A street performer greets passersby during the debut Lake George Italian Fest held in spring 2013. The 2014 edition of this street festival is occurring this weekend, complete with public grape-stomping, pizza throwing and Italian food contests featuring local chefs, strolling performers, and concerts of both classical Italian music and contemporary rock 'n roll in the Shepard Park amphitheater.
Following a successful debut in 2013, the Lake George Italian Festival is returning this weekend — featuring public grape-stomping, live entertainment, a craft fair, plus pizza-throwing and Italian food competitions showcasing local chefs.
The festival — celebrating the food and traditions of Italy — is to be held in Shepard Park and spill over onto Canada St. There is no admission fee. Events are to be held 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, rain or shine.
Italian food created by local chefs will be served up streetside, accompanied by craft beer and hearty wine.
A lengthy roster of activities, contests and entertainment for all ages is to be offered, including a bocce ball tournament, an Italian-themed costume contest, carnival games, sack races, hula-hoop competitions, a petting zoo with pony rides, bounce houses and more.
Also scheduled are strolling entertainers and magicians, as well as ensembles playing traditional Italian music in the Shepard Park amphitheater.
The noted rock band Wild Adriatic, which has been gaining a national following, is slated to perform Saturday night in the park, according to festival organizer Gayle Nelson.
The festival also features public pizza- and dough-throwing competitions, and a contest for the best-tasting pizzas and desserts.
Beginning at May 17, the northbound lane of Canada St., the village’s main drag, is to be closed to traffic between Montcalm St. to Lower Amherst St. and it will reopen at 6 p.m. May 18.
Starting at noon each day, Italian specialty dishes prepared by local restaurants will be served under a lakeside wedding tent — accompanied by beer and wine. Festival attendees are welcome to sit and dine in a large tent in Shepard Park while listening to musicians performing in the amphitheater, Nelson said.
An expansive arts and crafts show will showcase artisans demonstrating their talents and selling their craftworks, reflecting traditions from all over the world.
An age-old Italian activity of grape-squashing is to occur on both afternoons, featuring a Lucille Ball impersonator — and the public is invited to roll up their pant legs and join the fun.
Live entertainment, provided throughout the festival, includes performances by the Glens Falls Music Academy, opera singer Holly McCormick, mandolin player John Seneta, and more.
Capping off Saturday’s evening’s festivities are fireworks over the lake.
Awards for the contests will be bestowed in a presentation in Shepard Park at 5 p.m. Saturday. All are encouraged to apply to be a judge by emailing reasons they should be chosen to: firstname.lastname@example.org. For details, see: www.lgfestivals.com or- call (888) 456-1545.