Thursday, November 12, 2009

Houston Italian Festival

A few weeks ago, we went to the Houston Italian Festival. We'd been a few years ago, but it has really grown since then! There was so much to see and do!

We watched some Tarantella dancers. There are several myths or legends about how these circular dances started. Here, we were told that dancing had been outlawed in Italy (or Sicily?), so people would act like they'd been bitten by a spider and dance around to get around the law. I read other stories about being bit by spiders. The stories are pretty interesting. Anyway, it is a lively dance and fun to watch!

We also got to watch a pasta eating contest... very funny! This lady, one of the dancers, came in 2nd last year... and she won this year! Most of the contestants were men. :-)

We enjoyed watching teens participate in sidewalk chalk art. The contest was called I Madonnari.

I Madonnari events actually take place all over Europe. At this Rosa Villa site, they said that these events started in Italy in the 1980's when artists started reproducing famous art on the famous squares in Italy.  My mother says she has seen this kind of sidewalk art in several countries in Europe.

We tried several different types of food at the festival. We ate pizza for dinner... it was more traditional Italian with a very thin crust.  When we were at the festival before, we had tried the donuts called Sfingi and enjoyed them. So, we bought them again... and didn't enjoy them as much. So, we tried Italian Ice and loved it!

They had only a few rides, but Alex tried this one we've never seen before. Only 4 people ride at a time and they 'pump' with their arms to make it spin around. We watched the ride a few time, and we saw the people (mostly adults!) looking VERY sick. Well, I wasn't sure Alex should try it but she LOVES crazy rides and never gets sick. I let her try it... and you should have seen her smile... the whole time! She never once looked sick. Whew!

We saw this guy who was making REAL mosaics! His art was incredible. He is actually chiseling the pieces to make them the correct size and shape!

And, we watched the kids doing a grape stomp! The barrels are filled with grapes. The kids stomp, and the grape juice goes out a tube in the bottom to a bucket below. The kids only got about 5 seconds each. Later, adults were going to have a contest to see which team could make the most juice, but we didn't stick around.

And, we enjoyed listening to this strolling accordion musician. He was near us as we were in line for food and sang "That's Amore."


live4evermom said...

Oh I love Italian Ices. We had some after pizza in NY.

Sherri said...

Patrick and I love everything Italian!!

Rhonda said...

It all looks like so much fun. I think that the grape stomping contest would have been a lot of fun to participate in!

Robin said...

Oh, that looks like so much fun! Yum! All the food sounds fantastic. I haven't had Italian Ice in ages.

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