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Columbus Day Parade, Food Fest attracts large crowd

By Staff | Oct 11, 2010

The spirit, the culture and, of course, the food of Italy was on display in South Cape this weekend, as the Columbus Day Parade and Italian Food Fest returned for another year of family fun.
Blanketing nearly all of Southeast 47th Terrace through the heart of the Cape Coral’s downtown district, the parade and food festival provided a little something for everyone.
Whether it was sausage and peppers sandwiches, meatball subs or sweet Italian ices, people who thirst for good food had to look no further then the dozens of vendors along Southeast 47th Terrace.
Then there was people like Frank Rooney, who brought out his two grandchildren to watch the parade, which included local dignitaries, politicians, companies and clubs.
“This is going to be their first parade,” he said. “They’re very excited.”
Of course, Rooney tried some of the food, too, which is why he wanted to come out and experience the event.
“I have a diet until it comes to these things. I’m back on it later, but for now its good,” he said. “I tried a little bit of everything.”
Organizer Linda Biondi said the parade and food fest likely drew upwards of 20,000 people to downtown Cape Coral.
Sponsored and organized by the Sons of Italy Charles J. Bonaparte Lodge #2504, the parade has been around for decades.
The addition of the Food Fest came three years ago, when it was decided to expand upon the festivities and make it an all-day event.
The first two years the event was held in Big John’s parking lot, but stretched its legs, so to speak, by expanding down Southeast 47th Terrace.
Biondi said this year’s parade and food fest were a resounding success.
It was so busy, she said, vendors were running out of food and had to restock so they could keep serving all day.
“I think everyone had a great time,” Biondi said. “Everyone was very happy. It was amazing.”
She thought the parade was the most highly attended in its decades long history.
“I never saw such a crowd on the parade route,” she said, adding, “I bet we had 20,000 people throughout the day.”