Arkansas Italian Food and Wine Festival April 29-May 1
3rd Annual Event to be Held on the Grounds of the Penick Boys & Girls Club in Little Rock
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Press release) – The third Arkansas Italian Food and Wine Festival presented by Relyance Bank is scheduled for April 29 through May 1 at the Penick Boys & Girls Club in Little Rock. The event will include three days of Italian cuisine, culture, wine, as well as arts and crafts, demonstrations, a children’s zone and musical acts.
Some of Arkansas’ best Italian food offerings will be available at local restaurants, including The Rock Brick Oven Pizza, Raduno, Vino’s, Grafitti’s, Boulevard, Le Pops and Repicci’s Italian Ice. The event will also cater to the spirit of competition as teams will compete in pétanque, grape stomping and a sauce cooking contest. The hugely popular waiter race will return on Sunday afternoon with local waiters and bartenders jostling with trays full of glasses and bottles in the hope of winning the top prize of $1,000 cash! Teams can register for the bocce ball ($2,000 first prize), sauce cooking contest ($500 first prize), and waiter race ($1,000 first prize) here until noon , Friday, April 29. A special outdoor Mass will be celebrated by Father Patrick Friend on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. and all are welcome to attend.
“Relyance Bank is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the third annual Italian Food and Wine Festival to benefit Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Arkansas,” said David Straessle, Market President of Relyance Bank Central Arkansas. . “We recognize the impact of giving back to non-profit organizations. Boys and Girls Clubs play a vital role in providing programs, mentorship and a safe space for young people in our community.
Exclusive wine tastings will take place on two nights of the festival from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 and will feature over 50 wines from Italian producers and Italian-American producers. Tickets are $35 and will include admission to the festival.
A full calendar of events is available here. The festival times are as follows:
Friday April 29: 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday April 30: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday May 1: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
(Mass at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays)
Friday, April 29: 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Additional ticket required
Saturday April 30: 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Additional ticket required
The Arkansas Italian Food and Wine Festival will also be offering a “Taste of Italy” dinner on Thursday, April 28 at the Chenal Country Club. The creative multi-course dining experience will feature wines from Tuscany and Veneto paired with dishes from across Italy. The menu will include five dishes selected and hand-prepared by the Chenal’s chef, Patrick Carter, and paired as follows:
Zonin 1821 Prosecco Cuvée, Veneto with Arancini and meats and cheeses
Rocca di Montemassi Vermentino Calasole, Maremma Toscana with spring vegetable risotto
Castello di Albola Chianti Classico, Toscana with Pork Sugo (pancetta, pork shoulder, fennel, lightly braised with vegetables in a light red sauce) served over Polenta Castello di Albola Accialola Super
Tuscan IGT, Toscana with leg of lamb in fig sauce served with Broccolini
Zonin Prosecco Rose, Veneto with berries and whipped mascarpone
In addition to the food and wine pairing, the evening will include silent and live auctions as well as entertainment. Individual tickets ($125) and tables ($1,000) are available for purchase here.
100% of proceeds from the Arkansas Italian Food and Wine Festival will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Central Arkansas. Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Arkansas serves 8,000 young people in six clubs, four in Little Rock and two in North Little Rock. At just over 100 years old, the organization is the 8th oldest boys and girls club in the United States and has produced more National Youth of the Year than any other club.
Festival tickets are $10 daily and $15 for a weekend pass. Children 10 and under are admitted free all weekend.
With thousands expected to attend the festival, more information regarding event sponsorships is available here. Those interested in volunteering at the event can register here. To see the highlights of the previous festival, watch the video here.