Every Italian town sponsors multiple festas each year, some connected with the church and others to celebrate something secular, like our Sagra di Cinghiale (wild boar) day in August. We are finally getting organized and writing them down on the computer calendar so we can better know when each recurring event is expected. We do not want to look stupid forever--although to be kind to us, we were much more aware this year. This festival is especially important to the village in 2012 as it is the 350th anniversary of the diocese.
A couple events were new to us here, although common in many other towns – street art and flag throwing. You may have seen flag throwers (sbandieratori) elsewhere or in videos. We found the talented flag throwers and musicians especially entertaining in person. I was also proud because I found out this is what I gave a donation for--wasn't clear at the time.
The designs for the street art are drawn in chalk, then different colors of materials fill in the spaces. Most of the materials used here were food items (rock salt, cracked corn, pasta, etc) and some colored stones. The dark brown is ground coffee. It took a family several hours to create these three designs Sunday morning.
That night, a strong series of thunderstorms passed and wiped-out much of the art except where rice or pasta stuck together once wet!! Some of it found its way to our front step.
Of course there was a procession. About 300 people participated in the long walk from the bottom of the village, to the top, then down to the church. The Carabinieri (state police) supplied - what seems to be - the obligatory 2 officers to walk in the procession and they were a little sweaty on that warm muggy evening.
A jazz band was setup to play around 10 PM but we never heard them just 58 steps away. Our guess is they saw the lightning approaching from the sea and packed-up to protect the equipment.