Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 | 2 a.m.
Goodbye triple-digit weather! Hello taste buds! As the summer heat dissipates, signs and advertisements for local food festivals begin to pop-up around the valley — opportunities for friends and family to bond over a favorite food or explore a different culture.
Here’s a taste of upcoming food festivals this month:
Photo by Leila Navidi
San Gennaro Feast – Sept. 13 - 18
Named for the former bishop of Benevento, Italy, and the Patron Saint of Naples, the San Gennaro Feast held it’s first celebration in the United State in 1926. Newly arrived immigrants from Naples were settling in New York City along Mulberry Street in the Little Italy section of the city and they continued their Old World tradition of commemorating the day in 305 A.D. when Saint Gennaro was martyred.
Local Italians began hosting their own celebration more than a decade ago; today the semi-annual event attracts visitors from around the world. The family-friendly festival features ethic food, carnival games, amusement rides and live Italian music. Today is the last day of the 32nd event, held at the Rio Hotel and Casino. For more information and coupons go to their website at sangennarofeast.com.
Photo by Richard Brian
Greek Food Festival – Sept. 23 - 25
Put on your dancing shoes and yell Opa in celebration of the 39th annual Greek Food Festival held at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. One of the valley’s longest running cultural celebrations features live music, dancing, and some of the delicious homemade Greek food. Expect vendors to be serving such dishes as Spanakopita (spinach pie triangles with feta cheese), Dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves with beef, rice, herbs), Pastitsio (Greek ``lasagna’’) and Souvlaki (marinated pork on skewer served with Greek rice pilafi). And don’t pass on the rows of tables with desserts such as Baklava, Kataifi and Koulourakia (Greek butter cookies).
Festival hours are 3 to 11 p.m. and admissions are $6 for adults and free for children 12 years old and under. Active-duty military members with id and their immediate family receive free entry as well.
Las Vegas Asian Food Festival – Oct. 1 - 2
This is a two-day cultural experience produced by events promoter Red Dragon and Orleans Hotel & Casino to promote a greater understanding of Asian countries, cultures and traditions. Las Vegas Asian Food Festival will offer a variety of cultural foods, such as Indian, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Thai and more, accompanied by local entertainment acts such as Bailrok, Stevie B, Erika David, Frankie Moreno and Zowie Bowie and surprise guest celebrities. Along with more than a 100 retail stores and exhibitors, children can enjoy carnival rides. Admission is $7. More information can be found at lvasianfoodfestival.com.
Photo by Heather Cory
Pure Aloha Fall Festival & Concerts – Oct. 6 - 9
A celebration of all things Hawaiian, Pure Aloha has been celebrated in the valley for the past 10 years. Two events are held annually: a concert series in the spring and a festival in the fall.
The fall festival next month at the Silverton will feature dozens of booths showcasing island craft merchandise, authentic food vendors, amusement rides and performances by students from local hula studios. Musical acts The Green, Nesian Nine, Angry Local and Guamanian duo Jesse & Ruby will take the stage on Friday and Saturday nights.
Photo by Mona Shield Payne/Special to the Home News
Bite of Las Vegas – Oct. 15
Want to try some of Las Vegas’ best cuisine and listen to amazing tunes for the fraction of the cost of concert ticket on the Strip? Food and music festival Bite of Las Vegas will celebrate its 15th anniversary at Desert Breeze Park next month.
Children can enjoy carnival rides and games while adults can watch cooking demonstrations by chefs from the Culinary Institute. A wide selection of food from around the world is offered in $1 to $5 portions. The musical line-up this year includes O.A.R., Michelle Branch, Mat Kearney, Colbie Caillat and many more talented artists. Proceeds from the ticket sales are donated to the City Mission of Las Vegas. For more information visit Mix 94.1’s website.
Photo by Leila Navidi
‘Cheers to Chocolate’ Wine and Chocolate Tasting – Oct. 15
Calling all chocoholics and wine connoisseurs! This is your opportunity to sample some of the valley’s finest wines and indulge in decadent chocolate all in the name of charity.
Benefitting Easter Seals of Southern Nevada, Total Wine & More will present tables of wine and chocolate vendors at Tivoli Village in Summerlin. Among them: Ethel M Chocolates; Edible Arrangements, Brio Tuscan Grill, Petra, Nothing Bundt Cake and Le Cordon Bleu. All money raised stays in Southern Nevada and assists children and adults with disabilities live, work and play independently.
Tickets cost $50 per person but can be purchased before the event at a discounted price on the Easter Seals of Southern Nevada website at sn.easterseals.com.