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Consider Collinsville the Milan of Illnois 

Italian culture has really given us a lot to celebrate – good food, good wine, Goodfellas. Whether you can proudly call yourself a paisano or just wish you were one, head to downtown Collinsville, Illinois (200 Main Street; www.italianfest.net), where the art of celebration has been perfected during the past 25 years of the annual Italian Fest. The fest boasts something for everyone, from a 5k Run-Walk to a bocce ball tournament to Club Italia, featuring dancing and music for teens. So take in Friday’s grape stomp or Saturday’s paisan pedal push after enjoying some lasagna and Italian ice, then raise your glass of vino in honor of the dolce vita. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, September 18 and 19. Admission is free, but you’ll need cash for concessions.
Fri., Sept. 18; Sat., Sept. 19, 2009

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