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Assignment 1- Cultural Festival

Assignment 1- Cultural Festival - Drew Morrison ANT 300...

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Drew Morrison ANT 300 Fieldwork Paper #1: Ethnic Festival Analysis On Saturday, September 14, 2013, my fellow classmate Marika and I attended the annual Festa Italiana Syracuse to get a better sense of the Italian American community that resides in Syracuse. Taking the Connective Corridor bus, Marika and I arrived to the festival at around 2PM. Having rode this bus a number of times in the past, I became aware of something different going on very quickly, as much of a neighboring road was blocked off just for the festival. Getting off at the festival, I could immediately smell the food that was being served as well as hear a game of bingo going on. The number caller for bingo was reading off the numbers in both English and Italian. Upon looking around, I noticed three large tents as the main focus of the festival. In the center tent, there was a raffle drawing and a shop that sold various Italian merchandise. The other two tents were those of the food vendors that the festival invited to attend. There must have been at least 20 different Italian restaurants or catering services there offering food, which ranged from basic pizza to more complicated pasta dishes. As you kept walking past the tents you noticed that there was more to the festival than just the three tents. A large group of people surrounded an open area which we came to find was for a Bocce Ball playing area. Next to the playing area was a large stage with several chairs, where two acts performed while we were there, Highland Winds, and Canzoni D'Italia. Listening to great music, enjoying great food, and being around genuinely nice people made the Festa Italiana Syracuse to be a great experience for myself. The festival took place in the middle of downtown Syracuse, shutting down an entire portion of a major street. One of the buildings that the festival was near was Syracuse's City Hall. This specifically spoke to me, as in my experiences in Syracuse, downtown is truly the hub of activity or the “heart” of the city so to speak. By being held in this part of the city, and by displacing some traffic in the process, Italian Americans display themselves as being a significant portion of the community of
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Syracuse and are unafraid to show it. Several large signs speaking of the event scattered around the
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