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Castagne Day Festival - Roasting of Chestnut Ceremony


Sun 20 May 2012, 10:00am–5:00pm

Where: Fraternity Club, Corner of Bourke and Princes Hwy, Fairy Meadow, Wollongong

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free
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Castagne Day, one of the largest celebrations of its kind in NSW is a day of fun, laughter, excitement and culture as the community comes together to celebrate the Italian tradition of the roasting of the chestnuts.

The club's car park is a sea of colour and activity as the kids play, parents tell yarns and the original migrants remember the traditions of their homeland.

The Festival/Fiesta marks the beginning of autumn where Italian immigrants remember surviving on chestnut bread during World War II, when corn and grain fields were bombed.

Club President, Mick Cuda says, “It’s all about fun, friendships and nostalgia. People remember bags of chestnuts being brought down the steep mountains with horse and buggy.” He added, “The Alpinis, wearing their traditional feathered hats, cook the chestnuts all day in wood fired 44-gallon drums on a purpose built rig.” Daniel Perkiss CEO, said that “the Alpini cooking the Castagne is such a fascinating cultural experience and a must see for the cosmopolitan citizen”.

Perkiss says, “The day is not all about mum and dad with the gourmet food, wine, stalls and displays; we have included rides, face painting, air brush tattooist, jumping castles along with Matilda’s petting zoo and pony rides for the kiddies on the day.”

The tradition has grown to not only have the chestnut roasting but to offer rides for the children, face painting, bungy jump, and Matildas Farmyard friends. 60 beautiful market stalls with general goods, fashions ,show-bags & children’s novelties, home wares, candles, honey products. You will find not only traditional Italian foods but Spanish churros, Mexican, Asian, South American, Belgian waffles, gourmet ice-creams and ginger-breads, gelatos, doughnuts and more.

Inside the club there will be live music playing from 2pm – 5pm for the whole family to enjoy and a classic car display for dads to look at in wonder. While you’re roaming the grounds make sure to catch the famous street performer James Mossengren wowing the crowds with his hair-raising performances.