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“Piazza” party and road race in Los Angeles to celebrate Italy’s Republic Day

A thousand participants in the event with a 5 km Run organized by the Italian Consulate General

by Marco Liconti, Washington correspondent

 A five-kilometer run – open to all – and a ‘Festa di Piazza’, with Italian food, music, entertainment, brought Italy’s Republic Day to the Port of Los Angeles on Sunday, June 5th.

“It was a dream to be able to celebrate our Republic Day in the square,” said Consul-General Silvia Chiave, who created the event. “This event brought together many things: sport, sustainability, brought together families, it was an event for all, truly a dream that has come true.”

“We didn’t expect so many people, because it was the first time,” added Chiave. “There was a great deal of participation in the project. Now we want to organize it every year and make it grow.”

In addition to the runners, the event brought together hundreds of other people, families, children, not just members of the Italian American community in the area. Here, where in the 1950s the first settlements of Sicilian and Ischia fishermen were born, work will begin shortly for the construction of a new square, which will be the new heart of San Pedro’s Little Italy. 

“The purpose of this square is to create a place not only for Italian-Americans, but for everyone, to bring our culture, art and entertainment of Italian-Americans here,” said Joe Buscaino, city councilor of the 15th Los Angeles district, which includes San Pedro, and who also put on his sneakers for the 5K run.

“The city of Los Angeles, under my leadership, devoted $5.5 million to the development of the plaza. Construction will start in one or two months. and by the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024 there will be a new square in Los Angeles,” said Buscaino.

In the square, together with the traditions exhibited during the festival, including arancini stalls, Italian desserts, pizza, ice creams, the ‘wine van’ and music, there was also a stand devoted to Italian technological excellence, and run by Enel X Way, a North American leader in charging stations for electric cars, and the main sponsor of the event. For the record, the race was won by 23 year old Bronwyn Brunel (19’25 “) for women and by young Connor Spencer (15’25”) for men.

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