Suwanee's third annual Festa della Pasta dishes out Italian food and live entertainment


• What: Festa della Pasta

• When: 6:30 p.m. Friday

• Where: Under the tent on Main Street in historic Old Town Suwanee

• Cost: $10 per person

• For more information: Visit www.suwanee.com

SUWANEE -- Friday in the heart of historic Old Town Suwanee, the third annual Festa della Pasta is serving pasta, salad, garlic rolls and mini cannolis by Ippolito's and will be combined with live entertainment and a cash bar which begins at 6:30 p.m.

"Festa della Pasta is a great opportunity for people to come and socialize with their neighbors. It's also a great date night," said Allison Starnes, Suwanee Downtown Business Development Manager.

This annual dinner is quickly becoming a Suwanee tradition. Hosted under a festive tent on Main Street, about 186 people attended last year. Starnes expects between 150 to 200 attendees again this year.

"The Suwanee Downtown Development Authority puts this on every year as a 'thank you' to the community," Starnes said. "We try to host it in Old Town Suwanee, which is our old, historic downtown."

This year photographer Amber Rushing will be displaying up to 12 pieces from her recent travels to Italy. In June, she visited Italy for the third time with her family and her exhibition will combine these photos with photos from her past trips.

"There is one piece that has a big yellow boat on it. You won't be able to miss it. It is from Bari, Italy," Rushing said. "It's called 'Run' because it was in a really scary place. But there was this one place in the bay that was beautiful and all the boats were really brightly painted. That's where the picture was taken."

Rushing's photography is fully featured through her business Lightning Bug Shadows. Some of her other photos being sold and exhibited at Festa Della Pasta include a Parmesan cheese factory's wall of cheese and the Roman Coliseum.

"There is a really awesome shot of the Roman Coliseum. It is shot in a way that takes you back and shows you what it may have looked like," Rushing said.

The live entertainment will be provided by local Suwanee guitarist Chris Smith, who is returning from last year's event.

Overall, Festa della Pasta combines the flavors and tastes of Italy with Suwanee resident's town pride.

"I think it's a great tradition for the community to take part in," Starnes said. "It's a great opportunity for Suwanee citizens to connect with one another. Of course the weather is always great. It's a 'welcome to fall' if you will."