Feathers and sequins, fedoras and pinstripes all came out to play last Saturday for Ferragosto, an extravagant event put on by Little Italy Association as a rendition of the Italian holiday “Feriae Augsti.”
Amici Park was transformed into a 1920’s scene resembling New York, Chicago and San Diego. This biennial event highlights the Italian culture and that of the Roaring 20’s. Live music, dancers and entertainment made for a glamorous and exciting evening where everyone was, or pretended to be, Italian.
A red carpet welcomed guests as they strolled past vintage cars towards the entrance. Police officers wearing traditional outfits shouted warm hellos. The streets were lined with “store fronts” featuring local food vendors. Old Fashions and Gin Rickeys were thrown back as people browsed through the auction items, enjoyed delicious food samples and played casino games.
The event depicted the speakeasy scene, which shaped the nightlife culture of the era. Women, with new liberation, unabashedly displayed their beauty and style in elegant dresses, headpieces and shawls. Men had equally elaborate outfits with a full complement of snazzy accessories.
The Little Italy Association is a public benefit corporation. Established in 1996, it oversees the development and well being of the residents, property owners and businesses in this lively neighborhood northwest of downtown and just east of the waterfront. The area is home to many bars, lounges, restaurants and shops, with a history spanning back to the 1920’s, making it San Diego’s oldest continuous neighborhood district.
Proceeds will go towards Washington Elementary School, Our Lady of the Rosary Church and the Little Italy Association. This money will go to support scholarships, youth education programs and preservation of the neighborhood.