Meatball relay races and 8 other really Italian things you'll find at this Wildwood festival

Posted by On 4:08 AM

Meatball relay races and 8 other really Italian things you'll find at this Wildwood festival

Cape May County

Meatball relay races and 8 other really Italian things you'll find at this Wildwood festival 20180622_180530.jpg
By Chris Franklin | For NJ.com

Some of the best things about summer are all the festivals that occur up and down New Jersey's coastline. There's food truck festivals, seafood festivals, (there used to be a LobsterFest - more on that here) and beer festivals.

In North Wildwood, this weekend it's all about the Italian-American Festival. For a couple of blocks in the Cape May County shore town, food, vendors, and music fill the air, making visitors feel as if they are in Italy itself.

Of course, you do not have to be Italian to go, but a large majority of Wildwood residents (and visitors) are. About 24 percent of all residents in the four Wildwood towns boast an Italian heritage â€" bested only by the Irish at 30 percent, according to Census data.

The festival, which is run by Knights of Columbus #2572, is an admission-free party. Held between 2nd Avenue and Olde New Jersey Avenues, the street is blocked off and gives you the feeling of being in an open-air Italian marke t.

It doesn’t matter if you are Italian or not â€" There are things here for everybody, including the Little Miss Italy competition and grape stomping. The festival runs through Sunday, June 24. Here are some of the first-day observations from the festival.

Here are some of the highlights of the first day.

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Sausage, Peppers and Onions anyone?

You cannot have an Italian festival without Italian food. It’s like peanut butter and no jelly, Koo l-Aid with no sugar (you get bonus points if you remember the reference). Restaurants and food vendors were lined up in one section of the festival, and the smells hit you as soon as you approach the area.

From sausage, peppers, and onions, to fried ravioli and other Italian cuisine, people began lining up around dinner time to fill up.

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And yes, in this end of the state â€" where most shore-goers are "Shoobies" from the Philly suburbs â€" it is a hoagie and not a sub.

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Mozzarella sticks go on everything, right?

When passing one of the booths, I noticed something called "The Hoboken." Made by Hoboken Cucina and Catering, the enormous sandwich has the following: Chicken tenders, fried ravioli, mozzarella sticks, fresh mozzarella, fire roasted peppers, marinara sauce and fries. It smelled and looked good. If you have ever ate this sandwich and lived to tell about it, please let me know because there are so many questions to ask.

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You can't have an Italian festival without wine and spirits

What would go great with some Italian food? Some wine and beer. There was a stand at the festival dedicated to fill all of the alcoholic needs of visiting festival-goers.

Source: Google News Italy | Netizen 24 Italy

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