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Nevada casino hosts successful Italian festival

13 October 2011

RENO, Nevada -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- With a perfect window of gorgeous weather, thousands of people from around the country flocked to downtown Reno for the 30th Annual Eldorado Great Italian Festival October 8 and 9. This year’s Festival was successful as ever, with plenty of friendly Italian competition and giveaways from the Eldorado Hotel Casino.

The Sauce Competition is an annual favorite with fierce competition. Nearly forty families spent the weekend cooking their secret sauces for judging. This year three families walked away winners—the Ragusano family of Reno took first place honors, the Di Girolamo family of Monterey, Calif., came in second place and the Bonaldi-Ricci family of Reno simmered in at third. A total of 37 sauces were judged on flavor, aroma, appearance and consistency.

Each of the sauce cookers was also judged for the decorations and their family’s booth. Many hung Italian flags, grapes and bread baskets, pasta sauce cooking awards and other Italian-inspired decor. This year’s top designers were from the Laiolo family who hail from the Liguria region of Italy. The Ragusano family, of Ragusa and Sicily came in second and the Vannucci family of Tuscany came in third.

Perhaps the liveliest event at each Italian Festival is the Grape Stomp. Each year the Eldorado invites members of the local media and political circuit to participate in a special stomp on Sunday afternoon. Members of Reno’s radio stations, television studios and print publications are a competitive bunch and this year’s stomp was no exception!

The highest ranking grape stompers in the media category for 2011 were stomp veterans Bill Schultz and Connie Wray of Alice 96.5 FM. Conor Flanagan and Chris Payne from 92.9 FM The Bandit, and Amy Mattingly and Chris Hart of The Wolf tied for second with third place secured by another Alice team, Jessica Wilcox and RJ Palminos.

Congratulations to all our Eldorado Great Italian Festival winners for 2011! The Eldorado would like to thank all the guests and volunteers that make this annual Festival a hit year after year. For more information on the 30th Annual Eldorado Great Italian Festival, visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You can also get details by calling 775-786-5700.

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