February 4, 2013

Contests and Games

2020 Schedule Coming Soon! 



Playing bocce ball has become a tradition at the Italian American Heritage Festival of Iowa and this year is no exception as several tournaments are planned.

There will be an adult doubles bocce tournament on Friday evening beginning after the opening ceremonies.  Sign-ups begin at 5:00 pm in the bocce area.  The registration fee is $10.  The doubles tournament is open to those 18 and older.

On Saturday morning at 10:45 am, the children will have an opportunity to play some bocce in their own tournament. There will be two age groups: 6 -10  and 11 – 17.  Sign-ups begin at 10:00 am.  There is no registration fee for the children’s bocce tournaments.

Finally, the much-awaited adult 4-player tournament will begin around 5:30 pm after the festival mass on Saturday evening. Sign-ups begin at 5:00 pm on Saturday. Registration fee is $20 per team.  The 4-player tournament is open to those 18 and older.

Artisti Del Gessetto

Do you like to draw or have an artistic knack? Would you like a fun challenge? Join us for our second annual Street Chalk Art Competition to be held Saturday, July 27 on the streets of the Festival! Let’s recreate an Italian tradition that goes back to the 16th century where artists created beautiful works of art using the street as their canvas. Monetary prizes will be given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. Spots are limited. Submit your application early to guarantee entry. 

Deadline for entry is July 19, 2019  Application

Grape Stomping

Remember the “I Love Lucy” episode when Lucy stomped grapes? Let’s top that with our own contest! Create a team out of 3 willing partners and try to stomp the most juice out in a given amount of time.



Drawing/Painting or Photography

 This contest is open to students of Italian descent who will be attending school in the fall at a college, university, art institute or trade school.  Three cash scholarships will be awarded in each category: first place $750, second place $500 and third place $250.  A completed contest entry form must be included with each entry. Deadline for entry is July 17, 2019



Festival Queen

The Queen contest is open to young ladies of Italian descent, residing in Iowa, who are between 17 and 23 years of age. The young ladies will be judged on personality, poise, community involvement, and overall presentation. 

Three awards will be given: queen, first runner-up, and third place.  Final judging will take place on the festival’s Main Stage on Friday evening, July 27th.  For the Queen Entry form, click here: Queen .  Deadline for entry is July 11, 2020.




Best Sauce

This popular contest will be held on Saturday, July 28th.  Upon receipt of registration the contestants will be notified by mail with additional information regarding the time when the sauce should be brought to the Graziano Heritage Stage. Registration form can be found here: Best Sauce. Deadline for registration is July 19th, 2020. 



Mamma Mia

 The Mamma Mia Recognition is open to ladies of Italian descent, residing in Iowa, who are 60 years of age or older.  Family or friends who are nominating recipients must submit a 5”x7” picture of their nominee along with a statement, one-half typed page, as to why they feel this person is a good example of an Italian Mamma Mia. A drawing of those nominated will take place Friday, July 27th on the Casey’s  stage.  Pictures along with the letters of nomination will be on display in the Cultural Hall during the Festival.

Deadline for submission is July, 18, 2020. Entries can be brought to the Italian-American Cultural Center of Iowa on Sunday, July 14th between 2:30-4:30 pm or Wednesday, July 17th between 1:30 and 3:30 pm.

Mr. Italy

Are you an Italian Stallion? Do you know one? See if you have what it takes to be this year’s Mr. Italy! You may enter one or all categories to strut your stuff. Categories include: Biggest Nose, Best Legs, Best Mustache, Harriest Male and Best Decorated Chest. The Best All-around will be crowned King! Show us what you got!

Mr. Italy registration form. Deadline for entry is July 19, 2020.



Cutest Bambino & Bambina

Do you think you have the cutest Italian baby ever? Enter your adorable one in this year’s contests held in the Hertiage Tent Friday.

Cutest Bambino/Bambina                                            

Deadline for entry is July 19, 2020


Best Tiramisu

Tiramisu comes in all sorts of flavors………… Do you have a special tiramisu? Enter your masterpiece!

Entry Form

Deadline for entry is July 19, 2020.


Best Use of Graziano’s Italian Sausage

Who doesn’t love Graziano’s Italian Sausage!  Put on your creativity cap and enter your creation! Entry Form

Deadline for entry is July 19, 2020.



And many more contests & games at the Graziano Heritage Stage  …………

Register Saturday morning to compete in these fun contests and games:

Children’s Pizza Eating – Join the fun and see just how many pieces of pizza your little one can put away!

Children’s Pasta Eating – Messy? Yes! Fun? Yes! What kid doesn’t like pasta?

Adult Cannoli Eating – No words needed here!

Meatball Relay – Don’t let your Nonni see what you’re doing with her meatballs! Test your steadiness while transporting a meatball on a spoon through an obstacle course. Sound easy? Come down Friday at 4:15PM and test your skills! 

Spaghetti on a String – Another skill buster! How many pieces of ditalini can you put on a piece of spaghetti held in your mouth? Using your mouth to get things done – now, THAT’S Italian!

String Cheese Stacking – Remember your Lincoln Logs? Try building a tower with string cheese. It’s not as easy as you think! Tallest Tower in a set amount of time wins! If you build it, they will come!