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Pasta Festival brings Italian family values to Augusta

Bringing Italian culture to the forefront, with nonnas, spaghetti and a large family style gathering, the Italian American-Club of the CSRA continues to host their annual Pasta Festival.

The Pasta Festival, a one day fundraising and charity gather on Friday, Oct. 7, provides meals and fellowship to the Augusta community. Portions of the proceeds will contribute to a scholarship for special needs students at the Immaculate Conception Catholic School in downtown Augusta.

Regina Weitz, president of the IAC, said the Pasta Festival is meant to bring the community together while bonding over some homemade food. According to Weitz, the club has served over 1,000 meals during the one day event.

Entry into the festival includes a plate of spaghetti with choice of sausage or meatballs, salad, rolls, and sweet tea or water for $12 per person. Raffle gift baskets and some live music will be available between the lunch and dinner services. Desserts will also be available to be purchased separately. 

Lunch will be from 10:30 a.m to 2 p.m. and dinner will be from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. for dine-in or take-out.

Weitz believes the atmosphere is what makes the event unique.

“Italians are all about family and food, so it is exciting for us to see people enjoying the evening or the afternoon together. We go around and we talk to everybody, and so just being Italian and loving the sense of family and I am sure you know, Italian grandmas are like you have to eat, here is something to eat,” Weitz said. “This is what we are like, we get excited. We get excited because we feel like we are making people happy. We are happy serving it and we are hoping everyone is loving it. It’s all homemade sauce, it’s not coming out of a jar. It’s just exciting. It’s like Sunday dinner with a lot of people.”

Lynda Lamarre, an Italian native from Marina di Pisa off the Tuscan coast of Italy, agrees with Weitz.

“It’s a taste of home. It’s a celebration of the culture and you would have to be in the back, in the kitchen to understand. It’s loud. It’s typical Italian. There’s arguing, there’s laughing, there’s music and all of sudden people break out singing “O Sole Mio” or one of those songs,” Lamarre said. “It’s noisy, it’s chaotic and it's just truly a family environment. It’s enjoyable, it’s stressful, there’s a lot of camaraderie.”

Both Weitz and Lamarre encourage locals to come out to the event and mingle with others who may share similar family heritages.

“It’s the best Italian food in Augusta,” Weitz said. “...Just the whole atmosphere and the food, it's just a fun day. It’s a really fun day. By them coming, they are going to be apart of helping us help a charity, so we hope that they would like to be apart of that as well because without them, we can’t help the charity.”

"The food is good, the atmosphere is good. If you are of Italian heritage or you are interested in Italian, come and meet us and talk to us and see what we are all about,” Lamarre said.

For more details about the upcoming Pasta Festival, visit the Italian-American Club of the CSRA Facebook page.

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Samantha Winn covers the cities of North Augusta and Augusta, with a focus on community oriented business and events. Follow her on Twitter: @samanthamwinn and on Facebook and Instagram: @swinnnews

Samantha Winn covers the cities of North Augusta and Augusta, with a focus on community oriented business and events. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Follow her on Twitter: @samanthamwinn and on Instagram: @swinnnews.