The third annual Feast of St. Mark Italian Food Festival is set for April 26. (Contributed)
The third annual Feast of St. Mark Italian Food Festival is set for April 26. (Contributed)

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Feast of St. Mark Italian Food Festival set for April 26

Published 4:48pm Thursday, April 10, 2014

By CASSANDRA MICKENS/Associate Editor

NORTH SHELBY — Organizers of Feast of St. Mark Italian Food Festival say the event is bound to excite the taste buds.

The third annual rain-or-shine feast is set for Saturday, April 26 from 4 to 11 p.m. at Saint Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Birmingham. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 6 through 12. The event is free for children ages 5 and under. Tickets may be purchased online at Feastofstmark.com or at the church’s parish office at 7340 Cahaba Valley Road.

The event celebrates Italian culture in traditional Italian style, with the main course prepared by Chef Benard Tamburello of Bernie’s on Main Street in Columbiana and the soon-to-open Vecchia Pizzeria & Mercato at The Preserve in Hoover.

Joining Tamburello in the kitchen this year is Chef Chris Vizzina, executive chef and president of Campus Dining, Inc., headquartered at Samford University in Birmingham. Alagasco recently chose Vizzina to be one of their Good Heat Chefs along with James Beard Award-winning chefs Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham and Chris Hastings Hot and Hot Fish Club, also in Birmingham.

As for the exact menu, organizers “are keeping it a secret for now.” Local restaurants will provide appetizers and attractions will include a cigar patio, a cultural tent, a silent auction, amusement rides and crafts for children and an authentic grape stomp.

“We had a great turnout the first year with 1,500 people and 3,000 the second year. We decide to keep the numbers at 3,000 again this year and work on improving the even more, said organizer Robert Sbrissa.  “We will have the same great good as always with expanded entertainment and more activities and surprises for the young and old. ”

Organizers have doubled the size of the dance floor and added more live entertainment this year. This year’s line-up will inlcude Ross Gagliano and SpellBound, Henry Lovoy and Razz Ma Tazz, Dance South Dance Team, Frank Ranelli and Big Daddy’s New Band and Total A$$et$.

In addition to food, the feast will feature Italian wines, limoncello and beer as well as non-alcoholic beverages, Sbrissa said. Home baked cookies, cannolis, gelato will be among the sweet treats available, as well as Dippin’ Dots for children.

For more information, call 980-1810.

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