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About the Cairns Italian Festival

a Celebration of Italian Food, Wine and Culture

Italy in the Tropics

Ciao and welcome aboard a journey celebrating and showcasing the flavors of Italian food, culture, family values and history, whilst embracing and involving the entire local community and businesses to participate in one of the most exciting new events in the Cairns Calendar for 2022. We are delighted to bring you the inaugural Cairns Italian Festival which will be held from the 28 July 2022 – 6 August 2022 at iconic venues across Cairns and the region.

The Cairns Italian festival is an event that encompasses the entire North Queensland region from Cairns, Atherton, Dimbulah, Edmonton, Gordonvale, Innisfail, Mareeba, Mossman, Mutchilba, Port Douglas, Silkwood, Tully, and Yungaburra.

The festival is a celebration rich in Italian history, culture, food, wine, song, and dance that will encompass 10 days of festivities with a fantastic line-up of activities and entertainment from all around Australia.

Held during QLD’s 2022 Multicultural month, The Cairns Italian Festival will provide a unique opportunity for the community to rethink how the Italian story is told in Cairns by delivering a diverse and unique program of activities that are highly engaging and that reignite inter-cultural and inter-generational community connections.

Set in the beautiful location of Cairns, the Cairns Italian Festival is a bucket-list destination event that will be on the annual event calendar of foodies from around Australia each and every year. We can’t wait for you to join us to celebrate the Cairns Italian Festival for 2022!

Eat

Drink

Be Entertained

What’s On

There will be an array of events and festivities throughout the week with something for everyone and all ages!

Opening weekend kicks off with La Festa, an Italian extravaganza that will transform Fogarty Park with the best Italian culinary delights celebrating mouth-watering produce, cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs Daniela and Stefania from My Kitchen Rules, live band performances by Siesta Cartel, Made In Italy The Show, MC James Liotta, Piero Viavattene and Pippo and Pasquale Show, Italian folk dancing, fashion parade, kids’ activities, fireworks display in the evening and SO much more!

And the fun doesn’t stop there… there is a fantastic line-up of activities and entertainment for the whole week. Treat yourself to an enchanting evening of opera, be a guest at a traditional Italian Wedding Theatre Restaurant, burst with laughter at our live comedy night, sit back and relax with the whole family at the Italian movie night, marvel at the beauty of the Italian Car Show, and join us for an Italian soccer match and pizza night to watch the most iconic Soccer World Cup Matches.

And the festival wouldn’t be complete without a grand Masquerade Gala Ball, which this year is inspired by the Venice Carnevale! A mysterious and magnificent evening with live entertainment, delicious Italian food and wine and the first of the annual Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony to recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the Far North Queensland community.

In the 8 weeks in the lead up to the festival there will also be an Ancient Rome Exhibition. This incredible exhibition brings to life one of the most technologically significant times in the history of mankind and covers an epic period of history, from the triumphant victory of Julius Caesar over the Gaul in 52 BC to the transformation of Rome from a Republic into the mighty Roman Empire. This will be held over 8 weeks from the 8 June and hosted by the Australian Armour and Artillery Museum Cairns. 

As proud and passionate Australian Italians, we are excited to provide an event that will enrich and engage the community and local businesses as one. Come and experience our amazing North Queensland winter weather and allow us to provide the world-class entertainment! This is an annual event not to be missed!

What does the Cairns Italian Festival represent?

The Cairns Italian Festival is an event that is way overdue and encompasses the entire North Queensland region from Cairns, Atherton, Dimbulah, Edmonton, Gordonvale, Innisfail, Mareeba, Mossman, Mutchilba, Port Douglas, Silkwood, Tully, and Yungaburra. The Inaugural Cairns Italian Festival is a celebration rich in history, culture, food, wine, song, and dance that will encompass a week of festivities.

Our festival is a week of highly charged and authentic Italian entertainment celebrations, but it also pays homage honouring the Italian immigrants that left their homeland in search for a better life and future in Australia. Generations of Italians making Australia home and changing the face and future of the North Queensland Region in farming, business, and development.

We must all pay the highest RESPECT to our parents, grandparents and great grandparents migrating to Australia and dealing with extreme hardships. The physical work of clearing land for farming, cutting cane by hand, picking tobacco by hand, the language barrier, no money, no phones, no family help, and the uncertainty of their future. Their choices were, work hard, work harder, don’t complain, and keep working harder. What they did have however was strong moral values, friendships, and the ability to help each other in times of need. All the while the “Family” as the most important fabric of their life.

Hall of Fame Awards Night

An important part of the festival is the introduction of a HALL OF FAME AWARDS, which will form a yearly celebration of past and present Italian/Australians who made a significant contribution to the North Queensland region in Farming, Business, Development, Community Service, Sport and Arts and Culture. We must not forget those who made a difference to make North Queensland what it is today.

Award Categories include:

  • Community Service Award
  • Farming and Agriculture Award
  • Business Recognition Award
  • Developing and Building Award
  • Educational Achievement Award
  • Sporting Achievement Award
  • Arts and Culture Achievement Award

The Hall of Fame Awards will be presented at the Carnevale Gala Ball on Friday 5 August 2022.

Cairns-Italian-Festival-2022-Committee

Meet the faces behind the Festival

Since the inception of this event, a new Italian Family was created in our 2022 Cairns Italian Festival Committee. Italians from all regions of Italy and non-Italians who share our passion are creating beautiful new memories and friendships. If you would like to volunteer at the event or join our committee, please join us! We want you to be part of our family and if you are not Italian, we welcome you with open arms.