We the Italians March 21, 2016 - 77 - Page 11

st # 77 MARCH 21 , 2016 lian” happen during the festival? Fist I want to tell you that the Tontitown Grape Festival is the only grape festival in Arkansas: it has been going on for 117 years. During the grape festival there are spaghetti dinner services for three nights: Thurdsay, Friday and Saturday night. Thousands of people participate to the Festival. They come from everywhere, some people even from California. Not all of them are Italians, of course. the May event, which is a city is the Tontitown Grape big pic-nic: games, bocce Festival: it has been going playing … it’s in the park. on for over a hundred years. Does something “ItaIs there a place that has a particular importance for There is an arts and crafts the Italian history in Tonsection; there’s a race caltitown and its surroundinled “Run for the Grapes”; gs? we have music. There’s a beauty contest called Yes, we have a monument “Queen Concordia” in front of the city hall, dedicated to the immigrants. Enrico Tonti was an Italian It has engraved on its base explorer, as Christopher all the names of the origiColumbus was. As an Itanal 42 settlers, and their lian American who knows families. There’s a statue the story of the former, in the Valle del Pasubio in what do you think about Italy very similar to it, and the recent attacks to the that’s where my husband latter? had the idea: so we built a statue for the immigranWe don’t know what Cots on the 100 year annilumbus had in mind at versary of the founding of that time. I don’t think it Tontitown, in 1998. is a fair conclusion to judge facts and people from The major event of your WE THE ITALIANS | 11 www.wetheitalians.com