While there will be no stalls, music, street vendors or performers, all of which are unfortunately a pre-pandemic memory, Council has ensured that the 32nd edition of the festival won’t be postponed.
With online events and invitations to dine at restaurants by booking a table for no more than 10 people (as per government restrictions) City of Canada Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas has launched the new version of Ferragosto.
“Although we aren’t able to gather along Great North Road as usual, we invite everyone across the city to celebrate Ferragosto with your nearest and dearest on Sunday, August 16, 2020,” he said.
“We haven’t missed a year since 1988 and we don’t want to miss out in 2020.
“This year will be different; we need our community and our businesses to play their part in making sure that Ferragosto carries on.”
As is tradition, Council also nominated an ambassador for the event.
This year, Vincenzo Prosperi of Vincenzo’s Plate has been given the honour.
“With a passion for Italian cuisine and cooking, Vincenzo is the perfect ambassador to help us celebrate in true Ferragosto style,” Tsirekas said.
On the day, locals can join in the Ferragosto festivities with a long table lunch at home or at a local restaurant.
People can try making the menu of the day, dressing their driveways or businesses with iconic Italian decorations and tuning in to the live broadcast.
The menu of the day will be revealed a week before via social media channels, while people will be able to participate in a cooking lesson led by the event’s ambassador.
“I am so excited to be the ambassador for Ferragosto this year as we celebrate one of my favourite Italian holidays from home,” Prosperi said.
“Join me online for this special adventure on Sunday, August 16 – and have your kitchens ready!”
While the event won’t be as traditional and will lack the festive atmosphere that has animated the streets of Five Dock for more than 30 years, it’s a blessing that it will still go ahead in these unprecedented times.
The initiative aims to maintain a tradition dear to the Italians who have made Canada Bay their home, as well as promoting the local economy during this difficult time.
Among the businesses who will participate is Schibello Coffee, which will launch a Ferragusto Coffee blend as part of the event.
“[It] will be a darker roast inspired by classic Italian coffee flavours, the perfect coffee to enjoy alongside cannoli or biscotti,” Ross Schinella, CEO and co-founder of Schibello Coffee, said.
“The Ferragusto 2020 concept is an excellent way of not only growing awareness and support for all the amazing businesses in our area, but also showcasing the importance for innovation and getting digital and creative during these times.”