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Crowds hit San Gennaro Feast for tasty Italian treats


Leila Navidi

Millie Caruso, from left, Ciro Giorgio and Emilio Bagliani perform in the Ciro Giorgio Italian Show during the San Gennaro Feast outside the Silverton in Las Vegas on Thursday, May 5, 2011.

San Gennaro Feast May 2011

Sonny Marks, 8, the owner of Fat Sonny's, sits in front of his Italian food booth during the San Gennaro Feast outside of the Silverton in Las Vegas on Thursday, May 5, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Map of Silverton Casino Hotel

Silverton Casino Hotel

3333 Blue Diamond Road , Las Vegas

Once the aroma of fresh pizza, kabobs and Italian sausage fills the air, the heat no longer seems to be an issue.

Over the course of five days, locals and tourists will pack the parking lot of the Silverton for the San Gennaro Feast.

“We are here every year. The best part about this event is all the different people it brings out,” said Patricia Kennedy of New York.

The festival — named for the former bishop of Benevento, Italy, and the Patron Saint of Naples — kicked off Wednesday and will continue to bring out the crowds for food and fun through Sunday.

“This is our first year here, and so far it’s pretty cool. I like it,” said Troy Gravatt, 19. “The sausage and marinara, it was really good.”

In addition to the spotlight-stealing homemade foods, other attractions include a carnival with rides and games, dozens of vendors and a petting zoo.

“There’s so much here to do; it’s really nice,” said Scott Zhang, a vendor from Sacramento selling clothing and handbags.

“Every year, my wife and I come to Vegas and it’s nice. We can do a week of the fair here and then we can stay a little longer and vacation,” Zhang said. “Our favorite part of the festival is the location. We love the casino it is here at.”

For Las Vegans Bryan Dillehay, his wife, Ashley, and daughter Eden, this year marks the start of new tradition to look forward to each year.

“This is our first year coming to this because of our work schedules, but we’ve definitely been pigging out on all the food,” Ashley Dillehay said. “Even if it’s only for a couple hours, we will definitely be back next year. I know we’ll be craving this food again by this time next year.”

Tickets to the event are $9 for adults and $8 for seniors at the gate. Children less than 54 inches tall are admitted for free.

Event specials include free carnival rides for mothers on Saturday and free rides for fathers on Sunday.

Gates open at 4 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends. For more information, visit

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