21 Aug 2014
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WATCH: La Dolce Vita Fest Remains a Popular Place to Be

The Italian-themed community affair was held last week for the second time and drew large crowds, say organizers.

(Editor's Note: Thanks to reader Ron Perrella, for sending in this story.)

If you missed a little taste of Italy last week at the second annual here is another opportunity to check it out.

Watch this video submitted by resident and event coordinator, Ron Perrella, who said the two-day fest was a hit.

"The 2012 La Dolce Vita Italian Festival  was great," he said. "Attendance was estimated by the Sheriff's Dept to be around 20,000. Last year, the figure was 10,000."

The length of the exhibit booths on the El Lazo was around 800 feet with booths on both sides. In addition, there were more than 60 vendor booths, and 15 of them serving great Italian food, he said.

Also on hand, special exhibits such as a miniature bocce ball court that also served as a volley ball mini-field where the YMCA taught sports. 

"Entertainment was from wall-to-wall," Perrella said. "Even in-between the set- ups of the bands, Italian music flowed all day and night."

And what's La Dolce without Italian specialties?

"Food was sought after by so mant, that many vendors had to keep up with the long lines and all that did was to make their mouths water while waiting," Perrella said.

Fund raised, about $25,000, will be split between The Sons of Italy (Saddleback Valley Lodge) and the Laguna Niguel Lions Club for them as non-profits  dedicated to helping people by distributing financial and volunteer aid to their selected charities, he said.

"La Dolce Vita Italian Festival might have broken new ground and set the stage for never before seen entertainment at an Italian festival across the country," he said. "For the first time that we know of actors from the Pageant of the Masters put on a brief skit from Commedia Dell' Arte with seven-costumed actors in full costume waiving Italian regional flags followed by dancing throughout the full length of the Festival while the music from the Toy Symphony just ending as they arrived back to the stage."

Chalk artists also kept the crown entertained via their talents as they worked on knee pads on the street to apply their creative talents, he said.

Video production is by Tom Gertsen of Reflections Video Productions.

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