Sunday, October 11, 2009 held one of my favorite events in San Diego – the 15th Annual Little Italy Festa.
The Festa is recognized as one of the largest single day Italian American festivals West of the Mississippi. It was estimated that between 100,000 and 120,000 people strolled down India Street today savoring cuisine from local restaurants, enjoying the musical performers and purchasing delightful offerings from a wide variety of vendors.
Coronado’s proximity to Little Italy makes it an easy ride to enjoy all that this wonderful neighborhood has to offer. As in previous years, we headed over to the Festa early. While I enjoy the music, food and vendor displays, one the best things about the Festa is the Gesso Italian Chalk Painting Contest.
Although I was disappointed with the smaller number of teams participating and the new location of the Gesso Italiano, I was still amazed and awed by what these talented artists can do with chalk on the paved streets traveled by thousands of cars every day.
The Little Italy Association describes Gesso Italiano as a celebration of the traditional art from the old world. They have strived to take the festival back to its original roots of the Madonnari in Italy and have asked that artists create an Italian themed rendition from the works of an Italian master, Italian scenery or an image of an Italian person that has contributed their skills in acting, singing, art or science.
Since we were there earlier in the day, the drawings were still in the early stages and there are some unavoidable shadows, but these photos show you the beauty unfolding and the magic the artists create with bits of chalk while sitting on the ground.
A new NIA session starts Monday in Coronado. You can sign up for this innovative fitness and dance class through Coronado Adult Education. Classes are held Monday and Wednesday from 6:00 pm until 7:00 pm in one of the dance studios at Coronado High School. Tuition for 6 weeks of classes is only $34 and $31 for people over age 65.
NIA stands for neuromuscular integrative action and is a fusion of fitness for your mind and body. It combines the Martial Arts techniques of T’ai Chi, Tae Kwon Do and Aikido with the dance styles of Jazz Dance, Modern Dance and Duncan Dance and incorporates the healing arts of Yoga and the Alexander Technique.
By balancing technical precision with free-form expression, NIA brings the body, mind, emotions and spirit to optimum health through music, movement and self-expression. It is an activity that is enjoyed by people of all ages as you participate at whatever level you feel comfortable.
During the last session, my classmates varied in age and fitness level and each one joyfully participated at their own pace. We each left every class feeling energized, peaceful and thoroughly worked out.
Come give NIA a try and have fun getting fit in mind and body!