It is just about time for the annual Buffalo Italian Heritage Festival which will hold court on Hertel Ave. between Colvin and Delaware next week beginning Thursday (July 16) and running through Sunday (July 19), featuring all the great Italian food you can eat in addition to top local entertainment and the Miss Italian Festival.
On the last day of the festival, Sunday at 2 p.m., two of the very best Old World Italian restaurants in Western New York, Ilio DiPaolo’s and Lombardo’s Ristorante, will celebrate their anniversaries at the Ilio DiPaolo Heritage Tent in a presentation that will feature numerous wrestling, boxing, and football greats and a stage performance by dancers from the Lake Erie Italian Club at 2:30 p. m.
Dennis DiPaolo, son of the late Hall of Fame wrestling champion Ilio DiPaolo who started the Blasdell landmark in 1965, urges everyone to stop by the Heritage Tent, promising that folks who do will receive a free souvenir postcard with a coupon for the popular restaurant on South Park Ave., a fixture known far and wide for its Old World food and for the famed Ilio DiPaolo Scholarship Fund which provides support to many Western New York athletes.
DiPaolo’s will be marking its 50th anniversary on July 19th and Lombardo’s Ristorante will be celebrating its 40th year as the two families share a long and celebrated history of serving the Western New York community with great Italian food.
On hand at the Heritage Tent to help mark the occasion will be Hall of Fame wrestlers Dominic DiNucci and Dick “The Destroyer” Beyer, former Bills’ star Lou Piccone, and Hall of Fame boxing great Dick Topinko. Among others at the Heritage Tent will be still popular former sports broadcaster Rick Azar and other authors, including Ralph Galanti, Mike Andreozzi, and Martin Ederer. They will all be signing autographs.
There will also be a cooking demonstration by Chef Marco and Chef Michael DiPaolo in addition to bocce finals and grape stomping.
Playing throughout the festival will be “La Signorinella,” a movie made in 1949 by the late famed Italian producer Dino de Laurentis and featuring Ilio DiPaolo. Also playing at the festival will be many of Ilio’s classic wrestling matches.
For more information, contact Dennis DiPaolo at 825-3675.