7th Annual Italian Festival moves to Downtown Phoenix

Experience AZ | 20 Jan |

The 7th Annual Italian Festival of Arizona has a new Downtown Phoenix location, and a new date, Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15, 2020, when festival-goers will see city streets come alive with a variety of authentic Italian foods and entertainment for a delightful cultural celebration. 

Italian Festival of Arizona happens Saturday, 11 am – 9 pm; and Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm, on Jackson Street between 1st and 4th streets, with a main gate at 3rd Street on the north side of Jackson.  The move to Downtown Phoenix city streets comes after the overwhelming demand at the event last year, and the vision to grow a larger Italian festival in an urban environment similar to Italian festivals in other major cities. The event is being produced R Entertainment in conjunction with the Italian Association of Arizona. 

“In 2020, we’re embracing that classic street festival setting, reminiscent of traditional Italian Festivals in other parts of the country,” said Frank Guzzo, Executive Director of the nonprofit Italian Association of Arizona. “With an expanded event, we’re able to add more fantastic Italian food vendors and mix in more cultural elements – both modern and traditional — including entertainment from Italy.  The 2020 event will be a rousing downtown celebration of Italian food and culture.  And importantly, this event supports the association’s goal to develop an Italian Cultural Center.” 

Devney Preuss, President, and CEO of event sponsor Downtown Phoenix Inc., said, “Downtown Phoenix welcomes the Italian Festival of Arizona to our Warehouse District. Downtown has the most culturally diverse and family-friendly events portfolio in the Valley and the Italian Festival of Arizona only strengthens our position as a special event and festival epicenter.” 

In 2019, the Italian Festival of Arizona attracted more than 10,000 people, which sparked a vision to venture to a larger location, add more food and drink, entertainment and a professional event producer to grow the event and accommodate a larger crowd.

Kerry Dunne, Partner, R Entertainment, said: “The feedback has been terrific on the Downtown Phoenix location.  The R Entertainment team is delighted to be part of this legacy event, with a focus on growing it.  It will be an Italian celebration for the entire metro area to enjoy and another option for winter visitors to explore in March, a busy time in Arizona already.” 

TICKETS. A limited time ticket of only $10 is available for a limited time using promo code “amore” online only at https://www.italianfestivalaz.com/tickets/. Tickets are regularly $15 online in advance only; and day of event $20. 

FOOD & ENTERTAINMENT. The Italian Festival of Arizona will feature all things Italian with two stages of entertainment, one being the Galbani Cooking Demonstration Stage presenting chef demonstrations, pizza-making and pasta-eating contests, and more.  The other stage will feature musical and cultural entertainment; schedules to be announced. 

A variety of authentic Italian food vendors will feature pizza, pasta, sausage sandwiches, desserts and other Italian favorites all for purchase, along with beverage bars to accompany the great food.  

Other festive elements to date include, for example, the A.S.T.A.-Gruppo Sbandieratori del Palio di Asti, traditional Italian flag wavers; interactive displays by fine Italian beermaker, Peroni Nastro Azzurro; wines; olive oils; a “museum” of Italian artwork and artists; an “Italian Auto d’Eleganza” showcasing a collection of fine Italian automobiles; a Kids PlayZone; and more.

A menu of food, a schedule of entertainment and more details will be announced in the coming weeks. 

PARKING. Parking is available in the Jefferson Street Garage immediately north of the event entrance on Jackson and 3rd Streets; in the Phoenix Convention Center East Garage; and other options throughout Downtown Phoenix. 

ITALIAN ASSOCIATION OF ARIZONA. A portion of event proceeds benefits the nonprofit Italian Association of Arizona and its mission to develop an Italian Cultural Center.  Renderings of the proposed center are expected to be unveiled at the festival in March. 

SPONSORS.  Sponsors to date are Galbani, Talking Stick Resort Arena; Peroni Nastro Azzurro; Classico Fine Wines & Spirits; Extra Virgin Properties; and the Italian Association of Arizona. 

LATEST NEWS & SOCIAL MEDIA. Catch the latest by visiting https://www.italianfestivalaz.com/ and social media: Instagram @Italian_FestivalArizona, Facebook @italianassociation — click on “Events” page.

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