Festa di Ferragosto By Marianne Peri-Sack

CIAO ST. LOUIS and the Sicilian Cultural Association of St. Louis combined efforts to bring Festa di Ferragosto to St. Louis on Aug. 12 at Orlando Gardens at the Hoffmeister location. The price was $50.00 each which included buffet dinner and open bar from 4-9 p.m.

Like most Italian things, this holiday is steeped in tradition and goes back to Emperor Augustus who founded it in 18 BC under the name of Feriae Augusti (Festivals Holidays) adding it to earlier ancient Roman festival that fell in the month. These holidays normally celebrated the harvest or a long period of rest which were a welcome relief after the intense period of hard labor. This is also the period when many Italians go on vacation. Horse races were organized such as the “Palio dell’ Assunta” the colorful and famous race in Siena. People from all over the world come to watch this event. Celebrations are many and varied from town to town but the holiday is often celebrated in conjunction with Aug. 15, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, a public holiday in Italy.

The highlight of the evening was the performance of Savio De Martino direct from Italy. The singer-songwriter began his artistic career at the age of 7 years. He offers a varied repertoire of Italian pop to jazz, from blues to good light music and his talents and passion for music have brought him a wider and wider audience. Quite a trooper, De Martino performed for five hours straight and the happy dancers filled the dance floor all during that time. Also, from Chicago was fantastic Italian DJ who played the music with multiple lighting effects while also projecting live videos of musical extravaganzas. It was a splendid evening for those wanting to celebrate their culture while having a great time.



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