemente, Déjà Vu, Sam Riddle, Zowie Bowie, and Lena Prima. Lena visits from New Orleans to perform with Tony. At the Feast. I have seen their rendition of “That Old Black Magic” (immortalized by Louie Prima and Keely Smith) and it is dynamite. Zowie Bowie closes out the entertainment on Sunday night.
Shades of Sinatra was a crowd favorite
Opening night performances included the mellow sounds of Shades of Sinatra, Tony Sacca's rendition of “Lovin' Feeling” and Denise Clemente's high energy and talent. These performances and others are included in the low cost of admission to this event.
If you are a kid or kid at heart you will be glad to know that there are 60 amusement rides including the 200 foot slingshot. Rest assured you won't see me on that one. If your kids are rideaholics, you can purchase a daily wrist band pass for $30 which enables you or your kids to go on all the rides you wish.
Lots of rides for kids and adults
If you are a big eater, you can take part in the meatball and cannoli eating contest on Sunday at 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by US Foods. Call Kim at 702-376-4777 to participate.
The festival starts at noon on the weekend. It closes at 11:00 p.m.except on Friday and Saturday nights when it is open until midnight.
Tickets are $9 for adults and kids over 4 ½ feet tall. Seniors are $8.
The Vegas weather is predicted to be perfect during the Feast days. Great time to come out and enjoy.