Joanne Petrovic blows a balloon for Isabelle Biersteker, 2, of Lismore, and her grandmother, Janet Beattie, of Alstonville.
Joanne Petrovic blows a balloon for Isabelle Biersteker, 2, of Lismore, and her grandmother, Janet Beattie, of Alstonville. DAVID NIELSEN

Festival stirs all that Italian spirit

THE second annual Northern Rivers Italian Festival went off with a bang yesterday as crowds turned up to celebrate all things Italiano.

Obviously food was always going to be the main attraction - and the primary concern of the hungry masses - and the Italian community did not let anyone down.

On the fields behind the Italo Australian Club in North Lismore, an array of stalls offered the discerning Aussie everything from Italian books to Italian memorabilia to wine tasting and cooking demonstrations. Magicians spun their magic and enchanted the kids, while adults were spellbound by opera virtuoso Paul McGowen.

The entertainment highlight was the reformation of a crowd favourite, Paradiso Choir, which had the punters dancing along with Italian folk songs.

The festival is a fundraiser for New Italy and all proceeds go to the museum and also the Italian monument planned for Lismore. Even afternoon showers could not dampen proceedings, with 'Italy' taking on the 'rest of the world' in a muddy soccer finale.



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