Italiant TentKidZone2016 2The Italians of Hilton Head once again invite neighbors around the Lowcountry and beyond, to join us as we honor the centuries-old Feast of San Gennaro, with the 8th Annual Italian Heritage Festival at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn!

From 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday, September 16, 2017, please help us celebrate our Italian cultural heritage our ancestors brought many years ago, with our newfound passion for the southeast coastal community in America today, by doing exactly three things with abandon: #1 eating, #2 drinking, and #3 laughing really hard.

If you can’t handle #1 and #3 at all, ROTC volunteers may be asked to escort you from Festival grounds to avoid any undue public embarrassment. The Italian Festival on Hilton Head Island has grown so large and crowded over the years, you see, that anyone observed not enjoying themselves is deemed to have wandered, lost, into the wrong event, from a missed exit off the cross island parkway, and will be led off-property forthwith by observant authorities, so that some irksome, contagious, disease, like sullen indifference, does not infect the gathering crowd on a warm autumn day, where the smells of Italian sausage, chilled pinot grigio, and simmering pasta, waft through the branches of the live oak trees, along with the sounds of Larry Tannelli and his wife, Claudette, crooning all your favorite Rat Pack songs, introducing each event from a shady stage in the distance.

And, if all that’€™s not enough to tickle your dita dei piedi (believe it or not, all three of those words mean “€œtoes,” in Italian), to twinkle over to Honey Horn on 9/16/17, then maybe a little nod to Shakespeare and Hilton Head’s new romance with a sister city, known as Verona, Italia, might get you more interested this year. For those of you who may have been living upside-down behind a vacant store at the Pineland Mall the past two years, Hilton Head Island Council members voted unanimously in July to officially recognize this cross-city partnership agreement, thanks to the presentation of Bob Lefavi from Armstrong University, and Verona representative, Richard Collins, who reached out to us, a year ago, in September, 2016.

italian headsSo, look forward to exchange-student programs, city festival cultural events, and shared socio-history tours, as our town leaders get to know each other and learn about one another’€™s lifestyles, and tastes. We already know we share a passion for food, wine, drama, and romance. Maybe, Romeo and Juliet would have survived the feuding Montagues and Capulets had they known they could have escaped to Hilton Head Island, back in the day!

To top it all off, this year’€™s San Gennaro Festival will also announce a one-time world history-making event, taking place November 18th, 2017 in Shelter Cove. You may not be ready for this -€“ in fact, I know you’€™re not ready for this – but here goes:

The Italian-American Club of Hilton Head (IACHH) is going to challenge the Guinness Book of World Records largest meatball standard, which currently weighs in at 1,100 lbs. Yes. You heard that right.

The IACHH is going to try for 1,500 lbs. give or take.

The most awesome part of this announcement isn’€™t that they are indeed going for this record on Hilton Head Island – the same vacation resort that hosts an annual televised PGA golf tournament right after the Masters, as jaw-dropping as that actually – it’s that there will be a whole festival surrounding the Meatball Challenge that will support local hunger-driven charities, such as Deep Well, and Second Helpings, and more.

The day-long Meatball Challenge will be nationally televised and start off with a 5k race, followed by a day of festivities with food, live music, local restaurants competing for the best-tasting meatball recipe, and raffles, all of which will directly benefit Hilton Head area communities.

All of these details, and more, will be on display under the big, white, green, and red IACHH tent at the Italian Heritage Festival on September 16, 2017 (this is the gala honoring San Gennaro . . . pay attention), along with any other information you may want about the Club.

Those Italians think of everything, too. There’s a huge, inflatable kid zone, complete with a colorful, noisy train on which the family can ride through the Festival grounds and wave. A silent auction, rows of tents with local craftspeople and artists selling their wares, Italian ceramics, vendors selling zeppoles, and cannolis, there’s a grape-stomping contest, just like Lucy and Ethel did, a pizza-eating contest, you name it, they’ve got it at the Italian Heritage Festival at Honey Horn, so Don’t Fuggetaboutit!

What: Italian Heritage Festival in Honor of the Feast of San Gennaro at Coastal
Discovery Museum at Honey Horn

When: Saturday, September 16, 2017

Time: 11 am – 4 pm

Cost: $6.00/person – Kids under 10/free – Parking/free


Phone: Paul Caimano, Event Chairman (412) 897-1148