Making Sunshine – Italian American Festival
Akron, Ohio, is filled with things to do, even if it’s raining. In my opinion, nothing is better than great food, great music and great company, so when it poured on the day we had planned to go to the 68th anniversary of the Italian-American Festival downtown, we had big pouty faces. It wasn’t warm either, we whined. We’ll have to take chairs and umbrellas and coats and…, we cried. As we hemmed and hawed, we finally decided, what’s the worst that can happen? We’ll get wet and then we’ll come home? So off we went to make sunshine in the rain!
We arrived early enough to eat something from the vendors on Main Street. I had Cavetelli and mom got the Stromboli, and of course, the guys had to have their Italian sausage sandwiches from DiRusso’s. DiRusso’s is an Ohio company located in Youngstown and if you love sausage, their Italian sausage and turkey sausage is very good. Even though it was still sprinkling a bit, the festival had provided tables and chairs under a tent so we stayed dry.
The main reason we were pushing ourselves was the fact that one of our favorite local bands, LaFlavour, was playing that night and it’s tradition to go hear them play at least one time in the summer, if not several times. We’ve been to one of their concerts in the past when it stormed, so the band packed up and moved to another location in a building. We’re hardy souls who will go to extremes to have a good time, so we followed and waited for them to set up again. But this time, they were already under cover at Lock 3, so the show was on!
And they enthusiastically greeted the crowd over and over and the crowd continued to grow as more people decided to make sunshine in the rain. I laughed every time the lead singer said “Great crowd!” with enthusiasm because the concert had started with just a few of us. It made me laugh because his enthusiasm was contagious and the crowd kept growing with hardy souls who weren’t afraid of wearing coats and gloves in July! Seriously — I left my gloves in the car and was tempted to go back and get them! Luckily, it didn’t rain anymore so we huddled to stay warm in our self-made sunshine.
Their performance was excellent as usual. LaFlavour is always great entertainment and I sing along, clap, and thoroughly enjoy myself every time.
The sun started to set as we got ready for the next band to play.
Crush, a band from Toronto, did a tribute to Bon Jovi. The lead singer’s voice is quite powerful and I was so glad we stayed to hear them perform.
All in all, the Italian American Festival in Akron, Ohio, was an excellent way to make sunshine in the rain! The best thing? It’s free! Check it out next year, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.