Buffalo, NY (WBEN) – It’s one of western New York’s most anticipated cultural festivals each summer, and the festivities officially begin on Friday morning.
“Whoever you are, get off. You will be part of the Italian family.”
The 2023 Galvani Italian Heritage Festival is underway and will be held along Hartel Avenue between Delaware and Virgil Avenues in North Buffalo from the weekend through Sunday at 7pm ET. It will be his second year back in Buffalo North after spending time in Niagara Square and Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.
“We have returned to our hometown roots here, and we love being here and in the North Buffalo community,” said Judy Portofiorella, president of Italian Heritage Festivals. He said that when he appeared on WBEN.
“This is the feel of a street festival at home. Remember, it started as a street festival on Connecticut Street in 1976, and yes, it moved to try a few different things.” But it has to be on the street, and the best thing about a festival is that it’s in the community, with the community involved.”
For Porto Fiorella, Italian festivals mean the world. She has deep family ties that go back to the first day of the event. Her father brought the festival to Connecticut Street and 13 years later brought the weekend event to Hertel Her Avenue. Portofiorella himself has served on the festival’s Board of Directors for over 15 years, and has served as president for the past two years.
Portofiorella, along with Brian Mazurovsky and Susan Rose, said, “This is amazing to me. I started with my father when I was a child and now we are carrying on our tradition, keeping us alive, We’re making everyone Italian for three days.” “Like I said before, this is a big Italian table and everyone brings their stuff to the table. Friends, family, music, it’s one big family.”
The Buffaloes Italian Festival is an annual celebration of Italian heritage, but is also very well known for its wide variety of authentic, new age Italian cuisine that is sure to please anyone’s palate.
“This year we have pasta and peas. Of course, we have authentic Italian sausages here. As for desserts, we have zeppole, cannoli, sphinge and stuffed pepper rolls. We have a little bit of everything.” ‘, said Portofiorella. “Some new vendors came in offering something that might not be traditional Italian food, but they made it Italian. There are also stuffed waffles.
And this year it wouldn’t be a party without a variety of delicious dishes that are popular with festivalgoers.
There are actually some cannoli. There is Angelo’s Pastries, Muscarella’s and Gino’s Bakery. There are so many different people here offering different interpretations of each cannoli. Some have chocolate-covered cannoli, while others have traditional ricotta cannoli and cheese. Each may have a little difference, but we’re out to try,” said Portofiorella. “I always say, if you can’t eat here, take it home and try it later. It’s as good as eating here on the street.”
In addition to celebrating Buffalo’s rich Italian heritage and enjoying great food, there are plenty of events planned for people of all ages to enjoy.
“One of the highlights of Saturday night will be the Atlantic City Boys by the Frankie Valli tribute band. I am [Stage], and the wine guy doing all the wine demos with different Italian wines from different regions. It’s going to be a really different atmosphere this year because we’ve taken more things into it,” explained Portofiorella.
The annual Italian Festival is also family-friendly, with a variety of children’s events held daily.
“There will be grape stomping, puppetry, and face painting. This year, 15-foot Pinocchio will appear and you can take a picture with him. There will be an entertainment stage starting at 11:00.” “Today continues until Sunday.” Yes,” said Portofiorella. “On Sunday morning there will be an Italian Mass in the Church of the Holy Spirit. There will be many cooking demonstrations by ‘Chef Marco’ on the Galvani Cooking Stage. [Mark Sciortino], and there are wine demos. A little bit of everything for everyone. “
On Friday night, the festival’s opening ceremony begins at 6:00 pm ET, with the statue of Saint Anthony of Padua walking through the heart of the festival to the main stage.