Rain party at Italian Day on Commercial Drive
Rain did not stop the party today on Commercial Drive. It was the first Italian Day since 1982, and the streets were closed from Grandview to Venables, with music, vendors, food, beer gardens, and dancing on the road under umbrellas.
The smell of garlic and Italian sausage was luring people into line-ups. So was the gelati. We saw a pasta eating contest, from a distance. It was hard to get a close-up look because so many people were cheering and chanting for the contestants.
My heart went out to the vendors, trying to keep their treasures dry, and to the restauranteers whose extended dining patios (some with red and white checkered tablecloths) were getting soaked. The cafes and many shops were full of people looking for shelter from the rain, which came down hard at a couple of points.
Overall people seemed to be having a good time, though I overheard one woman complaining to her companion: “I think we made a big mistake coming here in the rain.”