One of Sydney’s biggest street fairs is back again. Celebrating the vibrant community of Leichhardt and all its cultural heritage, Norton Street Italian Festa drew a crowd of 140,000 last year. With cook-offs and concerts, hundreds of stallholders selling the latest, and more food, coffee and gelato than you can set your eyes on — come along to see what all the hype is about!
For the kids
Festa has every ingredient for a family day out. With carnival rides, jumping castles, animal farms, face painting, street performers and pony rides, you can bet that the kids will be getting a good night’s sleep after a fun-filled day out.
What is Italy, if not the food? The cooking stage at the Norton Street Italian Festa will feature dozens of talented culinary wizards a. Chef Pino Locantro, owner of Locantro Fine Foods, will be battling it out in a Sicilian cook-off against Chef Francesco Spataro. Locantro’s pastries sell out on most days and the cheesecake has won numerous Fine Food awards, so he will be one to watch.
Valerie and daughter Courtney, runners up in the most recent season of Channel 7’s My Kitchen Rules, will also be cooking up a storm. Inspired by their Anglo-Indian heritage and recipes from their culture, their passion for food and cooking is sure to inspire festival-goers as they take to the stage at 3pm. We also recommend joining John Susman to learn more about all things seafood.
Proudly supported by the West Tigers, Festa’s car show will put hundreds of Italian vehicles on display, including Fiat, Lancia, Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, Ducati, Moto Guzzi and Vespa motorcycles — it’s a car lover’s paradise! You’ll find Sydney’s largest collection of classic, vintage and contemporary Italian-made motor cars, motorbikes and scooters. The kids (and parents) will love pretending to hoon in some of the classics.
Continue the eating bonanza with great food and wine on offer at the 153 stalls present on the day. From Arepas’ and Bar Italia’s street food, to health food offerings from Amazing Vitality, it’s sure to be a delectable day. Great juices from Classic Squeeze and Bulb Soda will be on offer, as well as wine from Bunnamagoo Estate and Cece Liquer. If you’re not craving Italian food that day, there’s also the German Sausage Shack, Souvlaki Express and Paella la Flamenca. Finish off the meal with ice cream from Riva Reno Gelato, or from the many stalls putting delectable cakes and desserts on offer. Whatever you do, don’t eat beforehand. You’ll regret it.
10.30am – Sicilian Battle – Chef Francesco Spataro vs Chef Pino Locantro
11.00am – Luigi De Luca – Studio De Luca
11.30am – The Italianos – Luciano & Martino
12.00pm – Vincenzo Prosperi – Vincenzo’s Plate
12.30pm – Paolo Gatto &; Stefano Brombal – Nth v Sth Chefs Battle
1.30pm – Scott Gooding – Whirlpool Ambassador
2.00pm – Celebrity Chef Luca Ciano v Nonna Ciano
2.30pm – Ottavio Bonaccorsi – Cucina Tipica Pugliese
3.00pm – John Susman & Stephen Hodges – Fishtales
3.00pm – Valerie & Courtney – MKR Special
10:40am – Mathew Dal Cin [Tenor]
11.20am – Story Time
11.35am – Laura Ducii [Direct from Italy]
12.15pm – Arturo Toscani [Neapolitan Singer]
12.55pm – Official Speeches
1.20pm – Italian Class with IBS Alumni – Part 1: Coffee
1.35pm – John Stephan [Returning from Las Vegas]
1.55pm – Italian Bilingual School [IBS] Performance
2.15pm – Alfie Arcuri [Winner of The Voice Australia 2016]
2.40pm – Claudia Migliaccio [The Voice Australia 2015]
3.20pm – Brianna Holm [The Voice Australia 2016]
3.50pm – Italian Class with IBS Alumni – Part 2: Gelato
4.05pm – Tony Sergi
10.15am – Pet Parade supported by Applaws
11am – Euroespresso Home Coffee Demonstration
11.45am – Barista Training With Grinders and Darcy Byrne
1pm – Ciao Fashion Parade with emerging local designers
1.30pm – Live fashion shoot with Sydney Photography People
2.30pm – Grinders and Pauls present the Latte Art Smack Down
4.30pm – Award presentation
Shop local, shop small
One of the greatest aspects of living in the Inner West is the strong sense of community. It’s undeniable that the connections between neighbour and neighbour, shop owner and customer, teachers and parents, is more than just lip service. These are real bonds between community members, reflected in the way we shop and live.
The overflowing benefits of shopping locally are incredible. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle — the more we shop in places near to our homes, the closer we build bonds with those around us, and the more we continue to revisit the same tried and true favourites. To have our young people and retail workers employed in the same shops and pubs near us means we can weave a tighter knit community even still.
For those employees, the benefits to health and the environment in walking to work are also undisputed. Just as we buy fruit and vegetables from local farmers for their numerous health benefits, it’s also easier to trust what you’re buying when you personally know the people behind the counter. This personal investment in the successes of your favourite local business, and the mourning when they are forced to shut their doors, highlights the importance of how we invest our time and money. Not only will services be able to provide their neighbours with a more personalised experience, and better customer service in retail shops, but these connections help foster the unique flair that gives the Inner West it’s sparkle. It’s a one-of-a-kind neighbourhood with a special flavour to it, precisely because residents can lean on one another.
It’s clear that stronger local economies mean better local amenities for all, and that supporting the local businesses which make up the fabric of our community is better for us all in the long run. The shop small initiative, founded in 2010 by American Express, encourages all Australians to “Think big. Shop Small”. The push to encourage Australians to support small local businesses entitles American Express Card Members to receive a $10 credit after spending $20 in a single transaction at participating local businesses in the month of November. In 2016, nearly 1.1 million Card Members participated in the initiative, spending $603 million at Shop Small merchants.
Now in its fifth year, Shop Small is hoping to be bigger and better. Support your local businesses, not just because it’s convenient, but because it’s helping to make the Inner West a better place for us to live.