Paisan or not, everybody was Italian this weekend in Leland. Over 6,000 people flocked to the Cross Creek Commons to take part in the inaugural Cape Fear Italian Festival and celebrate the Italian-American heritage. The event featured all the things Italians do best; food, music, and fun. “Everybody’s having a good time, they're shopping, eating, listening to great music, the Marine band is about to go on here. Looking great!” said Mike Forte. Visitors indulged on old Italian favorites from meatballs subs, pizza, cannolis, and sausage and peppers Music in the air provided a festive atmosphere with a wide selection of great music from the US Marine Corps band, the Wilmington Big Band, the Brunswick Big Band, and Bonita Laserna. These and others entertained and delighted the crowds all weekend long. There was fun to be had with rides and slides for the little ones, while the big boys took to the bocce court. Many enjoyed a casual game, but pride was on the line as Leland Police Chief Tim Jayne took on Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous. The match was hard fought, with Chief Jayne taking an early lead, but Chief Evangelous pulled out a hard fought victory. The event was honored with the presence of a very special guest as US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, of Italian decent, paid a visit to the festival. “Best Italian festival in all of North Carolina. Best food and everything else,” said Sal Marindo. The first year event covered expenses despite Saturday’s rain. The Italian Festival committee will be making a donation to the Brunswick Community College scholarship fund.
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