The 17th Annual Festa Italiana Weekend presented by Marathon will take place in the historic Ybor City district from Thursday, April 3 to Sunday, April 6, 2014. The multi-day celebration will honor Italian culture and heritage by showcasing the finest cuisine from the Tampa Bay area's top restaurants and catering companies, exciting entertainment from world renowned performers, a variety of premier wines and spirits, and a diverse assortment of activities for guests of all ages.

Wines of Italy, the official opening party for Festa Italiana Weekend, kicks-off at The Italian Club of Tampa on Thursday, April 3 from 6pm to 9pm. Guests of the event will have the opportunity to sample over 70 wines from Italy, taste Italian cuisine presented by Carrabba's Italian Grill, bid on over 100 featured items at the silent auction, and enjoy live entertainment by Città Dei Templi from Sicily. Tickets to Wines of Italy are $50 in advance until March 28, and $60 after. Festa Italiana Weekend continues on Saturday, April 5 from 11am to 5:30pm with a variety of events happening throughout

Ybor City. The annual Bocce Ball Invitational will roll on across from the Italian Club of Tampa on the the corner of 7th Avenue & 18th Street for curious spectators. Local songbirds will compete against one another at the Italian Idol singing competition at Gaspar's Grotto, while wine enthusiasts will contend against one another at the Homemade Vino Competition at Carmine's on 7th. The weekly Ybor City Saturday Market in Centennial Park will offer the finest in local produce, arts and crafts, prepared foods and unique items. All events are free and open to the general public of all ages. The culmination of Festa Italiana Weekend concludes with the main event, Festa Italiana on Sunday, April 6 from 11am to 6:30pm at Centennial Park. Over 35 of Tampa Bay's top restaurants and catering companies will serve delicious dishes and tastings from 11:30am to 4:30pm. Lena Prima headlines the main stage entertainment which will also feature Tre Bella, Paul Salos (as seen on America's Got Talent), Johnny Charro & the Johnny Charro Dance Band, Città Dei Templi, SALVADOR LIVE! and more. There will be a Children's Area with numerous games, activities and attractions, while the tbt Club Italia Party Tent will offer adult patrons handcrafted Italian cocktails and wine pairings with small plates amid a party lounge atmosphere. Admission to Festa Italiana is $5 in advance, $10 at the gate on the day of the event. Children under the age of 12 will receive free admission. Food and beverage tickets will be available at locations throughout Centennial Park.

Tickets to Wines of Italy and advance admission to the main event, Festa Italiana are available for purchase online at www.festaitalianatampa.com. Proceeds from Festa Italiana Weekend will benefit The Italian Club Restoration Fund. Festa Italiana Weekend started in the spring of 1997 and is an annual multi-day celebration that benefits The Italian Club Restoration Fund. This year's Festa Italian Weekend is being presented by Marathon. For more information, please visit www.festaitalianatampa.com.

The Italian Club Restoration Fund benefits the national historic landmark located at 1731 East 7th Avenue in historic Ybor City. The mission of The Italian Club of Tampa is to preserve and honor the culture, traditions and heritage of the Italian Community and maintain the historical facility as a functioning memorial to the working class immigrants. For more information, please visit www.italian-club.org.

Festa Italiana takes place this weekend in Ybor City. Don't miss it!

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