Fri 8/23-Sun 8/25
Mark our words: the next hipster recreational craze after board games, pinball and shuffleboard is going to be bocce. Look for it to break out of the old Italian man community soon! We couldn’t help noticing that at this year’s Kurentovanje at the Slovenian National Home on St. Clair, the bocce courts in the basement had been gussied up and the majority of players seemed to be in their 20s. Any day now, a bocce bar should be opening in Lakewood or Gordon Square!
Meanwhile, the lifelong bocce players were still at it at Alta House during the Feast, and the Wickliffe Italian-American Club is hosting the 36th Annual Pat O’Brien Chevrolet Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce once again this weekend.
More than 100 teams from the Great Lakes region, New England, Florida, Mississippi and even California have descended on Wickliffe for a shot at the nearly $23,000 in prize money.
Opening ceremonies take place on Fri 8/23 @ 5:30pm, with the national anthems of the U.S. Italy and Canada sung by Gio Castiglione, and tournament play starting at 6. After that, there’s constant play on the nine covered bocce courts.
But even if you don’t play, this is an event where you can bring family and friends to hang out and have a good time. There are of course lots of vendors with lots of food, both Italian and American. There’s live music by classic rock party bands as well as Italian ensembles. There’ll be Italian cultural activities in the pavilion Saturday @ noon-3pm including a cooking demonstration and a photo display of the history of Italians in Cleveland; and at 6-8pm Nick Zappettli will broadcast his WRUW 91.1 FM Radio Italia show live.
On Sunday, Carmelina Antonelli broadcasts her WELW 1330AM Touch of Italy show live @ noon-1pm, followed by a magic show with Rick Smith Jr and Jungle Terry’s Exotic Animal show. Men’s and women’s championships take place in the late afternoon, starting at approximately 4pm