There are 20,000 Sudburians of Italian origin, according to John Cimino, general manager of the Caruso Club.
That large base of Italian-Canadians, along with those who just love Italian food and culture, ensure the popularity of the 46th annual Società Caruso Italian Festival, which starts at the Caruso Club Thursday and runs to Sunday.
“We do it to showcase our culture,” said Cimino.
“First of all, we're proud Canadians. We respect our parents, our grandparents, and all the immigrants that came to Canada and made it a better place for everyone.”
Cimino, who said both of his parents are Italian, said growing up as an Italian-Canadian in Sudbury was a “beautiful experience” just because his family was so close knit.
“Because of the immigration, when they all came, they all hung out together in the beginning,” he said.
While the Italian Festival is, above all, a chance for people to get together and socialize, it's also about the country's delicious food.
Volunteers started making homemade pasta and crostoli, a popular dessert, about two weeks ago in advance of the festival, Cimino said.
The festival's Regions of Italy Food Fair takes place starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday evening, and features the distinctive food from all over Italy.
You can also enjoy porketta sandwiches and Italian sausages at a barbecue starting at noon both Saturday and Sunday, and a pasta and chicken dinner Sunday evening.
Other highlights are the Vendetta IX Live Pro Wrestling show starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, a life-size human foosball tournament, a full slate of live entertainment and children's activities.
Check out the full schedule on the Caruso Club's website.